One of the most common injuries sustained in a car accident are neck injuries caused by whiplash. Whiplash is essentially a severe and sudden jerk of the head, like the cracking of a whip, caused by a sudden stop or violent impact. Neck injuries resulting from whiplash can be elusive, as they often don’t reveal themselves until days or even weeks following an accident. However, these injuries can be severe, resulting in chronic pain that can last a lifetime.
Here are 4 types of chronic pain that whiplash can cause:
- Facet joint pain—The most common cause of chronic pain, facet joint pain is usually located to the right or left of the back of the neck and can be mistaken for muscle pain. Determining whether or not the facet joint is injured requires an injection known as medical branch block, an outpatient procedure your doctor can perform.
- Disc injury—The tiny discs in your neck are your built-in shock absorbers. They keep everything intact as you bounce through your day. Whiplash can damage or strain these discs, making it extremely painful to do anything. In some cases, these discs can herniate, causing an even more serious condition.
- Muscles strain—Beyond injuries to the structure of the neck, the muscles can be strained as a result of whiplash. This can be likened to the pain you experience from sleeping in an odd position or poor posture.
- Spinal cord injuries—The most severe cause of chronic pain is a spinal cord injury. Violent compression of the spinal cord in a car accident can lead to severe chronic pain that often cannot be alleviated by medication or surgery.
If you’ve been in a car accident and are experiencing neck pain, don’t just assume it will simply go away on its own. Seek medical attention immediately. The sooner you diagnose the cause of the pain, the better. Then give our Alabama car accident attorneys a call. We’ll help you through the injury claim process to help ensure you get maximum compensation for your injuries.