Neck Injury Symptoms
Important Facts About Neck Injury Symptoms
Neck injury symptoms are certainly nothing to shrug about. There are thousands of Americans who suffer from persistent or acute neck pain every single year that is due to overuse, aging, strain or injury. This is not an ailment that should be simply overlooked because there could be an issue with your cervical spine which requires proper treatment if you want to prevent permanent damage.
The cervical spine houses the spinal cord, which is your body's most delicate tissue. Even the most minor damage done to the spinal cord is close to impossible to repair. Untreated compression of the spinal cord can result in irreversible damage.
Types Of Neck Injuries
Neck injury symptoms can be broken down into two different categories depending on severity. After an injury, the ability that you have to still control your limbs depends on how complete the injury is and the injury's neurological level.
The neurological level is your spinal cord's lowest functioning segment. The actual completeness of your injury is classified as complete and incomplete.
- Incomplete – You still save some sensory or motor function below the area that is affected.
- Complete – You have no feeling or ability to control any movements below the injured area.
Additionally, if you suffer from paralysis due to a spinal cord injury, the condition is divided further into two categories being paraplegia and quadriplegia.
- Paraplegia – If you suffer from paraplegia, part or all of your trunk, pelvic organs and legs are affected.
- Quadriplegia – This condition affects your trunk, legs, arms and pelvic organs.
General Signs And Symptoms
- Loss of sensation including being able to feel hot or cold
- Loss of movement
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Exaggerated spasms or reflexes
- Loss of fertility and sexual sensitivity
- Intense pain or stinging sensation
- Severe coughing
- Difficulty breathing
Emergency Signs And Symptoms
- Weakness or loss of coordination in any specific area of your body
- Extreme pain or pressure in your head, neck or back
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Tingling or numbness in your fingers or toes
- Difficulty walking
- Loss of balance
- Twisted neck or back
- Difficulty breathing
Types Of Neck Pain
Neck injury symptoms are resulted from two different kinds of neck pain. The first type usually involves dull pain that travels down the arms and shoulders. This is traditionally caused by a herniated disc that is a nerve root that is within the neck. Discs lie between every vertebrae, acting as shock absorbers, allowing your spine to move due to their gel-like centers.
Since they are soft, they can bulge and put pressure on your spinal cord. If this bulge worsens, it can invade the spinal canal which results in tingling, numbness and weakness in the hands and arms. This is often caused by whiplash, spinal stress or arthritis.
Neck injury symptoms cause another type of pain which isn't really pain at all but rather weakness or numbness in any of the limbs, loss of temperature sensation, difficulty walking, neck stiffness and poor balance. These types of neck injury symptoms are caused by pressure to the spinal cord and since they do not cause actual pain, they are often misdiagnosed or left untreated until they worsen.
When To See Your Doctor
Since spinal cord injuries are not always obvious, it is important to note that timing is crucial, paralysis or numbness does not always occur immediately after an injury has taken place. Sometimes, swelling or bleeding won't cause neck injury symptoms until later.
If you experience trauma to the neck or head, you need a medical evaluation immediately to check for injury. If you suspect someone has a severe neck or back injury, never move them. Call 911 and place towels or whatever you have handy, on either side of their neck to keep them still.