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Common Head and Neck Injuries Caused by Rear-End Collisions

April 18, 2018

“Important information for those on the receiving end of a hit from behind”

In the United States, roughly one in every four automobile accidents are a rear-end collisions. Because of how common these accidents are, people have a tendency to consider them minor or moderate. However, anyone who has been on the receiving end of a collision from behind knows that low-speeds, a rear-end crash can send your head and shoulders back with surprising velocity.

Anytime an injury involves the head or neck area, effects can be serious and long-lasting. For this reason, injuries from rear-end collisions should not be taken lightly.

Here a few commonly sustained injuries resulting from these types of accidents that everyone should be wary of:

Herniated Disks

Herniated disks—or slipped disks—occur when soft tissue between vertebrae pushes out through a weakness in the tougher vertebrae exterior. Sometimes the herniation can press on the nerves that exit the spine, temporarily disrupting the nervous system and causing shooting pain, weakness, or numbness in one or both legs and in the back.

Injuries related to disk-herniation can require surgical intervention, medication, and treatments. Depending on their severity, they can have lasting effects on the nervous system.


Whiplash is among the most frequently reported injuries from any type of automobile accident. When rear-ended by a negligent driver, the violent motion of the head causes a forceful crash back into the driver’s seat.The ligaments and bones of the neck aren’t meant to handle such a range of the motion at high speeds.

Often-times, whiplash-related injuries are not noticeable immediately following the accident, but stiffness and soreness can occur a day or more afterward. Treatments for whiplash include neck braces, physical therapy, or pain medication.

Pulled muscles

Pulled muscles aren’t as serious as the first two injuries listed. However, they are a common problem because of the same quick, jerked back-and-forth motion of the head. This is particularly common when there aren’t headrests in the vehicle or if the head-rests are poorly adjusted.