Chronic Neck Pain and Injuries from Auto Collisions: Victims’ Recourse

Chronic Neck Pain and Injuries from Auto Collisions: Victims’ Recourse

Some of the most frequent symptoms people suffer after being rear-ended in auto collisions include those associated with cervical spine injuries, which are often caused by the sudden jerking back and forth of the neck associated with rear-end collisions. Disc herniations, whiplash injuries, post-concussion syndrome, cervical instability, C1-C2 facet joint, capsular ligament laxity, spondylosis, and vertebrobasilar insufficiency are all very common for people who suffer from injuries following auto collisions. Chronic neck pain following auto collisions is also not uncommon and remains one of the most difficult symptoms to treat.

The spine is narrowest and most fragile in the cervical spine, which reaches up from roughly the shoulders to the base of the skull. The neck area naturally must be more flexible than other portions of the spine, which means that it cannot be supported by inflexible muscles. This accounts for the frequency of neck pain following rear-end collisions. Treatment for immediate neck pain are standard and most doctors agree on them.

However, chronic neck pain (that is, recurring neck pain that lasts longer than 6 months) has an entirely different set of treatments and doctors are much less in agreement about them. The fact is that there are many different things that could be wrong with the neck and only specialists well-versed in treatment can make that call. Conventional treatments for chronic neck pain include anti-inflammatory drug injection, narcotics for pain management, cervical collars, rest, massage therapy, nerve block injections, and strengthening exercises. Even the scientific literature on this point is inconclusive. Chronic neck pain due to whiplash injury is especially difficult to treat—conventional treatment often works on a temporary basis and ceases once treatment stops. So if you sustain a neck injury from an auto collision, what are your options for long-term treatment and healing?

Many lawyers do not educate themselves about the potential underlying causes of their clients’ chronic pain. For example, many experts and doctors are turning to capsular ligament laxity and joint instability as an underlying cause of chronic neck pain. Even diagnosis of this condition is difficult—many diagnostic tools that work for disc herniation, like MRIs, simply cannot pick up on ligament laxity. The upper part of the cervical spine is supported and stabilized only by ligaments so if the ligaments are not as supple as they were prior to a collision, chronic neck pain is a natural consequence.

What can victims who suffer from this condition do about reporting their injuries? Many conventional doctors do not have the technology to diagnose ligament laxity, let alone attempt treatment for it. Assuming an injured victim of a car accident has the ligament laxity diagnosis, he or she must explain it to the at-fault insurance company’s adjuster to prove physical injuries to get treatment covered by the insurance company. It is much easier to approach this kind of proof with the weight of experience behind the proof, which is where an experienced injury lawyer comes in.

The attorneys at Larson & Larimer have decades of experience fighting for the rights of individuals and their loved ones who were injured by the negligence of others. We have helped many of our clients fight for the legitimacy of their treatment for injuries that they sustain due to the negligence of others. If you or someone you know has experienced these sorts of catastrophic injuries and you fear no one can help, please contact Larson & Larimer at (303)221-0039 to schedule your free consultation.