The Lowdown on Low Back Pain
(and Other Aches)

 

What should you do if you think someone’s neck is injured in an accident?

Neck injuries associated with automobile, work injuries or sports accidents should be taken seriously. If a vertebra in the neck is broken, there can be an injury to the spinal cord. This can happen even hours or days after the injury. If the spinal cord is injured (or even bruised), the patient can be paralyzed. If a vertebra in the neck is broken or cracked, a surgery to fuse the spine may be needed to prevent further injury. A more common neck injury is whiplash. Symptoms include neck stiffness, shoulder or arm pain, headache, facial pain, and dizziness. If symptoms persist, or if there is severe weakness in the arms, hands, or legs, even a whiplash injury may need to be treated with surgery.

If you see someone whose neck is injured in an accident, do not attempt to move him. Keep their head, neck, and back immobilized until paramedics arrive. If someone, who has a possible spinal injury, is not breathing, you can do CPR. It is not always possible to protect the neck and do CPR. Breathing still needs to be treated first.

P.S. The neck is also susceptible to osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease, which can be caused by general wear and tear on the spine. People with degenerative disease are more susceptible to injury in an accident.

 

 






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Last modified: 07/27/08