If you’re suffering from Neck Injuries from an Auto Accident, Contact the Clearwater Office of David Wall, MD.
The neck is composed of bones (vertebrae), nerves, discs, tendons, and ligaments,
any or all of which may be injured from a car accident.
Ligaments are bands of fibrous tissue that connect bones together and help to
stabilize joints. When those ligaments are stretched or torn in the neck, the result is a
neck sprain, which results in pain and stiffness.
When the muscles of the neck are stretched or torn, it is known as a neck strain.
Sometimes, these are called “pulled muscles.” They often occur when the muscles are suddenly and powerfully contracted or when they stretch unusually far. Neck sprains and neck strains are sometimes called “hyperflexion-hyperextension injuries” by doctors or more commonly known as “whiplash.”
Cervical Radiculopathy (pinched nerve)
Cervical nerves leave the spinal cord in the cervical spine
area and travel down into the arm. Along the way, the
nerves supply sensation (feeling) to a part of the skin of
the shoulder and arm and supplyelectrical signals to
certain muscles to move parts of the arm and/or hand.
When a nerve is irritated or pinched, by either a bone
spur or a fragment of a herniated (ruptured) disc or even
stretched by trauma, it causes the nerve to not work
properly. The result can be weakness in the muscles
supplied by the nerve, numbness in the skin supplied by
the nerve, or pain in the area where the nerve travels.
These radiating symptoms are called cervical radiculopathy.
When neck motion puts too much pressure on a disc, a herniated disc may result.
Sometimes these are called “slipped discs” or “ruptured discs.” In this injury, the annulus, the outer portion of the disc, is torn and part of the nucleus pulposus, the inner gel like substance of the disc, squeezes out from the center of the disc. The disc can be thought of as a jelly donut with an outer ring and jelly within. In this analogy, the jelly may leak out of the donut when placed under mechanical stress as would occur from an acute injury. If the tear is on the side of the disc next to the spinal canal, the nucleus pulposus can press against the spinal nerves. This pressure can cause pain, numbness and weakness along the nerve. There is also evidence that chemicals released from the ruptured disc may irritate the nerve root, leading to some of the symptoms of a herniated disc, especially pain.
Neck sprains and strains resulting from auto accidents are the most frequently reported injuries in insurance claims. In 2007, an estimated 66 percent of all insurance claimants under bodily injury liability coverage and 57 percent under personal injury protection coverage — two important insurance injury coverages — reported neck injuries.
For 43 and 34 percent of bodily injury liability and personal injury protection,
neck sprains or strains were the most serious injuries reported.
Don’t take a chance with your neck!
While the above Neck Injuries are the most common, neck trauma can result in even more serious medical issues which require immediate medical attention.
Immediately following your auto accident, if you feel that you may have a neck injury,
you should obtain a medical evaluation. For a complete evaluation, please call the
Office of David Wall, MD to schedule an appointment.