How to Know a Neck Injury is Serious

We have all had some type of neck injury at some time or other in our lives. When you wake up with that crick in your neck, or you stretch too far in exercise class and get a stiff neck, you’ve been a victim of a minor injury to your neck. Neck injuries can range from a nuisance that can be taken care of with home remedies to a severe injury that affects the spinal cord. If you have been a victim of a serious injury to your neck, you need to get medical care as soon as possible. Pay attention to what your body is telling you and know the signs that a major concern could be taking place in your neck.

neck-spine-painSymptoms of a Serious Injury to Your Neck

Whether you’ve been involved in a car accident, a fall, or a contact sport injury, you could be dealing with a major injury to your neck. Some signs of severe injury include:

  • Sharp pain that is debilitating
  • The inability to turn your head
  • Swelling in your neck
  • Numbness or tingling extending to your arms accompanied by pain in your neck
  • Paralysis in the rest of your body after a neck injury

Treating a Serious Injury to the Neck

If you are experiencing symptoms of a severe injury to your neck, you need to remain still. You should call 911 or ask someone else to do so for you. Paramedics will arrive and immobilize your neck. You will be transported to a nearby medical facility and thoroughly evaluated. Expect questions about what led to your injury, your symptoms, and a physical examination. Medical imagery will be able to pinpoint the full extent of your injury and allow doctors to take action.  Upon completing your examination, you can submit your MRI to North American Spine, and they will give you a second opinion along with information on whether your injury may need further attention.

Common Alternatives for Neck Injuries

If there has been damage to the vertebrae or spinal cord, neck surgery will be the most likely course of action to preserve your spinal health or prevent further damage. Issues involving the spinal cord itself are of the most serious nature and can result in permanent paralysis. However, with immediate treatment, the worst can be avoided in some cases. Many injuries will involve rest, wearing a brace, and taking pain relievers. Massage therapy and physical therapy are often helpful in taking care of injuries to the neck as well.