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Why do I have a pain in the neck after a car accident?

A pain in your neck after a car accident can be a sign that you have suffered from a neck strain. When you are involved in a car accident, your flexible neck might over-flex forward and then backward in very fast succession. That can lead to an injury that can cause serious pain.

What are signs of a neck strain?

Most often, the primary sign of a neck strain is pain in the neck area. It can also lead to shoulder pain or a feeling of stiffness in the neck. You might notice that you have difficulties moving your neck in certain ways, such as rotating your head.

What is a minor neck strain?

In some cases, a neck strain might be minor. These minor injuries can heal in a day or two. Using heat to increase blood flow, ice to reduce inflammation and over-the-counter medications to control pain might make dealing with a minor neck strain a bit easier. Massage might also help to alleviate the symptoms of a minor neck strain.

Can neck strains be more serious?

Neck strains from trauma can often be more serious, so if your neck strain is because of a car accident, seeking medical care is likely necessary. If the neck pain lasts more than a day or two, if the pain is severe or if you experience tingling, numbness or pain in your arm, medical care is absolutely necessary.

Being involved in a car accident might mean you need medical care for multiple injuries. Some victims might opt to seek compensation to help minimize the effect the cost of medical care has on their financial state.

Source: Spine-Health, "Neck Strain: Causes and Remedies," Peter J. Schubbe, DC, accessed July 14, 2015

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