In the past, I have sustained a few neck injuries, one of which was from a car wreck while another, trust me or not, from an intense high-speed basketball to the back of my head.Neither was pleasant, but both healed.

The spine is a flexible, vertical column of segmented bones, to which the skull, ribs and pelvic bones are attached. The adult vertebral column consists of 26 vertebrae lined with cartilaginous joints. The vertebral column is divided into four regions according to the curvature - cervical, thoracic, lumbar and pelvic. The cervical vertebrae in between the neck and head has seven segments. As support, the spine is enclosed in muscle tissues, tendons and ligaments.

Most injuries to the cervical spine are usually brought about by a brutal force that tightens the spine to the shoulder or in a high-impact accident that actually causes the head to jerk uncontrollably.This type of injury where the head is whipped back and forth involves the muscles and ligaments rather than the skeleton and is commonly referred to as whiplash.One in five people injured in car accidents end up with this type of neck pain.Whiplash can also cause injury to the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, cervical muscles and nerve roots.This type of injury is usually caused by a rear-ended car crash, but can also occur in sports, and other types of car crashes.

If you ever experienced whiplash, then you realize how the pain immediately occurs after the accident. You are aware that hardness of the muscles, soreness of the shoulder, and back aches also occur. Other warning signs of whiplash are fainting(symptomatic of a concussion), throbbing of the head, crankiness, hard time ingesting food(involving esophagus and larynx), and numbness. Pains between the shoulder blades, in the shoulders, in one or both arms, exhaustion, ringing in the ears, eyesight troubles, poor attention span, lower hind pains and sleeping disorders are also symptoms of whiplash injury.

The good news is that whiplash is treatable and in most cases resolved in two to four weeks. Clearly, it all depends on the degree of the injury sustained and the victim itself. The wearing of the neck collar, administration of pain medication, heat therapy, various movement exercises and physical therapy are some of the remedial actions taken after sustaining whiplash injuries. The cervical collar perhaps has to stay on the neck for at least two to three weeks, while the soreness may cease in two to four weeks. Surely, to speed up recovery, the patient must be properly taken care of with a healthy diet and enough rest so as not to injure the neck again.

If you have been in a car accident and suspect you have whiplash, consult your health care provider for treatment.More than likely you will have to wear a cervical collar for a few weeks, but with proper care and patience, healing can be complete in just a short time.

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