Car Accidents Often Cause Long Term Pain

Orange County Car Accident Information
Dr Barry L Marks, Chiropractor Orange, CA
Auto Accident Injury Treatment Expert

Young Man Holding NeckScientific and medical studies have shown that upwards of 40% of car accident victims suffer long-term pain and impairment. Therefore, contrary to what insurance companies may want you to believe, whiplash is not a self limited problem that will just go away. Car accident injuries are serious.

Researchers point to 3 distinct structures that become injured in a car accident that account for the vast majority of chronic whiplash sufferers.

  1. Facet joint injury
    because the damage. Namely, neck damage is The number one cause of chronic neck pain form am motor vehicle collision is a damaged facet joint. The facet joints technically known as zygapohyseal joints, are the joints on the back of the spine that connect two spinal bones or vertebrae together. These joints are designed to allow your spine to move. When the neck is subjected to the extreme forces of a motor vehicle collision, the joints become damaged. These injuries are nearly impossible to detect since symptoms of a damaged facet joint are the same as a whiplash strain type injury without facet joint damage. Pain and stiffness that radiates into the shoulder blade on certain head and neck movements is the hallmark of this injury. Facet joint injury is suspected in cases of whiplash that fail to respond fully in a reasonable amount of time and a pain pattern that is reproducible. When the head is angled backward and to the side at the same time and then slightly compressed, the characteristic shoulder blade pain will appear.
  2. Intervertebral disc injury
    contact nerves The next most common cause of chronic whiplash pain is a damaged disc. The larger part of the spinal bones are separated by a disc. The disc is a shock absorber and a spacer to allow room for nerves to exit between the vertebrae. Car accidents cause shearing forces across the disc and cause the fibers to tear. Small tears in the outer disc fibers will cause pain in the centerline of the spine . Tears may eventually worsen until the disc begins to bulge outward which causes radiating pain into the arms, hands or fingers. Often times the disc bulge or herniation occurs weeks, months even years after the initial injury.
  3. Upper cervical ligament damage
    The third most common cause of chronic whiplash pain, particularly headaches is damage to the ligaments that hold your head and upper neck in alignment. These “accessory” ligaments as they are commonly called, are damaged by teh spine being forced into an “S” configuration milliseconds after impact. The result is looseness in the joints between the skull and the top 2 spinal bones the “atlas” and “axis.” The looseness is often hidden early on by muscle spasm, but once spasm abates a noticeable “clunk” or “crack” will be heard and felt by the victim on turning or tilting the head. The looseness leads to misalignment of the upper cervical vertebrae which cause head pain.

You may now realize that whiplash injuries from car accidents are in fact serious. Up to 40% of car accident victims will suffer chronic pain and impairment because they have suffered injury to their facet joints, disc or accessory ligaments.

Learn more about injuries and treatment after a car accident by attending a Free Car Accident Injury Webinar. This is an in depth 10 part video series that explains in easy to understand language what whiplash is, what effects it has on your health and what can be done about it. There is even a session on how to avoid whiplash injuries. The information is suitable for the public but is also fully referenced with leading scientific references so that doctors and lawyers handling these cases can better help their patients and clients.

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