As an emergency room (ER) doctor, I have seen countless patients involved in motor vehicle accidents (MVAs). One of the most common complaints from these patients is neck pain. While some people may dismiss neck pain as a minor inconvenience, it is an issue that a medical professional should take seriously and assess. In this article, I will explain why it is crucial to have neck pain evaluated after an MVA.
Firstly, neck pain can be a sign of a more severe injury. Even if you don’t feel hurt in the accident, your body may have suffered damage of which you are unaware. For example, whiplash is a common injury that occurs during MVAs, and it can cause neck pain that may not appear until days after the accident. Whiplash occurs when the neck is forced to move suddenly and forcefully, causing damage to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the neck. Symptoms can include neck pain, stiffness, and headaches, leading to long-term complications if not treated properly.
Secondly, neck pain can be a symptom of a more severe injury, such as a spinal cord or traumatic brain injury. These types of injuries can be life-threatening and require immediate medical attention. If left untreated, they can cause permanent damage or even death. By seeking medical attention for neck pain after an MVA, you can rule out these more severe injuries and get the treatment you need to recover fully.
Lastly, getting your neck pain assessed by a medical professional after an MVA can help you get the compensation you deserve. If you were involved in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. However, you need to have documentation of your injuries to receive compensation. By visiting a doctor and getting a proper diagnosis, you can provide evidence of your injuries and increase your chances of getting the compensation you deserve.
In conclusion, if you experience neck pain after an MVA, seeking medical attention as soon as possible is crucial. Neck pain can signify a more severe injury, and delaying treatment can lead to long-term complications. By getting your neck pain assessed by a medical professional, you can rule out more severe injuries, receive the treatment you need to recover fully and provide documentation of your injuries if you need to seek compensation. As an ER doctor, I urge you to take neck pain seriously after an MVA and seek medical attention immediately.