Auto injuries commonly result in sprain-strain of the neck. The ligaments that help support, protect, and restrict excessive movement of the vertebrae are torn, which is called a sprain. The joints in the back of the spine, called the facet joints, are covered by ligaments called facet capsules, which seem to be particularly susceptible to whiplash injury.
In addition, the muscles and tendons are strained—stretched beyond their normal limits. The discs between the vertebrae, which are essentially ligaments, can be torn, potentially causing a disc herniation. The nerve roots between the vertebrae may also be stretched and become inflamed. It is important to know that the amount of damage to your vehicle is often times not proportionate to the amount of injury sustained by occupants of the vehicle. Research shows even minor impacts can cause significant neck injury. Early evaluation and diagnoses is essential for optimal treatment and healing to occur. A delay of treatment allows your neck to attempt to heal in an incorrect fashion. If a delay of treatment is prolonged, disruption of appropriate healing will cause more difficulty in the treatment process. If a joint is left out of alignment or is hypermobile, this can lead to future degeneration.