What is the Cause of Your Neck Pain?
If you’ve glanced down at your phone to watch a cute cat video or turned around to wave goodbye to a friend, you have your neck to thank! The neck, the part of the body that separates the head and the torso, is the start of the spinal column. It contains some incredibly important parts of your body, including major arteries, the esophagus, larynx, and trachea.
The neck is also a vulnerable part of the body. It can be easily injured from sudden movements or simply from sleeping in an uncomfortable position. After an accident, like a car crash or a workplace fall, many people experience some kind of neck pain. However, it can be hard to determine exactly what is causing neck pain after an accident.
One of the most common neck injuries is called whiplash. This occurs when the neck is jerked back-and-forth in a sudden, forceful movement. The symptoms of whiplash usually develop within a few days of the injury, and include:
- Neck stiffness
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
Depending on the severity, whiplash can lead to lasting health issues, including chronic pain and frequent headaches.
Another common type of neck injury is a herniated disc. The spine is comprised of rubbery cushions, called discs, between the vertebras of the spine. These discs have a soft center within a harder exterior—the Mayo Clinic compares them to a jelly donut—and when the discs slip or rupture, the soft interior pushes out through cracks or tears in the exterior, causing a herniated disc. Herniated discs often lead to weakness and tingling pain, and the pain can often be felt in other areas of the body. Herniated discs can occur in both the neck and the back.
Sprains, Strains, and Sports Injuries
Since it contains many muscles, ligaments, and tendons, the neck is also susceptible to sprains and strains during an accident. Neck strains occur when fibers or tendons in the neck are torn, while sprains concern ligaments and muscles. Strains and sprains are not usually as serious as injuries like whiplash or herniated discs, but can still lead to pain and discomfort.
For athletes in particular, stingers and burners are a common type of neck injury. This injuries affect the brachial plexus, a bundle of nerves in the spinal cord. When the brachial praxis is compressed or overstretched due to a sudden hit to the neck or shoulders, it can lead to a burning or stinging sensation in the arms and shoulders, hence the name. Burners and stingers are common among football players and other athletes who play contact sports.
Finally, one of the most serious types of injury is a neck fracture, also sometimes called a broken neck. This occurs when one of the seven vertebrae that make up the neck are fractured, usually through sudden trauma like a car crash or fall. It can lead to serious complications, including paralysis, and people with neck fractures need immediate care after an accident.
After A Neck Injury
There are many different causes of next pain, all ranging in their symptoms and severity. If you are experiencing neck pain after an accident, it is very important to see a doctor. They can help diagnose your injury and make sure you get the care you need!
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.