If you have suffered a motor vehicle accident, your symptoms must be taken seriously. A whiplash injury can occur when rapid neck extension is followed by flexion. This whiplash effect can lead to muscle pain, herniated discs in the cervical spine, and inflammation of the joints (arthritis). If you have ongoing pain following a motor vehicle accident that has improved with conservative therapies, you require further workup to diagnose the problem.
Not uncommonly, motor vehicle accidents may injure the nerves in the neck called the brachial plexus. The brachial plexus is a weblike collection of nerve in the neck that controls sensation and strength of the arms. Injury to the brachial plexus can occur following a motor vehicle accident as the result of traction on the nerves from the acceleration-deceleration of the trauma. Also, the seatbelt may compress the brachial plexus when it is activated during the collision.
The cervical spine is especially vulnerable to injury because it is highly mobile in multiple planes, thereby making it subject to rotational forces. For similar reasons, sufferers may develop low back pain as a result of the collision. Lumbar pain can occur from muscle strain, inflammation of the joints, and damage to the intervertebral discs.