5 Things You Need to Know About Cervical Neck Injuries

1. Neck Sprains And Strains Are Quite Common.

One of the most common of all ailments involving the neck is the cervical strain or sprain. The causes of this type of injury can range widely from lifestyle, work environments, athletic/sports injuries and motor vehicle accidents.
From a life style perspective, sprains and strains typically arise from engaging in activities that one is not normally accustomed to, such as moving/lifting of heavy furniture, falls from ladders, or rigorous physical activity without adequate preparation.

2. Many Vital Structures Occupy The Neck Area.

Your neck should be treated with the respect it deserves, for there are several vital structures that can be damaged when there is a neck injury, such as, and most importantly, the spinal cord. Injury to the spinal cord in the neck area can be catastrophic, because of the vital bodily functions that this area of the spinal cord serves. Additionally, the vocal cords, trachea (wind pipe), carotid arteries and throat all live in close proximity to each other and all can be involved to some degree in a neck injury.

3. Collision Sports: Breeding Ground For Cervical Neck Injuries.

The two most physical and potentially damaging sports today are football and rugby. These sports rely on, and advocate extreme and violent physical contact in pursuit of glory and fame. This cultural mindset extends deep into the ranks of the very young children who, even though a very long way from physical maturity, are thrust into the world of violent collisions for sport.
The very natures of these sports give rise to increased risk for cervical neck injury. Two bodies running full force into each other with heads and necks positioned for potentially deadly injury. 10-15% of all football players incur some type of neck injury.

4. Most Common Neck Injuries Can Be Prevented.

Most sprains, strains and overuse neck injuries can be prevented with proper care and planning. In the case of workplace neck injuries such as sprains and strains, improving body mechanics and ergonomics can greatly reduce overall risk. One common cause of neck strain is cradling the telephone under one ear by using neck muscles. Utilizing proper equipment for this task will reduce the likelihood of strain or sprain.
Practicing good safe driving habits can help to reduce the chances of sustaining a whiplash neck injury, which is one of the most common of injuries in motor vehicle accidents. While it is difficult-to-impossible to control who is driving behind you, increased awareness of driving environment and proper use of seat belts and head rests can also help to reduce potential injury.

5. Get The Proper Diagnosis And treatment To Maintain A Healthy Neck.

Injury aside, if symptoms of neck pain, numbness and tingling in the hands and fingers, and limited movement to the neck arise and/or persist, it’s time to get a thorough examination and diagnosis from a physician. Problems such as spinal stenosis, bulging or ruptured cervical disc and arthritis can all exhibit similar symptoms to sprains and strains and other injuries.
Treatment can be a simple as medication and physical therapy. Treatment can also come in the form of various surgical procedures depending upon the pathology.

About this Author

Ken Chisholm’s expertise in nursing, healthcare, surgery and orthopedics spans well over 30 years. As an R.N. and Orthopedic Physician Assistant, he holds multiple board certifications in these areas. Ken has a passion for empowering people through education and information. He also writes for a Texas-based publisher that designs specialty study templates for medical and healthcare certifying examinations.