Neck Injuries in Car Accidents in Virginia
Of the different parts of the spine the neck is probably the most vulnerable and likely to be injured in a car accident, compared to the low back or thoracic or middle back. The reason is the nature of the structures of muscle and connective tissue surrounding the neck are much smaller and less supportive than those in other parts of the spine.
In my 25 years of doing personal injury work especially involving car crashes numerous orthopedic and other kinds of physicians have explained to me that the neck is almost like a towel on which sits a bowling ball namely your head. When the motion and energy of the car collision occurs it’s easy to see how the head being thrown forward and back can create the forces on the neck to cause injury.
Some insurance companies and doctors act as if neck strain or sprain is not a big deal. However if it’s your neck and your pain that was caused by somebody else’s not paying attention on the road it’s probably a big deal to you. Also the medicine and anatomy of a neck strain or sprain is probably worse than it sounds. The neck muscles, ligaments and tendons which hold the spine in place are bendable material. However if they get snapped too hard or too far then they tear which is what occurs in a sprain or strain. At the location where the cells of the connective tissue are torn there is bleeding at least at a microscopic level and scar tissue forms.
The scar tissue after initial healing is not as pliable and supportive in the same way as it was before the injury. That’s why often people feel like “my neck has never been right since the accident.” The doctors can say that most strain/sprain injuries heal up in 2 or 3 months. But any honest doctor will have to admit that in some percentage of the cases there continue to be symptoms, problems and chronic dysfunction as a result of a neck injury.
The strain sprains that I’m talking about are the most mild form of injury that occurs when your head gets whipped around from being run into from behind in a typical rear-end impact. It’s also possible that you have a much more serious neck or spinal injury from a car crash. For example the bones or vertebrae in the neck are also relatively fine smaller bones and can be cracked or broken. Additionally the shock absorber between the bones called the discs can have various injuries in a car wreck like a herniated disc, a ruptured disc, a bulging disc, or a protruded disc. Each of these kinds of disc injuries can affect the nerves in and around the disc which can cause pain including chronic or permanent pain.
Neck pain from a car accident is no laughing matter. In fact such injuries can result in life-threatening emergencies, lots of missed time from work, and a serious loss of quality of life on a permanent basis under some situations. If you hurt your neck in a car crash, call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077.