What are the types of neck injuries?
If you’re involved in a car or motorcycle accident, you may suffer from neck pain or injury. The following are some of the most common car accident neck injuries:
Whiplash is a term used to describe a range of injuries that can occur to the soft tissues in the neck when the neck is suddenly extended. Symptoms include:
- Aching and pain in the neck, sometimes extending into the back
- Pain in the shoulders
- Pins and needles in the limbs
Read more about whiplash symptoms. (link)
A cervical fracture, also known as a broken neck, occurs when any of the seven cervical vertebrae in the neck is fractured or broken. Symptoms include:
- Inability to move the arms and legs
- Loss of feeling or pins and needles feeling in the arms and legs
- Bruising and swelling at the back of the neck
- Pain in the neck, sometimes spreading to the shoulders and arms
What causes neck injuries?
Whiplash is commonly seen when a patient’s vehicle has been hit from behind, although this is not always the case. The injury is caused by the sudden jerking change in movement of the head and neck. Cervical fractures are also commonly caused by motor vehicle and motorcycle accidents. These injuries are more common in collisions that occur at high speeds.
How is a neck injury diagnosed?
The doctors at Sall Myers diagnose whiplash by performing a thorough physical examination, sometimes followed by neck x-rays to rule out a more serious injury. You may then be sent for anopen-air MRI scan to confirm the diagnosis of whiplash. If a cervical fracture is suspected, you will be examined by a board certified neurologist. You will then be sent for neck x-rays to confirm the presence of a fracture, and an MRI or other radiological testing to rule out spinal cord damage.
How do you treat a neck injury?
Whiplash treatment generally involves a combination of pain management and physical therapy. Read more about whiplash treatment and whiplash exercises. (links)
Like any other fracture, the bones in the neck must be immobilized until the break heals, although major fractures may require surgery to return bones back to their normal positions.
What is the recovery time for a neck injury?
A neck fracture will typically need to be immobilized for 8-12 weeks before the bones are fully healed. After this, the patient will typically undergo physical therapy to rebuild strength and stability in the neck muscles.
The mildest cases of whiplash clear up in a few days, while others will last substantially longer. Read more about chronic whiplash. (link)
If you’ve been in a car accident in New Jersey and need treatment for a neck injury, please call us at 866-609-4448 or fill out our quick contact form for a FREE consultation.