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A neck injury can occur as a result of a motor vehicle accident, a sport's accident or a fall. It can damage the soft tissue of the neck, including the muscles, the bones of the neck and even the spinal cord. If the spinal cord is injured, there is a chance of paralysis of the upper and lower extremities, as well as the trunk. Most injuries just damage soft tissues, which means putting on ice and heat to heal the muscles and ligaments of the neck. Anti-inflammatory medication can be used to break the inflammation in the muscles, tendons and ligaments.

A neck injury can be as simple as having a crick or kink in the neck. This can happen if you sleep wrong or due to working on the computer or watching television for too long in one position. You can use home remedies to ease the pain and tension in the tendons and ligaments and the problem usually goes away after a few days.

You can get a muscle strain in the neck. This is an injury to the muscles that make the neck move. Strains can occur in the neck from a fall or sudden injury. Even a minor motor vehicle accident can cause a muscle strain in the neck. There can be muscle spasm, which often responds to muscle relaxants. You can use nonsteroidal anti inflammatory medications to ease the inflammation of the muscles. A neck sprain is similar to a muscle sprain except that the ligaments are involved. It can be caused by over-twisting of the neck that stretches the ligaments. The neck is painful and can even swell in places. If you ice the affected area and take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, you can resolve a neck strain relatively easily.

Severe neck injuries involve the bones and the spinal cord or the nerves exiting the spinal cord. These are more complex injuries involving more treatment and disability. A neck injury severe enough can result in death. One severe neck injury is called whiplash. It is a flexion-extension injury that often occurs by a sport's injury, fall or most likely, a motor vehicle accident. Whiplash injuries irritate the nerve roots causing pain in the extremities, most likely the upper extremities. The spinal cord can be irritated from this type of injury. You can get neck pain, weakness, numbness or tingling of the extremities, stiffness of the neck, dizzy feelings and problems sleeping. You can get the symptoms at the time of the accident or can get the symptoms a day or two later-after the swelling of the nerves and tissues take place.

In more severe neck injuries, you can get a ruptured disc in the neck. This happens when the nucleus pulposis inside the disc of the neck ruptures out into the space where the spinal nerves or the spinal cord is present. This can put excess pressure on these nerves and is a very painful injury. A sudden injury to the neck can cause this to happen or it can happen due to a repetitive injury to the neck. Treatment usually requires physical therapy and possibly surgery to remove the displaced disc material.

Athletes have a condition called "stingers and burners", which involves a stretching or temporary injury to the nerve root or to the brachial plexus. It is common in athletes and represents a danger to the integrity of the brachial plexus, a collection of nerves exiting the neck and located in the underarm area. It results in a burning pain, a stinging pain and numbness or weakness of the upper extremity after a particularly hard hit to the neck. Sometimes it lasts only about a minute but can last longer. If the symptoms last longer than just a few minutes, you should seek medical advice. Your risk for a stinger or a burner is higher if you have a narrowing of the spinal canal, called stenosis. You may need to retire from the sport if this sort of thing happens often.

A neck fracture involves a break in the bone of the neck. It can be displaced or non-displaced. If the joint is displaced, it can cause damage to the spinal cord. A neck fracture needs immobilization along with surgery to connect the bony fragments and keep the spinal cord stable.

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Medical Negligence Solicitors

Our personal injury solicitors operate a specialist medical negligence compensation service. Our Neck Injury solicitors deal with claims using a no win no fee arrangement which means that if you don�t win then you don�t pay them their professional costs. If you would like legal advice at no cost with no further obligation just complete the contact form or email our lawyers offices or use the helpline and a Neck Injury solicitor will review your medical negligence compensation claim and phone you immediately.

HELPLINE: ☎ 1800 633 634

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here