Head and neck trauma are some of the most common injuries sustained in car accidents, generally because your head and neck are less restrained than your body, so they take on a greater amount of force in an impact.
Although the two most common head and neck injuries, whiplash, and concussion, can be caused by a direct hit, they’re usually the result of the kind of severe jolting that comes with rapid deceleration or a quick change of direction.
This neck injury occurs when your head is thrown back and forth, causing the quick, forceful, and uncontrollable movement of your neck. Whiplash injuries typically cause some amount of trauma to the discs, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and surrounding tissues in your neck.
Common symptoms include neck pain that worsens with movement, decreased range of motion, and headache pain.
This head injury occurs when your brain bounces or twists inside your skull, creating chemical changes that lead to abnormal brain function.
Concussions may cause a temporary loss of consciousness, or they may cause subtle symptoms that emerge slowly, such as headache or neck pain, general pressure, confusion, or dizziness.
Even if you’ve only been in a minor fender-bender, you can still walk away with hidden back trauma. Back injuries can happen in any forceful impact, but they occur most often in rear-end collisions.
When the nerves, discs, tendons, ligaments, or muscles in your back are damaged in an auto accident, inflammation can prevent your body from healing afterward. Left untreated, injury and inflammation can lead to chronic back pain that worsens over time.
Traumatic injury recovery following a car accident is an individual process; some injuries heal quickly and completely, while others persist and become more complicated over time.
The best way to avoid complications like long-term nerve damage, chronic pain, or post-concussive syndrome is to find out if you’ve sustained any hidden trauma, and if it requires special attention or medical management.
After an initial evaluation, your doctor at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics sets to work diagnosing the nature and the extent of your accident injuries.
They may use an X-ray to get a more detailed look at back trauma, while a CT scan can reveal the extent of spine and disc trauma, and an MRI provides a closer look at the inner workings of the spine. Electrodiagnostic testing methods evaluate unexplained muscle weakness, numbness, and pain.
Many car accident injuries respond well to conservative treatments like pain medication, steroid injections, and physical therapy.
The injury and pain specialists at Garden State Pain & Orthopedics are dedicated to helping accident patients recover fully, providing customized treatment plans that address individual needs.