Neck Injury Attorneys in Santa Ana
Neck pain is a commonly reported complaint which most of us will feel sometime in our lives. While most neck pain causes are not serious, injuries such as a car accident or a fall can result in more severe pain, along with more serious damage and consequences. You can hurt your neck by straining, spraining, fracturing or rupturing any part of it. Neck pain can be felt anywhere from the base of your head to your shoulder-tops, even spreading to the arms or upper back. At times neck pain is short-lived (acute), while other times, it can last longer (chronic). If you have suffered neck pain as the result of an injury, accident, or negligence, please contact a Santa Ana personal injury lawyer to learn your rights. You could be entitled to compensation for your pain and loss.
Neck pain can occur anywhere from the bottom of your skull down to your shoulders. Here are the three essential parts of your neck:
- Neck vertebrae (bones and joints) of the upper (cervical) spine
- Discs of the upper spine which separate the vertebrae while acting as shock absorbers
- Neck muscles and ligaments connecting your cervical spine
Neck pain appears in many forms, depending on the type of injury or strain and its location. If the pain lasts for less than a few weeks, it is considered acute. Longer lasting pain is called chronic pain. Here are some signs and symptoms of neck pain.
- Pain anywhere in the neck which can be dull or sharp, including feeling a "knot" in your neck
- Neck stiffness, often with limited movement to one side
- Neck muscle spasms
- Arm weakness, tingling or numbness
- Neck bruising and/or swelling, usually resulting from an injury
- Shooting pain resulting from pressure on a nerve root in the spine
- Shoulder, back or arm pain along with neck pain
If your symptoms include severe neck pain, especially from an injury, shooting and radiating pain, or arm or leg weakness, seek immediate medical attention.
Neck pain causes are varied. Most pain results from strain, sprain, or swelling of the neck. Sudden injuries can be of more severe neck pain. Causes for pain include:
- Motor vehicle injuries: Car accidents, especially rear-end crashes, can cause whiplash, an injury that stretches your neck beyond its intended limit.
- Slips, trips, and falls: A high fall from a ladder or even slipping on stairs can result in severe to mild neck strain.
- Repetitive work activities: Lifting, long-driving periods, and other tasks that can overwork the upper body, including neck, shoulders, and arms.
- Disc problems: Like the discs in the rest of your spine, the ones in your neck can undergo wear, tear, and even breaking (ruptured or herniated disc) — neck pain results.
- Muscle strain and/or overuse: Spending too much time doing an activity such as sitting at your computer or driving can exhaust neck muscles and bring on muscle strain.
- Stress: Can bring on tightness in the shoulders or neck.
- Age and/or arthritis: The more worn your joints become, the more likely you are to experience neck stiffness and pain.
- Infection: A neck infection is a less common but possible cause of neck pain.
When neck pain results from an injury, the damage done to the neck is often more severe. Basically, there are three different types of injuries that can occur with a sudden (acute) neck injury:
- Spine dislocation or break (fracture): A serious injury can cause severe damage to the spinal cord, sometimes causing paralysis.
- Herniated (torn, ruptured) disk: A tear in one of the discs cushioning the neck vertebrae can cause pain, nausea, headache, or dizziness.
- Neck sprain or strain: When there is an injury to the neck muscles or ligaments. Aches, stiffness, and shooting pain can result.
- Neck paintreatment: Treatment depends on the onset and cause of your neck pain. In most cases, the pain can be treated at home with non-prescription pain medications, hot/cold presses, and rest.
In other cases, more medical treatment may be required. These include:
- Physical therapy: Exercises and stretching as prescribed by a professional.
- Prescription pain medications or relaxants
- Soft collar: Wearing a collar will immobilize your neck, allowing time to heal.
- Medication by injection: Numbing or relaxing medications injected directly into the affected area can relieve or numb persistent or severe pain.
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS): Electrical impulses delivered by electrodes put on your skin can provide pain relief.
- Traction: Gently stretching and steadying the neck using a system of pulleys and weight, traction can ease neck pain.
- Surgery: Sometimes used to release compression on the spinal cord or a nerve root, or to remove a tumor.
If you or someone you love has neck pain from an accident or injury, you should seek the advice of an attorney. If you are located in Santa Ana, please contact HN Injury Lawyers at (657) 333-5726. We will give you a free and confidential consultation to help determine your rights. Please call us now.