Neck injury compensation

The neck is a very complex and delicate part of the body, and is crucial to the overall movement and functioning.

The neck contains the spinal cord, which sends information to other parts of the body from the brain. Any damage to the spinal cord can therefore be extremely serious and can lead to complete paralysis of the body.

Because of the critical function it has on our day-to-day lives, personal injury compensation awarded to those suffering from neck injuries can be substantial – particularly for severe cases.

If you have suffered a neck injury following an accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. To find out how Cute Injury can help, get in touch now…

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Common causes of neck injuries

Road Traffic Accidents

Probably the most common cause of a neck injury is whiplash caused in road traffic accidents. Whiplash is caused by the stretching or tearing of muscles and ligaments in the neck.

Minor whiplash usually clears up within three months and severe whiplash within 12 months. If you were not responsible for the accident, even if you were a passenger in the car whose driver caused the accident you may be eligible for compensation through a neck injury claim.

Sports Injuries

Any sport that involves driving has a risk of neck injury as does any sport where there is speed of contact involved. It is possible to receive a neck injury where there is no negligence involved but in some cases the neck injury sustained is a either a result of negligence or a malicious act.

By malicious act we mean someone committing a deliberate foul which results in a neck injury. In the case of either negligence or a malicious act there may be a claim for neck injury compensation.

Accidents at Work

An employer has a statutory duty of care to the employees and visitors to their premises. A neck injury at work can be caused by several possible occurrences. Such as if you are working at heights and due to faulty or inadequate safety equipment you fall and injure your neck. Or if for some reason you receive a sharp blow to the head which causes a sudden movement that can also result in a neck injury.

If a neck injury is caused due to negligence by either the employer not ensuring that the workplace is safe or through enabling an employee to act in a negligent way then that employer may be liable to pay compensation as the result of a neck injury claim. A professional advisor will be able to offer definitive advice relating to your case.

Find out more about making an accident at work claim.

Different levels of neck injuries

A neck injury can be defined as an injury that occurs to any part of the top of the spine and the bone, muscles, ligaments, tendons and cartilage between the back and the head.

Neck injuries can be extremely painful and distressing, and depending on the severity of the injury it can have an enormous effect on the sufferers day-to-day life. As well as the pain and physical effects, neck injuries can also lead to certain psychological issues like depression and anxiety.

The different levels of severity for neck injuries are…

Minor neck injury

With a relatively minor neck injury, the symptoms might include some pain and numbness which leads to the sufferer taking some time off work. In such cases the damage to soft tissue, muscle, ligaments and or tendons usually heals quite quickly, although there can be some lasting pain that takes up to 12 months to ease.

Moderate neck injury

Moderate neck injuries include prolapsed discs, cervical spondylosis and permanent or recurrent pain and are eligible for a higher compensation payout.

These more serious neck and whiplash injuries tend to be defined as those that take more than a year to heal.

Severe neck injury

With the neck essentially forming part of the spine, any serious damage can lead to long-lasting and life-changing complications like paralysis (quadriplegia or paraplegia) or permanent spastic quadriparesis. Due to this, compensation payouts are the highest for severe neck injuries.

If you have suffered a neck injury following an accident that wasn’t your fault, you could be entitled to make a claim for compensation. To find out how Cute Injury can help, get in touch now…

Start your enquiry

How much compensation can I claim for a neck injury?

Compensation payout amounts for neck injuries depend on a number of factors, including the severity of the injury and the impact it has had on your day-to-day life and ability to carry on working.

Compensation payouts are split into two categories: General damages and Special damages. General damages compensate the victim for the pain and distress of the injury, whereas the Special damages reimburse the victim for any expenses they have incurred as a result of the injury – e.g. loss of earnings, rehabilitation and medical costs etc…

As such, it is difficult to provide an accurate estimate of how much compensation you could be awarded for a neck injury. However, there are some example amounts for General damages that you can use as a ‘ballpark figure’:

Neck injury compensation amounts*

Minor neck injury:
A few hundred pounds – £6,000:

  • Full recovery takes place within 1-2 years: £3,300 – £6,000
  • Full recovery takes place between 3 months-1 year: £1,860 – £3,300
  • Full recovery within 3 months: A few hundred pounds – £1,860

 

Moderate neck injury:
£6,000 to £29,250:

  • Fractures/dislocations: £19,000 – £29,250
  • Soft tissue/wrenching type injury/exacerbation of over 5 years: £10,450 – £19,000
  • Accelerated/exacerbated injury less than 5 years: £6,000 – £10,450

 

Severe neck injury:
£34,575 to £112,750:

  • Little/no movement in the neck and severe headaches: in region of £112,750
  • Serious fractures or damage to disks with disabilities of considerable severity: £50,000 – £99,500
  • Fractures/dislocations or severe damage to soft tissues that lead to chronic conditions: £34,575 – £42,550

 

For more information read our personal injury claims payout guide or use our special personal injury calculator.

* Information taken from Judicial College Guidelines for the Assessment of General Damages in Personal Injury Cases – 13th Edition. – please note that these figures are for guidance only and the compensation that you receive may be outside of these guidelines.

If you would like to learn more about how Cute Injury could help you following an accident that wasn’t your fault, get in touch below:

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Neck strengthening exercises

NeckThe neck is a vital part of the human body and one that can cause any number of physical problems if it doesn’t function correctly.

The major causes of neck pain and weakness are loss of strength in our tissue as we age, or direct injury.

You can carry out some simple exercises at home to help create strength and stability in the neck.

However, you should perform these exercises very slowly, being vigilant for any signs of pain.

If you experience any pain, stop immediately.  It’s always best to consult your physiotherapist or doctor before undertaking any new physical conditioning programme.

Chin Tuck

This is one of the most effective exercises for addressing neck pain caused by poor posture.  Chin tucks helps to strengthen the postural muscles that hold the head in proper alignment over the shoulders.

It’s possible to perform this exercise several times over the course of the day. You can do this whilst sitting at your desk at work, in your car, or even at home whilst you’re watching TV.  This may help to promote the adoption of healthy postural habits too.  When you’ve been slouching or slumped over a desk and you begin to feel an ache in your neck and shoulder blades, this is the exercise to do.

The first time you perform this exercise, it’s a good idea to stand with your spine against a door jamb for stability.

  • Keeping your spine pressed up against the door jamb, pull your head and upper spine backwards until the back of the head touches the door jamb. Make sure your chin is tucked in so that your head is pulled straight back.
  • Hold this position for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat this ten times
  • After this, you can start to perform this exercise away from the support of the door jamb and you can increase the number of times you perform the exercise to 5-7 times a day.

 

Shoulder Blade Squeeze

This is a great exercise for strengthening the muscles of the upper back.

  • Begin by standing or sitting up with your back straight.
  • Tuck your chin a little and press your shoulders back slightly.
  • Now, slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together, squeezing as hard as you can, but build the movement slowly
  • Hold for 5 seconds and repeat ten times.

 

Static Extension

This is a slightly more advanced exercise, so work up to it slowly.

  • Start by sitting or standing up with your back and neck straight and your shoulders pressed back slightly.
  • Put one hand behind your head and slowly push your head back into your hand.
  • Pay attention to the way you feel and if you sense any pain, stop immediately.
  • Keep facing forwards and hold this position for three seconds.
  • Repeat ten times.

 

You should begin very gradually with three repetitions of each exercise.  You should always proceed with caution and if you are experiencing pain in your neck, shoulders or back, see your GP without delay.

The muscles and joints in your neck are incredibly important, and when they are weak it can lead to a whole host of problems such as; back ache, headaches, shoulder tension and compression of the neck vertebrae. If you do neck strengthening exercises regularly, you can strengthen your neck easily, which will not only help to prevent future health problems, but help relieve current issues you may have that are caused by having a weak neck.

It is important that you only perform these exercises if you have no prior neck or back injuries that need special medical care. Please also ensure you do not continue these exercises if they cause you pain, cause you to feel lightheaded or feel very uncomfortable.

Simple Head Turn

You can perform this exercise standing up, sitting or kneeling depending on your preference. Ensure your spine is straight and your breathing is calm. Facing forward, turn your head to one side until it will not turn any further, and return it to the centre and continue to turn it to the other side. Repeat a few times.

Simple Head Rotation

You can perform this exercise standing up, sitting or kneeling depending on your preference. Ensure your spine is straight and your breathing is calm. Facing forwards, allow your head to drop to your chest, allowing the weight of your head to determine where it rests. Then keeping your chin next to your chest slowly rotate your head round to one side until your cheek and chin touch your shoulder, and then slowly rotate across to the other side. Repeat a few times.

Nodding Dog

Standing or sitting bend your head down until you are looking at the floor and your chin is touching your chest. Slowly bring your head up to a neutral position and then let it slowly fall back until you are looking up towards the sky. Repeat a few times.

The Gurn

With this exercise, you are basically trying to give yourself a double chin. You simply start in a neutral position and then retract your head into your neck and lower your chin a little, you should feel a really nice stretch on the back of your neck. Repeat a few times.

The Undecided Nodding Dog

Face forward and let your head slowly drop to your shoulder sideways until it reaches its maximum flexibility. Then bring it back up to a neutral position and let it fall to the other side. Repeat a few times.

The Proud Pigeon

Stand or sit in a relaxed neutral position with your back straight and your arms down at your side. When comfortable slowly push your shoulder blades together as much as you can for five seconds, and then relax. Repeat several times.

The Poser

Stand or sit with your back straight and your body relaxed. Place one hand behind your head and push your head against it gently – you should do this slowly or you may cause yourself pain. Hold for three seconds and then relax. Repeat several times.

More Advanced Exercises

As with the above exercises do not attempt any of the below if you have a neck or back injury, or if the exercises cause you to feel pain, light headed or uncomfortable.

Resistance Push

Standing in a relaxed and neutral position, place both hands behind your head and push your head against them as hard as you can making sure your hands do not move. Repeat several times.

Scarf Pull

Stand or sit in a neutral position facing forwards. Using a scarf, towel or other long strong material place it behind your head at the place where your hair meets your neck. Hold both ends of the scarf and slowly pull to push your chin down towards your chest. Holding the scarf, begin to pull your head up so it is working against the resistance from the scarf until you have fully raised it. Repeat this process several times.

Weight Curls

When you do this for the first time choose light weights and have a spotting partner with you until you feel comfortable doing the exercise yourself.

Lie front ways on a bench with your head hanging over the edge of the bench, your shoulders in line with where the bench ends. Using both your hands hold a weight at the back of your head and begin to slowly move your head upwards, and then lower the neck back down. Repeat several times.

Yoga Headstand

If you already practise yoga you will have seen people practising headstands. They are tricky to master and should not be attempted unless you are confident in your abilities. When attempting it for the first few times have someone with you for physical support.

To achieve a headstand all you need to do is place a head donut or cushion on the floor next to a wall, kneel down and place your head onto the pillow, hands at the side of your head palms down. Then using your upper body strength and core strength bring your legs up above you to rest against the wall. Stay here as long as it feels comfortable. This is a basic yoga headstand position and can be made even more complex depending on your strength – but it is best to start simple first.

Neck pain exercises

Neck pain is a common occurrence amongst many of us, and the majority of cases aren’t due to anything serious and can improve independently within a few weeks.

The most important part of this healing process is to keep active and undertake neck pain exercises, bed rest that lasts longer than a couple of days can make it more difficult to get going.

You should aim to gradually increase your normal activities and participate in regular exercise.   If necessary, take painkillers so that you can keep active and your pain should start to subside within 2 weeks. You should make a full recovery over a 4–6 week period.

Use the following forms of neck pain exercises for at least 6–8 weeks in order to help prevent the symptoms from returning.

If you have severe neck pain or weakness in your arms or hands, seek help from your doctor.

How the neck works

There are in total seven bones that form the neck which are called the cervical vertebrae.

These bones are linked together by facet joints and neck muscles which enable you to move your head in any direction.

Placed between the bones are discs of cartilage, medically known as inter vertebral discs. At the level of each of these discs, nerve roots branch out from the spinal cord and impulses travel along these nerves. These impulses are responsible for sending out sensations, such as touch and pain to the brain.

The bones are there to ensure that the head is supported and to protect the spinal cord.

Common causes of neck pain

A common form of neck pain is caused by cervical spondylosis and occurs due to everyday use of the neck over many years.

With this condition, the discs become thinner, the facet joints wear out and the spaces that are between the bones become narrower.

Spurs of bone, more commonly referred to as osteophytes, form at the edges of the vertebrae and the facet joints. These changes that occur are similar in nature to those seen in patients suffering with osteoarthritis.

Taking painkillers has been known to ease the pain, and this in combination with the right exercise can help to stretch and strengthen out the neck muscles.

Whiplash

Patients from suffering from whiplash injuries have usually been involved in some sort of low or high velocity impact, such as a car accident.

Whiplash is caused by the body being jolted forward, resulting in the head flipping back, throwing the head forwards. There is frequently a delay prior to the patient feeling any pain or stiffness in the neck region. It is thought, that the pain is due to stretching of the ligaments and the capsule that surround the facet joints.

As well as this, a muscle spasm occurs as the body tries to splint the injury.

Even though whiplash can strain your neck badly, in the majority of cases, patients have seen an improvement within a few weeks or months. Seat belts that are adequately adjusted in cars reduce the damage caused from whiplash injuries.

As well as this, gentle forms of exercise help to keep the neck mobile and stop longer term damage, so that you can get return to normal as soon as possible.

Tension

Muscles that are located at the back of the neck must be kept tense in order to keep the body upright.

When we are suffering from stress, we usually tense these muscles even more, which can result in neck pain and tension headaches.

By taking the time out to relax and exercise can in turn help to ease tension in this area.

What can be done to assist?

Exercise

It is the most important way that you can help your neck. It will ease stiffness and pain through building up muscle strength and stamina, as well as improve your flexibility.

If your neck pain lasts continually over a sustained period, a lack of mobility can cause the muscles to become weak. This then makes it more likely that you will strain them in future.

Medication

Iburofen as well as paracetamol are forms of pain killers that may help with neck pain.

However, it is important to be aware at all times of your intake with these forms of medication, always seek advice from your doctor in order to take the recommended dose for your pain.

Do not postpone this until your pain is severe before taking painkillers.  Do not take ibuprofen or aspirin if you are pregnant or are suffering from asthma.

Neck pain exercises

Below we have listed some common and effective exercises to help relieve neck pain…

Neck tilt

Tilt your head down, aim to rest your chin onto your chest. Now gently tense your neck muscles and hold for a count of 5 seconds.

Return to a neutral position and repeat this movement 5 times.

Neck tilt (side to side)

Tilt your head down slowly towards your shoulder. Lead this movement with your ear.

Now lightly tense your neck muscles and hold for around 5 seconds.

Once you have finished that, return your head back to the centre and repeat this movement on the opposite side.

Repeat this 5 times on each side.

Neck turn

Turn your head towards one side, whilst ensuring to keep your chin at the same height at all times, move your neck comfortably, do not strain.

Tense your neck muscles gently and hold for 5 seconds.

Now return your head back to centre and repeat this movement on the opposite side.

Repeat 5 times on each side.

Neck stretch

To do this movement you will need to keep the rest of your body straight.

Start by moving your chin forward so that your throat is stretched outwards.

Lightly tense your neck muscles and hold for around 5 seconds. Return your head back to the centre and push it backwards, whilst you keep your chin up.

Hold this movement for 5 seconds and repeat 5 times.