If you’ve been in a car accident, and you’ve had your X-Rays taken, chances are the doctor said you have cervical (neck) straightening.
The normal human spine has a curvature to it. This is called cervical lordosis. When you lose this, the cervical area of the spine (the upper part) straightens out. This usually causes a lot of pain and discomfort. This is also called cervical kyphosis, or military spine.
So why does your cervical spine straighten? It’s your body’s natural splint to help your neck heal.
The cervical spine area, which is located at your neck, is made up of small vertebrae – bones that protect your spinal cord. These vertebrae are held together by a network of muscle tissue, ligaments and other connective tissue.
When you are in a car accident, such as a rear-end collision, your neck can whip around, at forces and angles which far exceed your necks normal range of motion.
So immediately after your car accident, your connective tissues may already be injured, but an X-ray taken immediately after the accident might not show any injury. That’s because X-rays only show bony tissue. and not the soft/connective tissue. So, even if your neck is injured, it will not show itself right away, as the cervical spine looks “normal.”
But a few hours or even days later, you will start to feel the effects of the crash. Your neck is stiff now, and has lost some or all of it’s natural range of motion. Why is this?
Because your muscles around the area has started to spasm. Since your muscles have started to spasm they stretched your neck into unnatural positions. So an X-ray taken at that time will show a straight cervical spine. Your neck has begin the process of healing, and have stiffened up after the accident.
Immediately after an accident where you suffer cervical spine problems, doctors will often prescribe pain killers, muscle relaxers, and even anti-inflammatory medicines to help try and alleviate the symptoms.
A few hours or even days later you may be prescribed physical therapy or chiropractic treatment.
Since your neck was injured and repaired, there is a chance permanent changes occurred, and your neck may never be the same. There might even be long term or lifetime issues with your injury.
That’s why it’s so important to contact a Personal Injury attorney to ensure they fight for you, and get you the fair and full compensation you deserve.