More than half of the world’s air travel is through planes that take off and land in the United States. The airline system that has such a good safety record overall has gotten that way through numerous safety innovations and rules enforced on board at all times. While the rules and safety features can prevent many injuries and accidents, airplanes are not an injury-free zone. Two common injuries during flights are injuries to the head and neck.
During take-off and landing, a plane’s passengers can be tossed forward and then quickly backwards by the movement of the plane. This motion is much more possible on landing than on take-off but is not unheard of in other situations. When the head and neck are sent forward and then snapped back quickly, it is possible for a whiplash injury to occur.
If the head snaps forward and makes contact with the back of the seat in front of it, a concussion is not out of the question. At the same time, cuts and scrapes may also occur, depending on the backing material of the seats.
Injuries occur during landing because landing conditions are not always perfect. In some cases, rain, wind, or some other condition will force the pilot to set the plane down on the runway a lot more roughly than he or she would like. Landing is typically not a pleasant experience, regardless of the skill of the pilot. When the conditions or inexperience of the pilot forces a rough landing, it can be extremely painful.
When an injury occurs on an airplane, it is important to report it to the flight attendants as soon as possible. This will allow the person injured to fill out an injury report. This report should list the entire story of how the injury came about. If it was from tripping over a piece of baggage, that needs to be stated. A rough landing should also be reported and verified by someone else on the plane. Chances are good that if the landing is exceptionally rough, there will be more than one person who is complaining of neck pain.
After disembarking, anyone with neck or head pain should probably see a doctor. Most of the time things are not too serious but it is always better to take every precaution possible when talking about head and neck pain and injuries.