According to NIH.gov, the first and second vertebrae in a person’s spine are referred to as the atlas and axis vertebrae. These bones are some of the cervical vertebrae, which make up a person’s upper spine, running from the base of the head down the neck. The axis vertebrae is the second cervical vertebrae, and it is connected to the atlas vertebrae in a similar fashion to a nail that is inserted in a piece of wood. Sometimes an injury can cause these two vertebrae to become subluxated.
This type of injury can cause a range of symptoms including neck pain, back pain, and headaches. In severe cases, injuries can become life-threatening. This is the case when the misalignment is extreme and causes compression of the spinal cord. Someone suffering from this condition may notice their heart rate and breathing become slower, and their blood pressure can drop.
The most severe injuries do not happen often, but one of the ways in which this can occur is in a car accident. Even with a seatbelt fastened, it is possible for a person to hit their head on the vehicle’s steering wheel with a great deal of force, ultimately causing injuries to the top of the spine. When a person suffers this type of injury, his or her spine must be stabilized. Patients might be fitted with a collar which immobilizes then and allows for the injury to heal.
In many cases, car crashes are the result of a negligent driver. If a person sustains injuries because of another individual’s negligence, then the injured person can collect compensation for the harm that was done to them.
Drivers who are drunk, texting, or violating the speed limit all are examples of negligent drivers.
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