When it comes to bicycle accidents, even minor impact with a car can cause serious injuries. Impact with a vehicle, the ground, or another object can cause the body to twist and or torque, leading to soft tissue damage. This is especially true when the impact causes the cyclist’s head to toss back and forth or side to side. Below, we discuss different types of neck injury from bicycle accidents, and what you can do protect yourself.
Types of Neck Injuries Caused by Bicycle Accidents
The trauma from the twisting of a head during an accident can result in sprains or strains of the cervical spine. Furthermore, when an impact is particularly violent, this can cause injuries to tendons, muscles, bones, ligaments, nerves and discs.
Because the neck is most mobile part of the spine, it’s prone to injury from strains. During most strains, both muscles and ligaments are damaged, which gives these types of strains the name soft tissue injuries. Victims of a strain feel stiffness, sharp pain and a loss in mobility of their neck. The treatment for cervical strains include taking medication, wearing a soft cervical collar, and chiropractic or physical therapy.
A cervical sprain is even more serious than a strain. Cervical sprains are the result of damage to the structures and ligaments that connect the spinal bones (cervical vertebrae) and joints. It’s not uncommon for victims of a bicycle accident to experience both beck sprains and strains at the same time. Symptoms of neck sprain are very similar to the symptoms of neck strain, and treatment is very similar as well.
Nerves and Bones
Since most injuries from bicycle accidents occur at the upper half of the body, neck fracture during impact is very common. Victims of neck fracture will usually feel serve pain at the location of the fracture. Some cases of neck fracture simply require conservative treatment. However, surgery may be needed to relieve pressure from the fracture on the spinal cord and nerves.
Nerves and Discs
Spinal discs are found between each cervical vertebra in the spinal column. The discs are made of cartilage and contain a jelly-like substance that cushions the impact from walking or running. Trauma to the spinal column can dislocate spinal discs or cause them to herniate. A herniated disc means that the jelly-like substance leaks out and places pressure on the spinal cord or nerves.
Victims of herniated spinal discs will likely experience serve neck pain that shoots across the shoulders and into the arms and fingers. They will also experience intermittent periods of tingling, weakness and numbness in the affected extremity. While a displaced disc may just require treatment from chiropractic or physical therapy, once a disc herniates, it stays herniated.
Herniated discs require extensive rehab and surgery for treatment. You can expect to feel residual discomfort and pain, as well as carry around hardware in your spine for the rest of your life.
Seek Treatment for Neck Injury From Bicycle Accidents as Soon as Possible
If you suffer neck injury from a bicycle accident, it’s crucial that you seek medical treatment as soon as possible. In some cases, this may mean going to the emergency room. Once the doctor diagnoses your injury, they will prescribe treatment recommendations. It is vital that you stick to those recommendations, and see your treatment through to the end.
The timeliness of medical attention can help greatly establish the direct cause and extent of your neck injuries. Furthermore, you can use the evidence of your medical treatment to accurately establish that your injuries occurred during the accident. This will help you defend yourself from any false claims from the liable party’s insurer that asserts that your injuries resulted from another cause. Most often, these same insurers will play down your injuries, or allege that you’re exaggerating your pain.
Contact Los Angeles Bicycle Law Today
Neck injury from bicycle accidents can have long-term effects, including physical pain and emotional trauma, not to mention expensive medical treatment. Don’t try to deal with these issues alone. Give your case the attention it deserves by speaking with an experienced Los Angeles bicycle injury attorney.