7 Common Neck Injuries You Need to Avoid

by AZ Pain Doctors, on Feb 25, 2021 12:36:00 PM

Are you suffering from a neck injury? Or perhaps you know someone who’s going through one? 

Studies say that neck pain registers an annual prevalence rate of 30% among American adults. 

As more people choose to work from home, the prevalence of neck and back pains also increases. The current pandemic is not helping.

Also, neck pain is a manifestation of different types of neck injuries. And to address the pain, you need to address the root of the injury. But what exactly are the most common neck injuries that hound men and women? 

How can you avoid these neck injuries, to begin with?

Continue reading below as we discuss seven common forms of neck injuries and how to keep them at bay.

1. Pinched Nerves

Did you one day wake up asking yourself “why does my neck hurt?” There can be many possible reasons behind the pain you’re feeling. But one of the most common neck injuries that cause those kinds of pain is a pinched nerve.

Pinched nerves happen when your tissues, tendons, and bone spurs pushing against the nerves that surround them. Sometimes, it is a case of herniated discs that will put pressure on the nerves.

People who have arthritis can also experience pinched nerves.

When this happens, you will feel pain in your neck. Some also report numbness. Others feel a tingling sensation on their arms and hands. 

How to avoid it: different ways can help you avoid having pinched nerves. The first is to maintain good positioning. Avoid lying in one position for a long time.

The same thing goes for crossing your legs for a long period.

Secondly, you need to maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, consider shedding some pounds. Also, include some flexibility exercises and strength training in your regular exercise.

2. Neck Sprain/Strain

A neck sprain or neck strain occurs when you tear a certain set of ligaments. These are your ligaments that connect the vertebra in your neck. 

On the other hand, a neck strain involves pulled or torn tendons or muscles of the neck. Neck strains and neck sprains roughly share the same set of symptoms. These include pain and stiffness whenever you try to move your neck; limited neck flexibility, and muscle spasms on your upper shoulders.

However, some people who have severe neck sprains may also feel dizziness. They may also experience fatigue, as well as ringing in the ears.

How to avoid it: when sleeping, consider sleeping on your back. This will help distribute the pressure on your neck. Also, replace your old pillow with one that provides ample comfort and support.

When in front of your computer, keep the monitor at eye level. Also, maintain proper posture. And try not to lift something too heavy. 

3. Cervical Fracture

A cervical fracture is another term for a broken neck. This happens when one or more of your cervical vertebrae bones break. As for the fracture, there are many possible causes.

Some of the most common include intense trauma after coming from a serious fall. This usually happens in sporting activities like football, hockey, or diving. 

In the worst-case scenario, the fracture can also affect the spinal cord. When this happens, paralysis or death may occur.

How to avoid it: the key is to prevent accidental falls. Start by clearing all the clutter in your home. Check the condition of your rugs and replace the ones that are too slippery.

Also, you need to exercise regularly. Focus on exercises that improve your balance. Moreover, incorporate exercises that aim to strengthen your neck.

Take Vitamin D supplements. Make sure to take the ones that come with calcium. Avoid using your head to block someone especially in contact sports.

4. Herniated Disc

Between each vertebra in the spinal column are discs. They work as shock absorbers for your spinal bones. Inside these discs is the soft and rubbery substance, nucleus pulposus.

When this escapes and pinches a nerve root, a herniated disc occurs. In turn, you will feel a burning or electric sensation from the neck going down to the arms.

How to avoid it: apart from maintaining the right weight, lift heavy stuff the right way. You want to bend your knees instead of your waist.

Perform stretches especially after sitting for a long time. For women, avoid wearing high-heeled shoes. Quit smoking and practice good posture.

5. Osteoarthritis

This occurs when the protective cartilage lining the facet joints in your neck starts to break. This, unfortunately, is part of aging. However, you may experience it earlier if you fail to check your weight.

Common symptoms of osteoarthritis include localized neck pain, stiff neck, and pain that spreads to the back of the head and shoulders.

How to avoid it: You cannot prevent it altogether. However, you can delay and minimize its development by exercising regularly. You should also maintain proper posture and manage your weight.

6. Degenerative Disc Disease

Like osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease happens when people age. This occurs when the spine gets its fair share of wear and tear. This is similar to a herniated disc, though this is more naturally occurring because of aging.

How to avoid it: Like osteoarthritis, you cannot prevent this from happening. But you can slow down its development through a healthy diet.

You should also avoid lifting heavy items. Exercise regularly by taking on swimming, biking, and walking.

7. Whiplash 

Last but not least is a whiplash, which usually happens during car accidents. This is also one of those sudden or acute injuries that sometimes prove to be fatal.

Whiplash occurs when impact forcefully moves the neck rapidly, back and forth. Rear-end car accidents tend to cause this to the persons in the vehicle in front.

How to avoid it: since whiplashes are the results of vehicular accidents, you can only cut the risk. Thus, always sit upright and fasten your seatbelt.

When driving, don’t drive too close to the car in front. Moreover, adjust your head restraint. Position the top of the head restraint at the same level as the top of your ears.

Let’s Treat Those Common Neck Injuries and More 

Suffering from common neck injuries can be more challenging especially if you don’t know the nature of your injury. And if the pain already affects your quality of life, then you need to consult a management expert right away. 

Connect with us today and tell us more about your neck pain. Schedule an appointment and let us put an end to the pain, now!

Topics:common neck injuries