People have their random moments of neck discomfort. If you often have this dilemma, however, you should know what could be triggering this condition. Your body movements will generally not be the only/sole trigger of neck injury.
However, overuse, sprain, or daily wear and tear could be factors for neck injuries. Neck injuries are risks commonly associated with complicated sports and other recreational physical activities, work tasks, or simple home projects.
When you neck is in pain, you will most likely feel it anywhere from your shoulders to the area covering your skull’s base. This is because the neck is comprised of the following:
- Ligaments and muscles
- Discs that isolate the cervical vertebrae
- Joints and bones of the cervical spine
Common Manifestations Of Neck Injury
You cannot disregard the discomfort of neck pain as it can manifest into severe sharp sensations or stiffness. The discomfort can get even worse when you notice the pain reaching other parts of your body such as the shoulders, arms, and upper back. It may also lead to headaches.
Moreover, when you experience neck pain, the movement of your neck may also be limited. This could be the reason why you sometimes notice a person moving their neck more on one side and seldom moves to the other side.
Neck injury symptoms will normally depend on how severe the injury is. But to give you an idea, these are the common symptoms of neck injury:
- Muscle spasms in the shoulder and neck
- Weakness in the arms, fingers, hands, or legs
- Neck pain
- Having a hard time moving the neck
1. Car Accidents
Neck injuries are commonly caused by car accidents. Unfortunately, accident-related neck injuries are often untreated or taken for granted, which may lead to indelible pain, suffering, and even disability.
Although the neck is seen to be a very sensitive part of the body, it simply appears ironic that it’s not properly protected during car accidents. Yes, there’s a seatbelt that could support the body. However, the neck and the head are unshackled once a strong impact occurs. During a car accident, the neck will likely snag back and forth. Immediate and swift movement may lead to a serious injury affecting the muscles, ligaments, nerves, tendons, and joints of the cervical spine.
Moreover, your neck muscles could feel the tension the moment you sense that you’re about to crash your car. With the tension felt by the neck muscles in anticipation, your inability to relax can intensify muscle strain upon impact.
Therefore, you shouldn’t take for granted any pain that you may feel after being involved in a car accident. It also doesn’t matter whether the pain is minor. A light neck injury can lead to chronic pain and ongoing complications, and this may require expensive treatment. A neck injury may cost thousands of dollars, according to Oklahoma Law, therefore it’s best to do what you can to prevent such injuries.
2. Regular Sports
It’s good to be involved in sports as it can help you obtain a physically fit body and mental state. However, it’s important to note that regular sports can sometimes lead to the wear and tear of the ligaments and muscles in the neck. There are even some sports that could expose you to a more serious neck injury. Various injuries can cause the neck to suffer, ranging from mild pain to a dangerous fracture. That’s why most athletes do chiropractic therapy to help ease neck injuries or pain.
Some common neck injuries that are associated with sports are the following:
- Neck Sprain: A neck sprain happens when any of the ligaments in the neck are torn or stretched. Sprains in the neck could develop from a hard fall or immediate movement. This makes the neck curve in an intense and stiff position. You’ll know if you’re experiencing a neck sprain if you notice pain in the back portion of the neck, and experience a noticeable heightened pain after one or two days after an injury.
- Whiplash: Whiplash refers to the immediate forward and backward movement of the neck and head. A lot of people believe that whiplash can only happen during car accidents. But the truth is, it can occur when doing sports as well. The pain in the neck is the initial manifestation which can worsen after a few days.
- Cervical Fracture: A cervical fracture is mostly known as a broken neck. It happens when any of the cervical vertebrae bones get broken. Cervical fractures normally develop because of high-energy trauma, such as diving, playing hockey or football, or falling when doing gymnastics.
Once the vertebrae are affected by an injury, you should expect serious consequences to occur. Injuring the vertebrae could mean damaging the spinal cord and this can potentially lead to permanent or temporary paralysis.
Maintaining a good posture may be achieved once ears are settled right above the shoulders and the shoulders are positioned back, with the chest open. By keeping this neutral position, you can potentially lessen the development of stress in the neck.
On the other hand, forward head posture happens once the neck tilts forward, positioning the head further in the front portion of the shoulder instead of being directly above. This awkward position can cause you several concerns including:
- Hunched Upper Back: Forward head posture is commonly accompanied by a rounded upper back and forward shoulders. This can lead to severe pain developed in the shoulders, neck, and upper back.
- Muscle Overload: There’s a tendency for some upper back and neck muscles to continuously over-perform to equate the pull of gravity on the forward head. Because of this, the muscles are exposed to spasms and painful strains.
- Hyperextension and Hyperflexion: Your lower cervical spine goes into the hyperflexion while having the vertebrate slanting extremely far forward. On the other hand, the upper cervical spine performs the opposite way which is heading into the hyperextension. The variation on the curve of the cervical spine stretches the distance of the spinal canal from the lowest part of the skull to the lowest part of the neck. This makes the spinal cord and the nerve roots stretch
Neck injuries, whether minor or severe, have to be treated accordingly. After knowing the common reasons for neck injuries, you may now understand that even your simple gestures which you think are harmless can actually harm you.
Be cautious when you choose your kind of physical activity. It’s undeniable that doing sports and carrying out some house tasks is something you can’t always avoid. However, you must remember to always value your safety. If you notice discomfort or pain in the neck area, it would be beneficial to consult a physician immediately so you can receive proper treatment.