You have probably heard the saying, “This is a pain in the neck.” Well, that saying wouldn’t hold much value if neck injuries were less painful, with short recovery times. But neck pain and neck injuries can really put a damper on your daily activities, grinding things to a halt. The neck is a complex part of the body, which contains the trachea for breathing, the spinal cord, and blood vessels that supply the brain with blood. The neck is very susceptible and prone to injury, not only because it has a pretty wide range of motion, but also because it supports a relatively heavy object (your head). The neck can be injured in different ways, including sprains and strains, whiplash, and fractures.
In other words, any injury of the neck, regardless of how it happened and the degree of pain, should be evaluated by your orthopedic surgeon or specialist. Injuries that affect the neck, such as whiplash due to automobile accidents, falls, and trauma from sports injuries, such as concussions, can cause damage to the spinal cord, ligaments, loss of consciousness, traumatic brain injury, headaches, and other serious problems, if not treated properly or early enough.
If chronic or acute neck pain occurs, it is best to get help immediately, otherwise further complications may occur. If not diagnosed early, mobility also may be even more limited. Symptoms of a neck injury include:
- Neck pain
- Neck pain that develops quickly after an injury has occurred
- Muscle pain or spasms in the neck or shoulders
- Headaches or feelings of dizziness
It takes time to fully recover from a neck injury. It will all depend on your diagnosis, meaning the type of injury you have. The goal of your orthopedic surgeon is to give you an accurate diagnosis, and provide the correct form of treatment. Exercise, physical therapy, massage, and medication can all help assist in your recovery.
To learn more about neck injuries, and what type of treatment options are available, call Orthopaedic Associates of Central Maryland at (410) 644- 1880 to request an appointment, or request one online.