Auto Accident Neck Injuries

The more than 80,000 car accident neck injuries reported in the United States every year make car crashes the leading cause of neck injuries. Untreated or mistreated accident-related neck injuries can result in long-term disability, pain, and suffering. In this guide, we will look at the common types of neck injuries and review accident-related neck injury signs and symptoms and tell you how Dr. Evan O’brien in Woodbury can help you.

What Happens to Your Neck During a Collision?

While your vehicle’s seat belt protects your body, your head and neck are usually not well-protected at the moment of impact. Additionally, before a car crash occurs, your neck muscles naturally tense in anticipation. During sudden, rapid movements, your neck, ligaments, muscles, tendons, joints, and nerves are very vulnerable to serious injury as they jerk side to side or are hit by flying debris.

Symptoms of Neck Injury

Despite the fact that your neck injuries are mainly dependent on the severity of your injuries, a medical expert is required to diagnose your symptoms and recommend the appropriate treatment option for you. Nevertheless, the following are some of the common neck injury symptoms you may experience after your car accident:

  • A grinding sensation during movement
  • Limited range of motion
  • Sagging arm, shoulder, or joint
  • Pain that exceeds with activity
  • Pain in the neck, head, back, or shoulders
  • Immobility or inability to lift something
  • Trouble focusing, headaches, migraines, and vertigo
  • Abnormal sensations, such as burning, numbness, or a prickling sensation on your skin
  • Inflammation, bruising, swelling, or redness
  • Bump or deformity near the injured area

Common Neck Injuries

 The following are some of the common neck problems and injuries associated with auto accidents:

1.     Whiplash

Whiplash usually happens when your neck and head are suddenly jerked forward and backward. This movement results in tearing, straining, and damaged muscles, nerves, ligaments, and connective tissues in the neck. Whiplash symptoms may not appear immediately after your crash but, if left unchecked, it can cause long-term headaches, chronic pain, or memory problems for several months or years.

2.     Facet Joint Injury

The main function of the facet joints in the cervical spine is to enhance mobility and stabilization of your neck and head. During a car crash, your facet joint may be inflamed and irritated, which can affect your joints’ movement and range of motion.

3.     Soft Tissue Damage

Soft tissue damages often result in stiffness, pain, and tenderness in your shoulders and neck. Moreover, a strained muscle, ligament, and tendons in your neck can limit the movement of your muscle spasms.

4.     Neck Fracture

You are likely to know immediately if you have a neck fracture after your car accident. This is because it causes extreme pain and, if left untreated, it can result in a permanently damaged spinal cord.

5.     Cuts and Lacerations

During a car accident, glass, debris, or other objects in your vehicle may be forcefully lifted and hit your neck, causing bruising, cuts, abrasions, and lacerations.


Auto accident injuries result in minor injuries in some cases, but they can also cause severe back or neck injuries. If you sustain accident-related neck and back injuries, you should consult Evan O’Brien, MD, a spine specialist at Woodbury Spine. With his wealth of knowledge and experience in diagnosing and treating auto accident injuries, he will provide you with a long-lasting solution to your back and neck injuries.