A car accident is a pain in the neck — in more ways than one. Neck sprains are a common type of injury that is associated with a motor vehicle accident. Neck sprains can be very painful, and they can be costly to treat. Our readers in Ohio might be interested in learning about neck sprains.
There are a variety of symptoms that a person who has a neck sprain might notice. The most obvious of these is pain in your neck. The pain you feel might not be that noticeable immediately after the accident, but it might become more noticeable the day after the accident.
You might feel numbness in your hand or arm. A headache, especially one at the base of your skull, might occur. You might also notice neurological symptoms like difficulty concentrating or irritability. Fatigue and sleep disturbances might also occur.
The pain you feel is caused by the ligaments and muscles in your neck being stretched by the force of the accident. In severe cases, the ligaments or muscles of the neck might tear. A neck sprain can take four to six weeks to heal, but more serious ones might take longer.
It is possible to treat a neck sprain once it is diagnosed. It is important for you to let the area rest and heal. You might also have to try to regain the range of motion in your neck and strengthen your neck. Cervical collars are sometimes used to keep the neck stable and allow the muscles to rest. Pain relieving medications, heat and anti-inflammatories might also help. Massage and physical therapy techniques are sometimes prescribed.
The cost of medical care alone can be considerable after a car accident. This coupled with a potential loss of income can be devastating. Victims of car accident injuries might opt to try to recoup some of the monetary damages of the accident through a civil court lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident.
Source: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, “Neck Sprains” Oct. 18, 2014