Tag Archives: whiplash

What is Cervical Strain That is Caused By an Accident?

Cervical strain is a common injury routinely seen in the ER. Although it’s usually associated with car accidents, any impact or blow that causes your head to jerk forward or backward can cause neck strain. Neck strains are caused by damage to the muscle or the tendons, bands of tissue that connect muscles to bones. Cervical strain involves the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar portion of the spine.

In an auto accident, there are powerful forces that could cause someone to change direction quickly. Even though individuals might be wearing their seatbelts, there is no restraint for the head. This causes the neck to snap back and forth quickly. This can stretch the tendons in and around the cervical spine, leading to a wrenched neck.


What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Cervical Strain?
  • Pain and stiffness
  • Limited movement
  • Headache
  • Swelling or bruising
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Dizziness or vertigo
How is a Cervical Strain Diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will check your movement, balance, and strength. An x-ray, CT, or MRI may show the injury. A pronouncement of cervical strain means that diagnostic radiographs (CT, X-ray) are negative for fracture or dislocation

Radiographs in addition to bedside examination will guide a clinician as to strain versus indication to investigate for more emergent condition(s). MRI, CT Scan and Myleogram are only way to visualize the soft tissue components of the spine (muscles, nerves, intervertebral discs, ligaments) > generally performed in the ambulatory setting (upon follow-up with a specialist) if the strain is not resolving as expected.  MRI and Mylegoram will allow for visualization of herniated intervertebral discs, displaced or torn ligaments, injured or torn discs, as well as nerve root impingement.

Generally classified as a “soft tissue injury”, cervical strain  may require further workup in the ambulatory (non-ER) setting.

Red Flags – When to Seek Additional Immediate Care

Red flags which may indicate something MORE than a strain include:
– Numbness
– Tingling
– Motor weakness of any extremities
– Changes with bowel or bladder pattern and even incontinence
associated chest/back or abdominal pain

How Long Can the Pain of Cervical Strain After a Car Accident Last?

Neck pain from cervical strain / whiplash typically lasts several weeks. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, most people recover fully from whiplash within three months. In addition to general neck pain and stiffness, you may also experience these symptoms with a whiplash injury.




Treatment Methods
  • Modalities to decrease pain and inflammation
  • Postural exercises
  • ROM exercises
  • Stretching exercises,
  • Use manual techniques such as joint mobilization, soft tissue mobilization, and cervical manual traction
  • Strengthening exercises such as cervical stabilization exercises
  • Mechanical traction may also be useful,
  • Light Aerobic conditioning exercise, such as walking
Complications of a Sprain of the Cervical Spine

Even though many people who suffer a sprain of the cervical spine will make a full recovery, others might develop serious complications. When someone develops complications of an injury, such as a cervical lumbar strain, following an auto accident, it is important to ask for help.

Watch our full Youtube Channel video series and learn more from the experts!


Joe Zarzaur, a board certified civil trial lawyer and founder of Zarzaur Law, P.A., a Pensacola Personal Injury law firm, has created this video blog in an effort to educate the many citizens and visitors of Pensacola and Destin, Florida about their legal rights.

Joe Zarzaur knows the ins and outs of Florida law, and offers friendly-quality legal help whether you have experienced an auto accident/car wreck, have been a victim of medical malpractice or are in need of a personal injury lawyer. Offices in Pensacola and Destin. Board certified in Florida and Alabama.

For more information, visit: https://www.zarzaurlaw.com

11 E Romana Street
Pensacola, FL 32502

Telephone: 850-444-9299
Email: info@zarzaurlaw.com
Follow us on Twitter: @zarzaurlaw
Like us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/zarzaurlaw




Facts About the Most Common Types of Car Accident Injuries.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than three million people are injured each year in vehicle accidents across the country. The different injuries resulting from a car accident can be as varied as the individual circumstances of each collision, but there are some types of injuries that are more common than others.
More serious injuries might become permanent and result in some level of physical disability. When any car accident occurs, the police should be contacted and you should seek medical attention immediately, even if you think your injuries aren’t that serious. The initial shock and disorientation caused by the wreck can send your body into a fight or flight situation and you may not feel the pain of the injuries right away.
Injuries resulting from car accidents can be as unique and wide-ranging as the types of crashes that cause them. Your position in the car, how you are hit, whether you are wearing your seat belt (we sincerely hope that you always are!) all contribute to how your body reacts to the force of a collision. But even in accidents that seem minor, injuries can be common.
It is very important to keep a close eye on how your body and mind feel over the weeks following an accident, because some symptoms are not immediately apparent.
Whiplash is one of the most common car-accident injuries. It happens when the car stops or turns suddenly, causing the neck to “whip” back and forth rapidly, and causes pain and injury to the muscles and tendons in your neck. Look for symptoms like neck pain and stiffness, loss of range of motion or worsening of pain with movement.
Concussion can also result from your head being thrown back and forth. It’s a serious injury that can occur even if your head doesn’t make physical contact with anything. Impact with a side window or steering wheel can cause scrapes and bruising to the head, or even deeper lacerations. More severe collision impacts can cause a closed head injury. In that situation, the fluid and tissue inside the skull are damaged because of the sudden movement or impact of the head. Less severe closed head injuries often result in concussions, while the most severe impacts can cause brain damage. You may see signs right away, such as headache, head pressure, temporary loss of consciousness, seeing “stars,” dizziness, or ringing of the ears, but it may take a few hours for symptoms to appear. Concussions can be significant, so if you’re having difficulty with concentration, memory, or focus, see a doctor right away.
In a car accident, broken bones are caused by the blunt force of the crash or compression. Any bone can break in an accident, but the most common are the extremities: hands, arms, feet, and legs. Especially in a rear-end accident, the force of the impact can cause the bones in a driver’s arms, wrists, or hands to break because of their position on the steering wheel. Signs include swelling, redness, bruising, deformity, loss of function and severe pain.
While whiplash affects the neck and shoulders, musculoskeletal injuries can happen to muscles, ligaments, tendons or nerves anywhere in your body that were stretched, compressed or bent during an accident. Depending on the severity, these soft-tissue injuries can be just as painful as a broken bone and can limit your mobility. Symptoms such as pain that worsens with activity, inflammation, redness and swelling could point to a significant soft-tissue injury.
If you’ve been in a car accident, you’re at risk for developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research shows that about 9 percent of the general population who are in car accidents develop PTSD. That number is significantly higher for people who have been in a car accident and seek mental health treatment, with an average of 60 percent diagnosed with PTSD.
A car accident is scary, and it’s very common to experience a number of symptoms associated with PTSD, including:
  • Feelings of anxiety and increased heart rate when you’re faced with reminders of the event. Hearing a horn honk or brakes screeching may automatically activate a fear response.
  • Feeling a little more on edge when you’re driving. You may be jumpy or startle more easily in a car.
  • Being more watchful. You’re more likely to scan your environment for potential sources of threats (for example, people driving too fast).
  • Avoidance. Because of the anxiety that often follows an MVA, it’s natural that you may want to avoid some situations or experience hesitation at times, such as driving on the highway.
These symptoms should naturally subside over time, but keep an eye on them. If you notice they’re getting more severe and/or more frequent, if you’re avoiding more situations or the symptoms are beginning to interfere with your life, then you may be at risk for developing PTSD.

If you’ve been the victim of a car wreck, it’s important that you don’t make any rash decisions, it is important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joefor a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.

Follow the link to the car wreck checklist and put yourself in the best possible position to receive the justice you deserve.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. OUR AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.






Car Wreck Checklist

Is Whiplash a Serious Injury

Delayed Symptoms After a Car Wreck

After a severe car accident most people will feel pain from their injuries immediately, but this is not always the case. When your body is put in a dangerous situation, your adrenaline kicks in with fight or flight, and you may not even notice that you are injured right away. Some injuries will even take days, weeks, or months to show symptoms. You may even get a clean bill of health from the ER physician, but it is important to note that the ER physician’s job is to assess and make sure that you will not die or lose a limb in the next 24-48 hours. Many people think that just because they went to the ER and were checked out, that this is the end and there is nothing else to be done – this is not the case, especially with delayed symptoms.

Reasons Why Pain from Injuries Are Delayed
There are a few reasons injuries may take a little time to show symptoms. The first is swelling and inflammation. This takes place over time, so you may not immediately notice anything out of the ordinary. The second is that people normally “take it easy” from strenuous activities after a car accident, however when they return to daily life and activities, they begin to notice all kinds of injuries and pain. 

See Your Doctor
If you are experiencing no pain after a car accident, it is still recommended that you see your general practitioner or treating physician right away. This way, a doctor will be able to thoroughly examine you to ensure nothing is wrong, or they may discover an injury that would not have shown symptoms until weeks or months later. It is important to allow your physician to conduct these tests and then order additional, more thorough tests, with a referring specialist.

Symptoms Can Worsen Over Time
Many studies have found a significant number of individuals to be symptomatic for many months and even years after a motor vehicle accident. In one such study, 75 percent of individuals remained symptomatic 6 months after the accident.

Another study, published in the European Spine Journal, found that during the period of time between the first and second years following a motor vehicle accident over 20 percent actually had their symptoms worsen.

So what now? It’s not unusual for injury-related pain after a car accident to be delayed, and in many cases you may not even know you have a serious injury until later. 

Below are some guidelines to help ensure that you get the compensation you need if car accident-related pain doesn’t show up until days or even weeks after the incident.

Types of Pain After a Car Accident That are Often Delayed

Sometimes a headache is just a headache. But if you were recently involved in a car accident, neck or head pain could indicate a more serious injury that wasn’t discovered at the time of the accident or in the ER. If you have suffered any of the following types of pain after an accident, even if it’s delayed, get immediate medical attention.

  1. Headaches – Pay special attention to the location and severity of the pain. It could be stress-related or a sign of concussion, brain injury, whiplash, neck injury, or even a blood clot. A serious headache also could be a sign of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following the accident.
  2. Pain in the Neck or Shoulders – This is often a sign of whiplash (a catch-all term for several different injuries), which is sometimes experienced right after an accident but sometimes doesn’t emerge until several days later. Neck and shoulder pain could also indicate a spinal injury such as a herniated disc.
  3. Back Pain – Back pain, especially in the lower back, may also indicate a whiplash-related injury. It also could signal a sprain, herniated disc, or other soft-tissue injuries (such as muscle damage). If accompanied by tingling or numbness, it could also point to pinched nerves.
  4. Numbness, Tingling, etc. – These types of sensations, in addition to weakness in the limbs, often indicate a herniated disc that pinches or presses up against nerves in the spine. This pinching can cause pain, tingling, numbness, and other sensations throughout the body.
  5. Abdominal Pain – Internal, soft-tissue injuries can be very serious — even fatal — if left untreated. If you experience abdominal pain after an accident (which may surface days after the incident), get immediate medical attention. Internal bleeding also may cause headaches, dizziness, and deep bruising.
  6. Emotional Pain and Suffering – After the initial post-accident chaos subsides, you may experience depression, anxiety, or even PTSD. This could be related to the actual incident, a result of physical injuries, or both. Brain injuries also may cause emotional pain or personality changes.

Do Not Settle Right Away

Following a car accident, the other driver’s insurance company may contact you and try to get you to sign a release of any claims you might have. The insurance company may even offer you a sum of money to entice you to sign the release.

You should wait until you have been fully evaluated by a medical professional,  and consulting with your lawyer, before signing anything the adjuster puts in front of you. You should also wait long enough to make sure all injuries from the car accident have fully manifested themselves. Your doctor can help you determine how long this needs to be. If you sign a release, and an injury shows up later, you cannot then go back to the insurance company and ask them to pay for your medical treatment. You waive your legal right to pursue that compensation when you sign the release. This is why consulting with a board certified civil trial lawyer specializing in personal injury law, like Joe Zarzaur, is important.

Joe Zarzaur is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney whose firm is dedicated to promoting community safety since 2007. OUR AREAS OF PRACTICE: Serious Personal Injury, Product Defect, Auto Accidents, Cycling Accidents, Motor Vehicle Accidents, Products Liability, Wrongful Death, Community Safety, Boat and Jet Ski Accidents, Slip and Fall Injuries, and more. Licensed in Alabama and Florida.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and are suffering from delayed symptoms, it is important to consult with a Board Certified Trial lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to help you. We know accidents can be stressful and want to make the process as easy as possible for you. Call Zarzaur Law, P.A. today at (855) Hire-Joe for a free legal consultation or visit www.zarzaurlaw.com.





Top pain treatments for the first 72 hours after an auto accident

7 delayed injury symptoms after a car crash