Neck Pain after a Car Accident
Although football-related head injuries are in the headlines a lot more than collision-related head injuries, the two are very similar.
Many players who sustain head injuries insist that they “feel fine” and therefore they want to go back into the game even if they are hurt. Part of that sentiment is bravado and an unwillingness to let down the other guys on the team, but much of it is very sincere. The brain is very good at hiding its own injuries, so head injury victims often do “feel fine.” That’s why college and professional football have the concussion protocol, which takes the play-or-no-play decision out of the hands of players and coaches.
Next, specifically with regard to youth football, the danger lies not in the bone-jarring hits. Instead, the motion alone is often sufficient to cause brain injury. Researchers recently followed a North Carolina high school football team for a season. Although none of the players sustained concussions, almost all of them showed brain injury symptoms, because their heads snapped forwards or backwards on almost every play.
Diagnosing Car Accident Head and Neck Injuries
Similarly, after a serious car accident, many victims tell doctors that they feel fine and have not hurt their heads. Most routine diagnostic tests, like X-rays, seemingly confirm that there is no physical injury, so many victims receive little or no treatment.
But many neck injuries are soft tissue injuries which do not register on standard diagnostic machines. Since the doctor cannot see the impact, the doctor must take patients at their word when they say they feel fine.
About one in five head and neck injury patients either do not seek any treatment at all or leave the emergency room with undiagnosed injuries. So, car crash victims usually need to see a car crash injury specialist who can identify these injuries.
Treating Car Accident Neck Injuries
Later, as physical therapy progresses, such a physician can also ascertain when the injury is better, because many head and neck injury physical therapy patients continue to insist that they “feel fine.” Car accident physical therapists must also work to keep the patients motivated and in therapy.
These issues are especially acute with regard to whiplash, which is one of the most common car crash neck injuries. Seat belts protect against trauma injuries, but do almost nothing to keep the head still during a crash, especially at high speeds. If not properly treated, whiplash causes chronic symptoms like persistent neck, upper back, and arm pain. Sometimes the pain travels up and down a person’s nerves, which doctors call “radiculopathy.”
Car crash victims should always consult injury specialists to properly diagnose and treat head and neck injuries. For a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in Jonesboro, contact Butler Tobin. We routinely handle car wreck cases throughout Georgia.