Atlanta's All-Inclusive Orthopaedic Surgery
and Sports Medicine Practice.

Neck.

Injuries & Pain

Project Description

Return to the Education Main Page

Use the drop down menu below to learn more about your injury or diagnosis:
Cervical fractures are more commonly known as broken necks. Your head is supported and attached to your shoulders by seven bones called the cervical vertebrae. Should any of these bones break or fracture, this is what is called a cervical fracture. Normally, such an injury is the result of high-impact trauma like automobile accidents.
Athletes are also at risk for cervical fractures; any activity where the head could be injured, such as football players spearing one another with their heads or a diver hitting the bottom of a shallow pool, may lead to such an injury.

Damage to these vertebrae can have devastating effects on your spinal cord, which runs down the center of the vertebrae and acts as the central nervous system’s connection between the brain and the body. Injury to this may cause paralysis or death. Cervical spinal cord damage can result in temporary or permanent paralysis from the neck down.

When trauma damage is taken by the neck, keep the neck immobilized until x-rays have been performed and a physician has deemed whether or not a cervical fracture has occurred. There may be pain spreading from the neck to the shoulders or arms in acute neck injuries, along with swelling and bruising at the back of the neck.

Most often associated with a whiplash injury, neck sprains can also occur during sports or anytime the ligaments connecting the cervical vertebrae are stretched or torn beyond their limits due to a fall or sudden impact.

Once the injury is evaluated and confirmed as a sprain, RICE therapy is recommended along with a cervical collar due to the length of time needed for a full recovery.

This is a serious injury that may cause paralysis, brought on by major incidents like automobile accidents, bullet/stab wounds, landing directly on the head, or electric shock.

If there is even an inkling that someone may have suffered a spinal/neck injury, do not move them and call for medical help immediately.

A pinched nerve is generally described as pain in the neck that radiates into the shoulders and arms. Tight muscles, disc damage, or the formation of excess bone deposits are all explanations for such an injury. The pain may also radiate up into the head and sometimes cause dizziness or headaches.

Normally, treatment for a pinched nerve consists of rest, anti-inflammatory medications, and a neck brace to help the muscles relax and recover.

Whiplash results from a forceful impact, usually from behind, causing the head and neck to snap forward and back in an abrupt, violent motion, affecting soft tissues of the neck including ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Contact sports and car accidents are common grounds for whiplash injury.

Treatment for whiplash begins with RICE therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, and a soft cervical collar, though early movement is being recommended more and more over immobilization.

Cervical fractures are more commonly known as broken necks. Your head is supported and attached to your shoulders by seven bones called the cervical vertebrae. Should any of these bones break or fracture, this is what is called a cervical fracture.

Normally, such an injury is the result of high-impact trauma like automobile accidents. Athletes are also at risk for cervical fractures; any activity where the head could be injured, such as football players spearing one another with their heads or a diver hitting the bottom of a shallow pool carry a risk.

Treatment varies, taking into account which cervical vertebrae has suffered damage and to what extent. Minor fractures are treated with a neck brace or cervical collar for 6-8 weeks. More severe injuries may require a longer recovery period as well as physical therapy.

Back to Top