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Neck Injuries You Should Know About

Neck injuries, also known as cervical spine injuries, comes in several different types and can range from mild to severe. It could be as simple as a “crick” in the neck or as severe as a spinal cord injury. The majority of the time, damage from a neck injury is limited to soft tissue and nearly all of them affect the muscles. Here are just a few of the neck injuries you should know about.

“Crick” in the Neck

Often referred to as a “crick” or “kink”, this pain usually occurs when you wake up after sleeping with their neck in an awkward position. However, it can also happen after working at the computer for long hours or sudden movements of the neck. Though this does not count at a medical diagnosis, the real culprit of this neck injury is often a muscle spasm, trigger points, arthritis or a disc problem.

Neck Sprain

Sprains are injuries to the ligaments, the strong bands of connective tissue that holds bone together. This type of neck injury is often caused by falls or sudden twists that overload or overstretch the joint. Another cause can be repeated stress to the joint that eventually causes a strain. Symptoms of a neck sprain can include swelling, reduced flexibility, and pain. Sprains can be anywhere from mild to severe.


Whiplash and whiplash associated disorders are a set of symptoms that follow an injury to the head in which it was thrown head into hyperextension and then quickly forward. The most common cause of whiplash are car accidents, but it can be caused by falls, sports injuries, and assault. Much like the “crick” in the neck, this is not a medical diagnosis and may result in neck strain or sprain as well.

Herniated Disc

A herniated disc occurs when the soft substance on the inside of the disc is pushed out. Should this soft substance land on a nerve root, which is typically does, you will likely feel symptoms of weakness, numbness or pins and needles down your arm. Tears in the tough outer disc may also lead to herniation.

Neck Fracture

A fracture in the neck is a break in the cervical bone. This can be caused by trauma, a fall, or degenerative changes within the spine. The angle of force can often impact and determine the type and severity of the break. Treatment of this condition depends on various factors such as age, medical condition, and extent of damage. However, if the fracture has destabilized your neck, you may need to wear a halo brace.

Cervical Dislocation

Dislocation can occur when the neck bone moves out of its normal position creating a spinal instability. This can be caused by an injury or degenerative changes that disrupt the ligaments holding the vertebra in place resulting in a separation from the bone below. In the most severe types of dislocation, the bone may even be fully displaced forward and be locked in this position.

Spinal Cord Injury

A spinal cord injury can occur when a fracture, dislocation or other type of neck injury damages the spinal cord. This can often lead to severe symptoms and even permanent or fatal damage. For example, if the spinal cord is damaged at the 3rd cervical vertebra or above, the person will most likely die or require a respirator for the rest of their life in order to breath.

If you suspect that someone has suffered a severe neck injury of any kind, you should immobilize their spine and call 9-1-1 immediately. Any movement may cause them to worsen their injuries and lead to permanent damage. Minor and moderate sprains or injuries can often be treated with rest, an ice pack, and some over the counter pain medications. However, it can often be better to be safe than sorry when it comes to neck injuries so you may still want to seek medical attention.

Michael J. Babboni's wide-ranging legal career is based on the strong belief that everyone should be treated fairly and have access to effective legal help. Michael began putting his beliefs in action by helping the people of St. Petersburg Florida get what they are owed in civil trials fighting to protect families by making corporations pay, and honor their obligations.

Neck Injuries You Should Know About

Goldman Babboni Fernandez
Murphy & Walsh

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