Neck Pain

Auto Accident Injury Care & Chiropractic located in Jacksonville, FL

East Coast Injury Clinic

Anyone who’s ever developed a stiff, painful neck after a car accident can attest, whiplash can be an excruciating injury. That’s because neck pain and other whiplash symptoms don’t always show up right away — sometimes, they take days or even weeks to appear. The specialists at East Coast Injury Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida have extensive experience helping people avoid neck injury complications following car accidents. They’re proud to operate the go-to neurological practice for neck injury patients from communities across the northeastern region of Florida.

Neck Pain

Why is whiplash a common car accident injury?

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained in auto accidents, particularly in rear-end collisions. It occurs when your head is forcefully thrown back and forth, causing the quick and uncontrollable movement of your neck that makes your spine move rapidly, much like the cracking of a whip.

Whiplash happens this way: Upon impact, your body is pushed deep into the seat. Your head, which is momentarily isolated by your neck, delays its reaction as your body quickly reaches its limits in the seat. Then, your body changes directions instantaneously, moving forward into the boundaries of the seat belt.

As your body pushes forward, your head begins moving backward in the opposite direction. Unrestrained by a seat belt, your head is jerked back and forth beyond its normal limits. Although everything might feel like it’s happening in slow motion, you can’t stop your head from whipping back and forth.

Neck Pain Q & A

What are the symptoms of whiplash?

Whiplash typically causes trauma to the discs, ligaments, muscles, nerves, and surrounding tissues in your neck. Although symptoms may not always appear immediately following an accident, many people who sustain a neck injury develop some symptoms within 24 hours of the trauma. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Pain that worsens with movement
  • Decreased range of motion
  • Headaches (which often start at the base of your skull)
  • Tenderness or pain that radiates through your shoulders, upper back, and arms
  • A tingling sensation or numbness in your arms
  • Dizziness or fatigue

Less common symptoms include, blurry vision, ringing in your ears, insomnia, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.

Why should I seek treatment for accident-related neck pain?

Even if your car hasn’t sustained much damage, it’s important not to minimize your risk of internal injury after an accident. That’s because patients who experience whiplash symptoms soon after sustaining trauma are more likely to develop long-term, chronic neck pain if their injuries are left untreated. What may have started out as stiff, sore neck muscles brought on by the initial trauma and inflammation, can become a long-term joint, disc, muscle, or nerve problem if it’s not cared for properly.

Those who delay seeking appropriate care are also more likely to discover that scar tissue and spinal instability may require routine future checkups, and continued medical care. With a proper diagnosis and prompt treatment, however, most neck injury patients will go on to recover completely in a matter of months.