Neck injuries include those injuries affecting the bones and joints at the top of the spine, the discs near the top of the spine, and the ligaments and muscles in the neck. They can be sustained in a variety of ways, from auto accidents to sports- or work-related activities. Sustaining a neck injury may lead to neck pain, though common neck injury symptoms can also include pain in the shoulders, arms, and upper back. Headaches or stiffness in the neck are also neck injury symptoms.
While pain in the neck is to be expected with a neck injury, there are some neck injury symptoms that aren't as anticipated. Dizziness, nausea, or pain in the arms can be indicators of a ruptured disc. A sprained neck may cause severe pain in one or both of the arms. Pinched nerves may also cause severe pain. Regardless of the kind of pain experienced, if someone sustains a neck injury or feels neck pain, he or she should consult a doctor immediately.
Some neck pain may not be the result of a specific neck injury; instead, the pain may be the result of a chronic condition or illness. Arthritis is a chronic condition that mainly affects people as they get older and joints become inflamed, which leads to stiffness and limited mobility. Meningitis and the flu are two illnesses that can cause temporary pain in the neck. Severe neck pain may be an indicator of heart trouble or torticollis, a condition in which the neck muscle is either shorter or tighter than it should be.
Most neck problems and injuries can be treated with first aid, therapy, medicine, or surgery. Most doctors and chiropractors will choose the most appropriate treatment for neck pain based on the severity and type of pain the patient is experiencing. They will also consider pre-existing health issues and physical activities to offer the best treatment.
The activities performed in everyday life should not cause neck injuries, but some repeated actions may contribute to a minor neck injury. For instance, if one repeatedly sleeps with his head turned in one direction, then he may experience neck pain or stiffness if he changes things up and sleeps in the opposite direction. Similarly, a person who has bad posture may experience constant neck pain over time.
Stress can also cause neck pain, because tension makes the muscles stiffer. Working out the arms or the upper body may temporarily cause neck pain, and regularly exercising improperly can cause a serious neck injury. If you are working out regularly and experiencing neck injury symptoms, consult a personal trainer for help with correcting your exercise methods.