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Each year, emergency room doctors treat around 869,000 neck injuries related to traffic accidents alone. The spine and spinal cord serve crucial purposes in life, but this delicate area is prone to injury.
If you hurt your neck, take it seriously. Read on to learn what you should do following a neck injury and what symptoms you should watch for.
Post Neck Injury
If you fall, get into a car crash, or hurt your neck any other way, take proper precautions to not further the injury. After a serious accident, do not try to move at all, as it can cause further damage to your spine and spinal cord.
Let somebody call 911. Allow the ambulance team to brace your neck and safely transport you to the hospital.
If the injury seems minor, still take it easy. Take an anti-inflammatory, lime Ibuprofen, to reduce inflammation.
Icing your injury will also help prevent major swelling. Though your body produces that fluid to protect you, too much swelling can damage healthy tissues.
Rest and set up an appointment with your doctor. It may take hours to days for you to feel the effects of your injury.
Major Neck Injury Symptoms
Letting a major neck and back injury go can lead to serious complications and even death. If you suspect a serious injury, go to the emergency room.
What signals serious neck injuries?
If your neck appears deformed, seek immediate help. You need your spine to hold up your head and your cord to keep your body feeling and functioning.
After an injury, look for a healthy neck curve. If you notice bumps outward or to the side, you could have broken vertebrae or worse.
Pain can be very subjective. But if you cannot seem to bear it, get your injury checked out.
Severe pain does not allow you to sleep or get comfortable. It increases heart rate and respiration.
You may not be able to control crying, grunting, or moaning. This is your body’s way of signaling danger, and you should listen.
Following an injury, your pain should start to subside after a while. If you continue to feel nagging pain, it means you are not healing properly.
This could tell you that you hurt yourself worse than originally thought. Don’t even ignore dull pain that does not go away.
Your spinal cord connects to the rest of your body through a nerve plexus. If you notice shooting pains in your extremities, it could indicate nervous system damage.
Also, watch out for numbness and/or tingling in your arms and legs. Without immediate medical attention, this could lead to paralysis or even death.
Keep Your Head Up
A healthy neck allows you to keep your head held up high. Due to the nerves in your spinal cord, a neck injury can indirectly affect all other body functions. Do not let a neck injury go.
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