Neck Injury: Defining Causes, Diagnoses, and Treatments
It’s not uncommon for motor vehicle accidents to cause neck injuries, especially if the accident is severe or catastrophic. The sudden force and impact of accidents can cause severe damage to the neck, even if symptoms don’t appear right away. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options will help injured persons feel more secure about their healing process, especially while seeking legal representation.
Neck injuries typically occur after a motor vehicle accident, sports injury, or some type of blow to the head. The reason why the neck is so subject to injury is because it’s flexible and vulnerable. A popular neck injury is whiplash, which can be caused by rear-end auto collisions. In a whiplash injury, the head jerks both backward and forward, which strains the soft tissues of the neck.
Motor vehicle accidents can cause tears in the neck muscles or injuries to the joints between vertebrae. Other neck injuries are caused by ligament rupture or damage to a disc.
Diagnosing Neck Injuries
Patients with neck injuries are usually diagnosed and treated by a neurosurgeon. Pain and restricted neck movement is a common way to diagnose neck injury. Neurosurgeons diagnose neck pain by having patients undergo imaging, such as x-ray, CAT scan, MRI scan, electromyography, myelogram, or nerve conduction studies. Certain neck injuries caused by whiplash, are largely unremarkable from a clinical diagnostic standpoint. Most patients who experience neck pain are diagnosed with cervical spine sprain, which suggests sub failure injury to cervical soft tissues. Once the diagnosis determines the severity of the neck injury, then the neurosurgeon can assign proper treatment.
Treating Neck Injury
Once neurosurgeons determine where the pain stems from and the cause of the irritated nerve root, then appropriate treatment can be offered to the patient. Treatment can either be surgical or nonsurgical. Nonsurgical treatment consists of medications and muscle relaxants. Medication decreases inflammation while muscle relaxants relax the muscles enough for healing time to occur. Other nonsurgical methods include: limiting physical activities, wearing a cervical collar, trigger point injections, or epidural steroids.
Surgical treatment becomes necessary when nonsurgical treatment fails to improve symptoms. Determining surgical treatment also depends on the disc disease and the amount of pressure on the spinal cord. Surgery does come with risks; therefore, the patient should be well aware of the pros and cons that come with his or her surgical options.
Neck injury is one of the disadvantages that come with motor vehicle accidents, sports injuries, falling or a blow to the head. It’s imperative that injured victims understand their rights when it comes to their neck injuries. Depending on the cause, injured victims can file a neck injury claim. Because neck injuries can be life restricting, injured victims deserve to receive compensation for their medical expenses, loss of wages, pain and suffering, and emotional distress. At Los Angeles Injury Firm, we have experienced attorneys that have won settlements for our clients’ neck injury claims. If you, or someone you know, is suffering from a neck injury, call 310-954-7248 for a free consultation.