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Physical therapy for neck injuries

What are neck injuries?

Neck injuries vary widely in severity, type, and cause. The neck contains muscles, bones, joints, tendons, ligaments, and nerves, any one of which if damaged or injured can cause neck pain. Because the neck contains part of the spine and nervous system, some neck injuries can cause pain and disability in other parts of the body as well.

Neck injuries typically result from either overuse or trauma. Overuse, such as sitting at a computer for too long, can cause a strain, a “crick”, or even a herniated spinal disc. Traumatic events like car crashes, sudden impacts, and falls can cause sprains, whiplash, nerve root injuries, dislocation, or fractures.

Source: Very Well Health

Neck injuries symptoms

Neck injuries can generally be classified into two groups: soft tissue injuries and and nerve or spinal cord injuries. Soft tissue injuries affect the muscles, tendons, or ligaments, and are the most common type of neck injury. These include “cricks”, strains, and sprains, which can reduce flexibility and cause pain.

Nerve and spinal cord injuries tend to be more serious than soft tissue injuries, many of which fall under the umbrella of whiplash-associated disorders, including herniated discs, “stingers”, and “burners”. Symptoms of a herniated disc include weakness, numbness, or an electrical shock sensation. Stingers and burners can cause feelings of stinging or a warm sensation that lasts for several minutes before resolving itself.

Fractures, cervical dislocations, and spinal cord injuries represent the most serious neck injuries. Fractures and dislocations can cause lack of stability in the neck and may require surgery. Spinal cord injuries, which occur when a fracture or dislocation damages the spinal cord, can result in paralysis or death.

The most common symptoms of neck injuries include:

  • Pain
  • Tingling sensations
  • Burning sensations
  • Weakness
  • Numbness

Source: Very Well Health

What causes neck injuries?

Neck injuries can result from overuse, trauma, or illness. Overuse injuries can be caused by a number of things such as poor posture, repetitive neck motions, sleeping on the stomach or with a pillow that’s too stiff, gritting teeth, or carrying a heavy bag day after day.

Traumatic injuries, such as those related to whiplash, are often caused by car accidents or contact sports. Football players are at especially high risk of traumatic neck injuries. A number of existing conditions can cause pain in the neck, including arthritis, infection, or tumors.

The most common causes of neck injuries include:

  • Sports injuries
  • Car accidents
  • Poor posture
  • Poor sleeping position
  • Pre-existing conditions

Source: WebMD

Physical therapy for neck injuries

Minor neck injuries can resolve on their own with rest. However, at times, patients may need to see a physical therapist in order to develop techniques for pain relief. A physical therapist will begin by completing an evaluation of the patient’s condition to determine the cause and severity of the injury.

After the initial evaluation, the PT will create a personalized plan to stretch and strengthen the neck. This plan may include postural training, light exercises, cold or heat application, massage, cervical traction, and/or electrical stimulation. Some patients may also be advised to wear a cervical collar.

Source: WebMD

Luna’s physical therapists treat neck injuries across the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Orange County

Luna’s physical therapists have experience in the treatment of patients who’ve suffered neck injuries. Our physical therapists design physical therapy programs tailored to each patient’s specific condition in order to help the patient safely improve strength and flexibility in the neck, restoring stability and reducing pain.

With Luna, patients can receive physical therapy for their neck injuries in the comfort of their homes. Our physical therapists come to you — it’s physical therapy, delivered.

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