Accidents can happen at any time, and they can lead to various types of neck injuries that cause debilitating pain, discomfort, and a reduced range of motion. These injuries can be caused by anything from a motor vehicle collision to a slip and fall, and their impact can be life-altering.
While many neck injuries can be treated at home, others require medical intervention, including surgery, physical therapy, and prescription medications. It’s important to be aware of the most common types of neck injuries and to know what to do if you experience them.
Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains are some of the most common types of neck injuries. They often result from sudden jerking or twisting movements, which damage the neck muscles, tendons, or ligaments. You may experience pain, stiffness, and swelling. More severe symptoms include difficulty moving the neck, headaches, and numbness or tingling in the arms.
Treatment for sprains and strains typically involves rest, ice, compression, and elevation (RICE). Over-the-counter pain relievers may help alleviate the pain and inflammation.
In the spine, discs are rubbery cushions found between the vertebrae, preventing the bones from rubbing together. A herniated disc occurs when one of these cushions slips out of place or ruptures. This can cause severe pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms, shoulders, or hands. Herniated discs can result from age-related wear and tear or sudden trauma.
To ease the symptoms of a herniated disc, it’s important to rest and avoid any activities that may exacerbate the condition. Severe cases may require surgery to correct the issue.
When a nerve in the neck is compressed or irritated by surrounding tissues, such as bone or cartilage, you can develop a pinched nerve. This injury can cause significant pain and discomfort. You may also experience numbness, tingling, and weakness in the neck, arms, or hands.
To treat a pinched nerve, your doctor may recommend rest, medication, and, in severe cases, physical therapy. During your recovery, avoid activities that put pressure on the affected nerve.
Whiplash is a type of neck injury that often occurs during car accidents. It develops when the head is suddenly jerked backward and then forward, damaging the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck. Common symptoms include neck pain, stiffness, and headaches.
Treatment for whiplash may include rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. In severe cases, your doctor may recommend physical therapy or even surgery.
Cervical Spine Fracture
When you break your neck due to high-impact trauma, which can be sustained in a fall, car accident, or assault, you can suffer a cervical spine fracture. These injuries are very severe and can cause paralysis in the arms, legs, or even the entire body.
Cervical spine fractures require emergency medical care. Your medical team will first immobilize the neck with a brace or a halo vest and may perform surgery to repair the fractured vertebrae and stabilize the spine.
Contact an Augusta Neck Injury Attorney
While many neck injuries are not caused by someone else, some can be attributed to another person’s negligence or wrongful actions. In these cases, you may qualify for legal action. By filing a neck injury lawsuit, you can recover financial compensation to pay for your medical care, lost wages, and other damages.
In these situations, it is important to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Contact an Augusta neck injury attorney today to discuss your case and identify your optimal path to recovery.