5 Key Signs You’re Suffering from a Post-Accident Neck Injury
The neck is the most common area for injuries in the event of a car accident. During an impact, your head is likely to jolt back and back in a swift and rough motion causing what is referred to as whiplash. Sometimes the symptoms can be subtle or take a while to worsen and become more apparent. But by that time, you risk your injuries becoming worse or you may develop chronic symptoms. Impact Medical Port Richey will show you key signs that you’re suffering from a post-accident neck injury so you know when to come in and see a physical therapist.
1. Prolonged Headaches
The most minor (and yet the most irritating) post-accident symptom involves severe headaches. These headaches are typically felt in the lower back of the skull after the muscles in your neck hyperextend during whiplash. Persisting pain from other areas of the body can also be enough to induce headaches. If intense enough, you may also experience dizziness to the point of blurred vision. Over-the-counter medications can give you temporary relief, but if your headaches continue or worsen, it’s best to get an examination. A relaxed body encouraged through physical therapy is a proven treatment.
2. Stiffness In the Neck
Stiffness in the neck usually shows itself not too long after an accident as it is a common symptom of whiplash. You can find it difficult to move as you normally would, which can be very uncomfortable even when you’re doing something as simple as sitting or laying down. Some at-home remedies involve light and gentle stretches such as slowly tilting your head side-to-side or rolling your shoulders back a few times. Applying an ice pack can also garner some instant relief. If your neck is still stiff after a week or so, it may be time to consult a physical therapist to help you loosen your muscles.
3. Limited Range of Motion
Falling in line with a stiff neck, you may also experience a limited range of motion in the head and neck area. You’ll know that your range is poor if you’re unable to tilt your head completely to one side without showing any issues. This sensation can sometimes dissolve after a few days. But if it persists, a physical therapist can guide you through some light exercises during regular sessions to regain your lost range of motion.
4. Debilitating Strains and Sprains
Your neck muscles and ligaments can easily overstretch during a hard impact which can put a strain on them. You’ll know that you’ve sprained your neck when certain movements lead to muscle spasms, no matter how small. If this is the case, you may need to visit a specialist who can massage your neck to ease and relax your muscles to prevent further spasms.
5. Tingling Sensations or Numbness
The most alarming sign that you’re suffering from a post-accident injury is tingling or numbness in the neck and/or the rest of your body. Since your spine (which is connected to your neck) houses your nervous system, having damaged or pinched nerves in your neck can travel down your body and affect your limbs. This is an urgent sign that should definitely not be dismissed as something that’ll go away in time. Make a call immediately to be examined by a medical professional.
Consult the Professionals at Impact Medical Port Richey!
Many car crash victims are tempted to wait and see if their neck injury symptoms will go away on their own, but that is never advised. Even if you’re not experiencing any clear symptoms yet, you should always get a physical examination soon after an accident so you can treat injuries more easily. Call the experts at Impact Medical Port Richey at (727) 848-3377 to schedule an appointment!