When Things Just Aren’t the Same Anymore: 4 Common Types of Neck Injuries You Can Sustain in a Car Crash

When you’re in a car crash, it’s never going to be a fun experience. What you hope for in those situations is that you at least walk away from the collision unscathed and that none of the other parties involved were injured either. However, sometimes injuries occur, and then you must deal with that aftermath. Because of the nature of car accidents and the forces that are often involved, neck injuries are some of the more common that can be sustained. Here are four types of neck injuries that you could conceivably suffer in a vehicular accident.

Muscle Strain

Strains can happen to different parts of the body, but a neck strain from a car accident is relatively common. They are injuries to the muscles that move the upper part of the spine and the head. They can be mild, or severe. Grade I or II strains are limited to the muscle only. They are painful, and sometimes bed rest is required, and over the counter or occasionally prescription pain medication. Grade III or IV strains are considered to be worse. In those cases, nerve damage is usually involved. You may feel weakness in one or both arms or tingling sensations. With a Grade IV strain, you will likely have a vertebral dislocation or a fracture. In any of these cases, you must seek medical attention to determine their severity.


Whiplash-Associated Disorders are often caused when your vehicle is rear-ended by another. The head is thrown into hyperextension, then into flexion. These sorts of injuries can also vary in how serious they are. They can cause strains, herniated disks, and sometimes more severe neck problems if the collision was particularly violent and took place at high speed. Pain, weakness, dizziness, and disturbed sleep are all possible.

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc is a neck or spinal column injury where the soft substance that is normally inside of a disc escapes from it. If the substance lands on a nerve root, it will likely be painful for you. You may feel a burning sensation, numbness, or weakness. Medication and physical therapy are usually what is required in these cases.

Neck Fracture

Perhaps the most serious of these four cases, a neck fracture is a break in the cervical bone. These are often associated with more violent car wrecks. The type and seriousness are going to be largely dependent on the angle and the force of impact. Treatment depends on many different factors, like the severity of the fracture and your age. You may need to wear a halo brace during the recovery period, and you may need prescribed pain medication.

If you have hurt your neck in a car wreck and you are going to file an injury claim, do so as soon as you have gotten a diagnosis from a trusted medical professional. It does no good to delay, and the sooner you make the other party aware of your intentions, the sooner you will have some indication of how they are inclined to handle the situation. They may wish to reach an out-of-court settlement, or they may want to go to trial if they don’t feel that they were in the wrong.