The neck or cervical region of the spine is a delicate part of the body. Various nerves, muscles, tendons and ligaments travel via this region and the region is susceptible to injury. Overuse and an abrupt blow to the cervical region can damage the neck.
The simple neck injuries due to poor posture and sleeping positions will not require medical attention. In most circumstances, these types of neck sprains can be managed with pain medications, adequate rest and heat therapy. Nevertheless, severe cases of neck injuries due to sports injuries, vehicular accidents and deterioration of the intervertebral discs necessitate speedy medical care. Some of these common neck injuries can be prevented as long as the right precautions are observed.
Whiplash is described as hyperextension of the neck in a forward and backward direction. It typically occurs during a rear-impact vehicular collision. During this type of accident, it causes the individual to jerk forward and downward abruptly.
The intense movements of the head cause the delicate ligaments and tendons of the neck to stretch beyond their normal limits. Whiplash can cause a severe headache along with fatigue, neck pain and dizziness. Falls, contact sports and physical assault can also cause whiplash.
Nerve compression in the neck is triggered by the deterioration of one or several of the cervical intervertebral discs. The cartilaginous discs can weaken due to weight bearing, aging process and disease. Once the intervertebral discs degenerate, the spaces in between the vertebrae are limited which results to compression of the nerves that pass via the vertebrae at the neck.
Always bear in mind that this leads to the compression of the nerves that go through the vertebrae at the neck. The compression can be determined by symptoms such as numbness, tingling and burning sensation in the neck since most of the nerves are rooted in the cervical region.
A break or fracture of the cervical vertebrae is considered as serious neck injuries that entail immediate medical attention. It is important to note that fractures of the neck can damage the spinal cord and result to paralysis or even death.
Neck fractures typically occur in contact sports such as football due to poor blocking techniques. Among the elderly, the cervical vertebra and the connecting muscles, ligaments as well as tendons become fragile. Understandably, any type of trauma to the upper regions of the body can lead to fractures in the neck. In both cases, the area of impact and force involved can determine the severity of the fracture.
Once an individual is suspected with a neck injury even if it is a minor one, it is still best to consult a doctor so that careful assessment of the neck can be performed. Serious injuries such as falls from a great height or vehicular collision require medical care from the emergency team.