Neck injuries can create lifelong pain and problems. Whiplash is the most common neck injury resulting from a car accident. Neck injuries can occur when a sudden impact jolts the head in one direction followed by the head snapping in one direction, then, suddenly back in the opposite direction.
With a whiplash, the normal curve of the spine in the neck area is forcibly misaligned causing pain and restricted movement. Both tissue and spinal structures can be injured. Nearly 20% of whiplash victims develop chronic pain that lasts longer than two years. Whiplash syndrome can manifest as any or all of the following:
Inability to concentrate
Emotional changes: irritability, depression, short-temperedness
Dizziness, in 25% to 50% of victims
Loss of memory
Visual disturbances, primarily blurred vision, and in up to 30% of victims
Ringing in the ears
Heaviness in the arms
Low back pain
More Serious Neck Injuries
Whiplash is not the only neck injury resulting from a car accident. Paralysis or death from serious neck injuries can be another outcome.
Neck sprains: torn or stretched ligaments in the neck.
Neck strains: pulled muscles, stretched or torn.
Herniated disc: aka slipped or ruptured disc, is a rupture in the disc that cushions the vertebrae allowing the contents of the disc to squeeze out.
Pinched neck nerves: nerves compressed by a herniated disc, bone fragment resulting in numbness or weakness in the shoulders or arms.
Fractures: a break or crack in the vertebrae in the neck.
Fractures are medical emergency that can result in full paralysis because the nerves that provide motor and sensory function to the body, from the neck down. Fractures require immobilization until medical treatment is available and x-rays are taken.
Temporomandibular joint injury (TMJ) is caused in the same way as a whiplash, only it happens to the jawbone. A sudden impact can force the jaw to thrust quickly, tearing or pulling the ligaments that hold it in position. TMJ can interfere with eating and talking, and over the long term can have serious affects on the teeth and jawbones due to misalignment.
Neck injuries can result in the most severe spinal cord injuries simply because the nerves that provide both motor and nerve function to the entire body below the head all are encased in the spinal cord at the neck level. They begin branching out to the shoulders and arms, and at each vertebrae, nerves branch out to those parts of the body that communicate through them. Neck injuries have the potential to cause full body paralysis, as compared to injuries lower on the spine that innervate the torso and lower limbs.
If you are near Austin, Texas and have suffered a neck injury from an auto accident please visit the website of Austins personal injury lawyers at Gonzales & Gonzales for a no-cost evaluation of your case.