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Understanding What Your Neck Pain Could Mean After a Car Accident

new york man holding his neck after a car accident


You’re sitting in rush hour traffic on the way home from work. It’s been a long day, and you have too many competing thoughts swimming around in your mind, as always. What are you going to make for dinner? Does your daughter have her costume ready for her dance recital? Did you remember to hit send on that last email before leaving the office? Suddenly, BAM! Another commuter slams into the back of your car. What now?

Are You Experiencing Neck Pain After a Car Accident?

After you assess the damage to your car, exchange insurance information, and arrange for auto-body repairs, you may think that the worst is over. But many car accident victims experience more than just the logistical inconveniences. Though it may not appear until a day or more after the incident, neck injuries are a serious and potentially devastating consequence of the collision. If you are experiencing neck pain as a result of a car accident, your first step should be to see a qualified physician who treats accident-related injuries. We help you find doctors for:


Neck injuries resulting from auto accidents can be very serious, more so than people may think at first. It is vitally important to be assessed by a physician in order to begin receiving proper care right away.

Damage Caused During Accidents

Aside from the psychological trauma that affects car accident victims, there are also many physical problems that accompany such incidents and can potentially plague victims for years to come. Just in the neck and head alone, there are many ways that a person can become injured. When a car accident occurs, the weight of the vehicles creates a violent movement and sometimes also a violent stop. With such a force can come damage to:

  • The brain (damage from impact or from restricted blood flow)
  • Tendons or ligaments (a commonly-known ligament injury is a whiplash)
  • Vocal cords (damage from impact)
  • Skin (cuts or abrasions, which could also later lead to infection)
  • Muscle tissue (strained, pulled, or torn from the trauma of impact)
  • Nerves (the far-reaching power of the nerves means that damage in the neck or head area, from impact or displaced vertebrae, has the potential to affect any other part of the body)


There is a common misconception that a car accident must be at high speeds in order for someone to experience serious injury. With a delicate structure like the neck, though, this is definitely not true. Consider what happens in a rear-ending accident. The driver is likely resting, not expecting the impact. As the car is hit from behind, the driver’s body moves forward and the head moves back. Even at very low speeds, this can result in whiplash. The impact causes a brief hyperextension (the head moving too far back), followed by a brief hyperflexion (the head moving too far forward). This quick “whip” back and forth causes the head to move out of its normal range of motion twice and very easily causes soft tissue damage.  

Taking Care of Your Neck Pain Now and Later

Even if you do not immediately feel neck pain, consult a doctor as soon as possible following an auto accident. As a New Yorker, you are guaranteed insurance coverage for expenses related to the crash (even if you were at fault!) up to $50,000. This benefit, courtesy of the No-Fault Insurance Law, covers expenses like bills from the doctor or chiropractor, and can even cover lost wages. This allows you to seek sufficient medical care and focus on what matters most: your health. So don’t delay your doctor’s visits due to financial concerns; seeing a qualified physician right away gives you the best chance of making a full recovery from neck injuries caused by an auto accident.

Following your initial appointment and injury assessment, you will likely need continuing medical care, perhaps from several different specialists. We make it easy to find specialists in your neighborhood who can work together to treat your unique injury. We have everything from physical therapy and chiropractic care to minimally invasive surgery.

Quick action and sustained care are essential when treating an accident-related neck injury. If left untreated or insufficiently treated, long-term neck problems can linger for years, affecting your physical, mental, and emotional health. There is no reason to potentially subject your body to pain, spasms, fatigue, numbness, swelling, or any of the other numerous issues that can accompany untreated neck injuries. Taking care of your body after an auto accident has never been easier than with a quick click to our site. Find a qualified physician and book an appointment today to begin receiving the treatment you deserve.