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Car Accidents: Neck Pain, Stiff Neck and Nerve Injury

Car accidents are scary, expensive, and overwhelming. And the damage is often more than just your car…

Injuries from a collision may take days or even weeks to show up. If symptoms do arise, it’s important to get a proper evaluation and treatment as soon as possible. 

When it comes to car accidents, our necks often take the brunt of the injury. Neck injuries can range from minor stiffness to severe nerve damage, and without proper treatment, they can have long-lasting effects.

Signs & symptoms

If you’ve recently been involved in a car accident, you may be noticing signs that something is wrong. 

Symptoms of neck injury can include pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion or pain when trying to turn your head or look up or down. Stiffness and injury can be caused by muscle strain or spasms. 

Pain and inflammation as a result of over-stretching of muscle, tendons, and ligaments in and around your spine can result in minor to severe symptoms. Dizziness and headaches are also common signs that you may be experiencing an auto accident-related injury. 

What it could be (pain, injury, stiffness, nerve damage)

If you are experiencing dull to intense pain, achiness, or numbness in your neck, you may have a neck injury that needs to be treated.

Whiplash is a type of neck injury commonly seen in car accidents, which occurs when the head is abruptly jerked back and forth. Rear-end collisions are usually the culprit, and these injuries can become more painful with time. 

Nerve injury is a less common but more severe type of neck injury that can occur after a car accident. Symptoms may include numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms, hands, or fingers. Nerve injury can be caused by damage to the nerves in the neck.

Don’t wait… Within the first 72 hours, your body is already starting to lay down the scar tissue that is needed for joint and muscle repair. During this time, and for the next 4-6 weeks, your body is most susceptible to poor healing. Scar tissue can form incorrectly, leading to adhesions that, if left untreated, could decrease mobility and lead to arthritis. 

Treatment and what to expect

Chiropractic care can help alleviate nerve injury symptoms by using gentle spinal adjustments to realign the spine and reduce pressure on the nerves. A typical appointment consists of a consultation, chiropractic exam, treatment, and a follow-up plan.

Depending on the plan of treatment, you may receive an adjustment during your first visit. During this adjustment, your chiropractor will identify and repair any misalignments you may have in your spine. 

Moving forward, there are several methods of treatment, depending on each patient’s situation. Some of the commonly used therapies at Keith Clinic include:

  • Ultrasound
  • Electric Muscle Stimulation
  • Traction
  • Cold Laser
  • Diapulse
  • Massage Therapy

Our chiropractic doctors are experts when it comes to treating auto accident injuries. When you visit us, you’ll get a full evaluation and personalized treatment options to get you on the road to recovery starting with your very first session. Schedule an appointment with one of our experienced chiropractors to start feeling better today!