Neck Pain Injury Clinic St. Louis
The neck is extremely vulnerable to injury because it is so flexible and supports the head. Motor vehicle accidents, diving accidents, contact sports, and falls may result in Neck injuries may result from motor vehicle or driving accidents, contact sports, or falls. Use of safety belts may also add to the neck injury since the upper and lower body are fixed in place. As a result, more force occurs in the neck in the event of an accident. A “rear end” automobile collision may result in either hyperextension, a backward motion of the neck beyond its normal limitations, or hyperflexion, a forward motion of the neck beyond its normal limitations. Both hyperextension and hyperflexion of the neck are commonly called whiplash. Most common injuries are to the soft tissues, i.e., muscles. ligaments and discs.
When should you seek medical care?
If you are in a motor vehicle accident, diving accident, or suffer a fall that results in severe neck pain, medical care should be sought immediately, especially if the injury causes pain in the neck that radiates down the arms and legs. Pain and numbness that radiates through your arms or legs causing weakness in them without significant neck pain should also be evaluated.
If, following your injury, you develop pain, numbness, or tingling, you may have had some prior injury that was undiagnosed or ignored. Common symptoms resulting from an injury that indicate you need to seek immediate medical care include:
- Continuous and persistent neck pain
- Pain that radiates down the arms or legs
- Pain is accompanied by headaches, numbness, tingling, or weakness
How We Treat Neck Pain
The diagnosis following evaluation of a neck injury determines how neck pain is treated. Most patients, however, have successful treatment with one or more of the following:
Rest and activity modifications – Limiting neck movement can help reduce continuous use and minimize the chance injury occurs again
- Medication – Some pain medications and anti-inflammatory medications can reduce swelling and pain
- Immobilization – Keeping the neck immobile may be a recommendation upon treatment of the neck injury
- Chiropractic – Seeing a chiropractor and receiving care under them may treat neck pain
- Physical therapy – Like with chiropractic care, physical therapy treats the injury and helps the patient
- Exercise – Once a medical professional determines the injured area is healed, regular exercises may be recommended to increase flexibility and reduce the chance of another injury to the neck
The treatment recommended is customized to your needs. For example, if the injury stretched muscles and ligaments beyond their limits, resulting in pain, you may be prescribed rest and a neck collar for a specified period of time, as well as medication to reduce inflammation. In addition, if you are prescribed rest, it is vital that you follow instructions carefully as well as follow the directions for prescriptions.
If chronic, persistent neck pain occurs, a rehabilitation program with exercise and physical therapy may be the focus of your treatment plan. Chiropractic manipulation may help you relieve your pain, restore function, and prevent the pain from coming back.
Very few patients require surgery to relieve neck pain. For the vast majority of our patients, nonsurgical treatment options result in successful healing and functionality. Although very rare, surgery may be necessary in order to reduce pressure on the spinal cord or a nerve root a herniated disk or bony narrowing of the spinal canal results in pressure and pain. Following an injury, a patient may require surgery to stabilize the neck and minimize the possibility of paralysis, such as when an injury results in a neck fracture that makes the neck’s stability vulnerable.
Our physicians have extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of the musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves.
Contact our St. Louis Chronic Pain Relief Doctors
If you are injured, it is always best to have an examination as soon as possible to detect any indication of significant or hidden injury. It is not uncommon for the effects of an injury to show up days, weeks, months or even years after an injury. Contact MD Pain Solutions today to learn how we can help!