A very common trauma associated with car accidents are neck injuries. Neck injuries occur when muscles and ligaments in the neck are stretched or pulled. Signs and symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness, and headaches. Severe cases present chronic neck pain and other ongoing complications. The severity of the injury may result from the force of the impact and starts with acknowledging the origin of pain.
Post accident traumas may include:
- Disk bulge: The injury occurs when the bulging cervical disc compresses or puts pressure on the spinal cord (i.e., the nerves that carry messages from the brain to the different parts of a person’s body), which travels through the spinal canal. Disk bulges can cause people to experience chronic neck pain.
- Facet joint injury: Facet joint injuries can happen in a whiplash injury to the neck. The facets can be torn away from one another. The cartilage can be injured, resulting in pain and inflammation. The facet joint can also be dislocated, which requires chiropractic or sometimes surgery to replace in its proper position.
- Subluxation of vertebrae: A subluxation is when one or more of the bones in a person’s spine move out of position creating pressure on or irritating the nerves in their spine. The irritation or pressure may cause the nerves to malfunction and interfere with the signals that travel through the nerves.