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6 Common Neck and Back Injuries Related To Car Accidents and What To Do About Them

More than 80,000 accidents cause neck and back injuries in the United States each year. Even “fender benders” can lead to injuries, some of which you may not feel right away, and some of those maybe are neck pain and back pain. It can take up to four weeks after an accident for you to begin to notice symptoms such as stiffness, headaches, shooting pain, muscle spasms, or numbness. Many types of injuries can result from a crash, and each of them requires car accident back pain treatment.

1. Whiplash

Whiplash is the most common injury that occurs as the result of a motor vehicle accident. When you hit the brakes and make an impact with another vehicle, your neck and head will often jerk forward or backward. The sudden movement causes the muscles, nerves, and ligaments to strain, often leading to tears or other damage. 

Symptoms of whiplash may appear right away, but they could also take several hours to begin. Early treatment of the injury means you’ll only need a few weeks to recover. However, if you don’t receive treatment or the accident was particularly rough, ongoing symptoms may occur. These include chronic pain, memory issues, or headaches, which may be treated with continuous pain management options.

2. Herniated Disc

A slipped or herniated disc is another prevalent injury that occurs as the result of a car accident. Car accident doctors in Brooklyn, NY, treat lots of these cases each year. There are jelly-filled discs in your spine that are made to absorb shock to your body and protect your vertebrae. 

When sudden impact hits your body, the discs may slip out of place or rupture, which causes them to compress the nerves in your spinal cord. These types of injuries cause pain and numbness in the neck and arms. It is a very common injury related to accidents with side impacts.

3. Facet Joint Injury

Your cervical spine has facet joints that are used to stabilize your neck and aid in mobility. When you are in a car accident, the facet joints may become inflamed and otherwise irritated. Another potential problem is that the impact of an auto collision could damage the ligaments surrounding the facet joints, affecting your movement and overall range of motion, not to mention causing pain that is likely to require the help of a car accident pain management doctor in Brooklyn.

4. Neck Fracture

If your accident was serious, you might suffer from a more serious injury such as a neck fracture. A fracture typically causes severe pain right away, so you will likely know immediately that you are injured. If you suspect your neck is fractured, move as little as possible until you have medical assistance, as the wrong move could cause further serious damage, including paralysis. 

5. Pinched Nerves

Pinched nerves are a common result of many types of car accidents. Nerves become pinched off when damaged bones, tendons, spinal discs, or tissue shift out of place and begin to compress or rub against the nerves in your body. A pinched nerve can cause mild to severe pain and often leads to tingling and numbness, especially in the fingers, wrists, and arms. If you have a muscle sprain or strain related to a car accident, a pinched nerve is more likely as well.

6. Muscle Spasms

After a car accident, you’ll likely experience muscle spasms that cause twinges in your back, shoulders, and arms. During an accident, your muscles are likely to tense up when you notice impact, or they may become overstretched during the accident. When this happens, the area around your muscles becomes swollen and inflamed, leading to further contractions as your body tries to immobilize the injured area. These muscle spasms can cause much pain and last for days, weeks, or longer.

The Importance of Treatment

When left untreated, injuries to your back or neck can cause chronic pain that lasts for the rest of your life. Along with the pain, you may experience ongoing headaches, cognitive issues, and anxiety and depression related to the injuries. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential for ensuring good health after you’ve been in a car accident.  

What To Do if You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident

If you have a neck or back injury due to a car accident, it is crucial to treat the problem as soon as possible. Initially, this may include a visit to the emergency room. From there, you’ll want to document the symptoms you have each day, making a note of when the pain is worse, what triggers it to begin, and more. This information will be helpful when you find the right car accident pain management doctors in Brooklyn. Your pain management doctor will assess your injuries and help you create the best treatment plan possible to meet your needs. 

Treatments Available for Car Accident Injuries

Your pain management specialist can help you determine which treatments are best for you based on your injuries and your current pain levels. They will use x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs to help discern the source of the pain, its severity, and what your options are. Often, treatment includes physical therapy, chiropractic care, massage, and medication. 

However, there is a range of other possibilities as well.

  • Cold Therapy
  • Electrotherapy
  • Epidural Injections
  • Exercise
  • Facet Injections
  • Joint Injections
  • Microdiscectomy
  • Percutaneous Discectomy
  • Prolotherapy
  • Radiofrequency Ablation
  • Surgically Implanted Electrotherapy Devices
  • Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS)

Speak To a Pain Management Specialist

If you have been in a car accident that resulted in pain in your neck, shoulders, back, or arms, don’t wait to seek treatment. Waiting it out can cause serious long-term damage. Instead, reach out to our car accident doctors in Brooklyn, NY.

Contact Medical Experts

Our licensed, board-certified medical professionals are compassionate, experienced, and knowledgeable about a range of back and neck injuries and pain after a car accident. Schedule a consultation appointment to determine what your body needs to heal and put you back on the path to wellness and happiness. We accept no-fault, worker’s compensation, PIP (personal injury protection), and other insurance plans.  Contact the team at Metro Healthcare Partners to learn more about various medical treatment options.