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Car Accident: Neck Pain Causes and Treatments

The number one pain felt in victims of car accidents is neck pain. You may be asking yourself what exactly causes this pain and some helpful ways to treat it. When suffering from aches, numbness or reduced range of motion in your neck or shoulders as a result of a collision, it’s important to seek treatment immediately. Florida law states that insurance will only cover injuries due to a car crash, if examined or treated within the first 14 days after the accident. It is vital to seek some medical care or examination, with proper documentation to ensure coverage for medical care if needed.

woman with neck pain

Neck Pain Causes

The most frequent cause of car accident neck pain is due to a car accident is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when your head is abruptly jerked forward and backward, side to side, or when rapidly and irregularly rotated. Consequently, the muscles and ligaments on your neck become sprained / strained or torn from the erratic stretch.

Another common complaint after a car accident, is Cervical Radiculopathy. You probably know this injury by the name of “pinched nerve.” A pinched nerve is caused from an irritated nerve compressed by a bone spur or a spinal disc. Your muscles associated with that particular nerve are weakened or numbed, resulting in either soreness or an unfamiliar lack of sensation.

A herniated disc could also potentially be the source of your neck pain. After a car accident, it is possible that the motion of your neck places too much pressure on some spinal discs, resulting in this injury. Commonly referred to as a “slipped disc,” this lesion occurs when the outside ring of a spinal disc (the annulus) is torn, allowing the gel-like substance inside (nucleus pulposus) to leak out. When the nucleus pulposus comes in contact and presses against a nerve, you feel pain, numbness, or weakening along the area linked with the nerv

Neck Pain Treatments

Experiencing neck pain is reason to seek treatment, whether in-home or at an outpatient facility. Both types of treatments may help relieve any pain felt as a result of a neck injury. The following are some treatment examples you could try if suffering unusual neck soreness:

    • Chiropractic Care. After an accident the bones lose their proper alignement and spines become unstable. This leads to arthritic and degenerative changes later in life, but pain after an accident. There are many techniques in chiropractic. The ones used at Parkside Health & Wellness Center are gentle and comfortable. They offer “crackless adjusting” with an arthrostim device to retrain bone alignment. It is safe, gentle, and effective.
    • Physical Therapy. This can be in the way of EMS or ultrasound, as well as therapeutic stretches and exercises, trigger point therapy, and mechanical traction.
    • Apply Ice or a Cold Pack. Coldness on the irritated area for up to 20-minute intervals after initially feeling any aching will help to reduce inflammation. The decline in swelling aids in the healing process. (there are proper ways to apply this in time and method) ask one of our doctors to explain how.
    • Apply Heat. Whether it’s heat from a shower or direct contact heat from a thermal pad, the high temperature attracts nutrient-filled blood to the area which speeds up the healing process. (there are proper times, and methods for applying heat to help, rather than hurt) ask one of our doctors to explain how.
    • Ibuprofen or Naproxen. More commonly known as Advil or Aleve, taking over-the-counter medications designed for anti-inflammatory purposes helps to reduce the aching sensations. Ask your doctor if appropriate for you.
    • Massage Therapy. Receiving a therapeutic massage in the aggrieved area stimulates blood flow, which lessens pain and assists the healing process. For more information regarding massage therapy, visit our office page here.
    • Visit a Health Professional. If the pain lasts longer than two days, and no home remedies seem to be working, it’s essential you make an appointment with a chiropractor or your primary care physician. Seeking professional help will assist you in diagnosing your pain with the correct healing care.

Our office helps many people who have been in car accident injury treatment, so give us a call today if you’re experiencing any unnecessary aching! Don’t let that neck pain set you back; get healed now!