The neck which is the cervical region of the spine is considered as a delicate part of the body. Several muscles, tendons, nerves and ligaments run through this area and considered susceptible to injury. Any activity that involves overuse and abrupt blow to the cervical area can damage the neck. The simple neck injuries due to poor posture and sleeping positions will not normally require medical care.
In most cases, these types of neck sprains can be managed with pain medication, rest and heat therapy. Nevertheless, severe neck injuries due to vehicular accidents, degeneration of the intervertebral discs and sports injuries require immediate medical attention. Some of the common neck injuries can be prevented with the right precautions.
Whiplash or hyperextension of the neck in a forward and backward direction occurs during rear-impact vehicular collisions. It is important to note that this type of accident causes the driver or passenger to abruptly jerk in a forward and backward manner.
The intense movement of the head causes the delicate ligaments and tendons in the neck to stretch way beyond their normal limits. Remember that whiplash neck injuries can cause neck pain, severe headache, dizziness and fatigue. Falls, contact sports and physical assault can also cause whiplash.
Fractures in the cervical vertebrae are considered as serious neck injuries that entail immediate medical care. Neck fractures can damage the spinal cord and result to paralysis and even death. The neck fractures typically occur in sports particularly football due to incorrect blocking techniques. Blocking with the head down places substantial pressure on the neck, which causes one of the vertebrae to give away and fracturing under pressure.
Among the elderly, the cervical vertebrae and adjoining muscles, ligaments and tendons become even more fragile. Any form of injury to the upper areas of the body can result to neck fractures. In both circumstances, the force and point of impact can determine the severity of the fracture sustained by an individual.
When it comes to nerve compression or cervical root compression, it is instigated by the deterioration of one or more of the seven intervertebral discs in the cervical region. The cartilaginous discs can weaken due to weight bearing, age and disease. Once the intervertebral discs start to deteriorate, the spaces in between the vertebrae are reduced. This results to compression of the nerves that go through the vertebrae at the neck. The cervical nerve compression can be determined by symptoms such as numbing, tingling and burning sensation in the neck since several of the nerves are rooted in the cervical region.
Being familiar with the common neck injuries is beneficial so that you know when to seek medical care. For minor injuries, home remedies can be used but for severe injuries, immediate medical care is required.