Neck Injuries and Treatment
Various Types of Neck Injuries
- Sprains/Strains – These are injuries to the muscles and ligaments that can result in neck pain that is aggravated by activity. These types of injuries are usually not very dangerous and can heal with minimal treatment.
- Pinched Nerve – A nerve can get “pinched” for a variety of reasons. The simplest reason, is due to a subluxation, or misalignment of the vertebra. Another reason may be due to facet jamming, This is usually a sports injury where a nerve is pinched and causes sharp and shooting pains in the neck and even arms. This type of pain usually resolves on its own.
- Repetitive Strain – Maintaining awkward positions while working can create strain on the body. Worn out pillows and working at the computer can create repetitive strain that affects posture. Muscle strain can lead to neck problems over time.
- Whiplash – This type of injury is commonly due to a car accident where the head moves around violently. A whiplash injury damages the soft tissue in the neck, including ligaments, muscles, and even nerves.
- Spinal cord damage – This is the worst type of neck injury. Spinal cord injury can lead to paralysis and even death.
- Disc injury – A cervical disc herniation can cause severe neck pain, numbness and tingling into one or both arms, and even weakness in one or both arms. There are varying degrees of disc problems, ranging from minor protrusion, to full blown herniation. An MRI is the best tool to visualize the cervical discs. Not all disc problems require surgery, although many do. Usually, a course of conservative care is recommended prior to surgery. However, there are times, that Dr. Spitz has determined that the disc problem is so bad that surgery is probably the only course of action to take.
- Vertebral fracture – Some injuries can cause the vertebra in the neck to fracture or break, which can lead to paralysis or even death.
Neck injuries are not always preventable, but there are some ways to reduce your risk. Always wear a seatbelt and keep your headrest close to your head while driving. If you are diving into unknown waters, always go feet first to avoid hitting your head or neck on the ground.
There are several symptoms that may be experienced with a neck injury. Most symptoms include tenderness at the sight of injury, dull ache, spasm, tingling, muscle weakness, sharp pain, and stiffness. This is not a complete list, and you may have one or all of the symptoms.
Neck Pain Treatment
Obviously, any injury that involves the head or neck should be checked out by a doctor. At the Chiropractic Health Center of Bristol, we specialize in treating acute and chronic neck pain. If needed, we will refer you for x-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI to determine exactly what is causing the pain. In rare cases, we will recommend immobilization that takes pressure off of the neck. But usually we will start off with cryotherapy (ice), electric muscle stimulation (EMS), light manual traction, and specific chiropractic adjustments. We may also recommend a natural muscle relaxer, such as Relax Already, and a topical analgesic such as Relief Already.
Our course of treatment will help relieve tension and pain in the muscles and support structures in the neck. The chiropractic treatment can relieve pain and improve relaxation to help with healing.
To make an appointment, call us at 860-583-4346 or fill in the form below.