What Kind Of Neck Injuries Are Common After A Fall?

Slipping and falling can occur to anyone of any age, especially when there is a slippery floor hazard or ice on the ground. Most falls don't result in serious injury, but some can lead to damage to the neck. Chronic pain is often a lingering effect even after the initial neck injury heals. Seeking treatment from a chiropractor for neck pain arising from a slip and fall incident will help you uncover the underlying cause, which will guide the treatment needed to resolve the issue.

Cervical Dislocation

One of the most serious injuries that can occur to the neck, some cases of this injury will require surgery rather than adjustments or rest. However, many less severe cases can be dealt with by a chiropractor. The cervical vertebrae are the bones of the neck. When they become dislocated, they slip far enough out of alignment to tear the ligaments holding them in place. Getting adjustments and wearing a brace during the recovery period can support the neck as it heals and the ligaments recover. The neck is often unstable until healing is complete, but you'll find the pain fading with the right treatment.

Simple Sprain

The most common and least serious neck injuries that occur from slip and fall accidents are basic sprains. Sprains involve damage to the ligaments of the neck, usually just a temporary overstretching that causes pain and tightness. Sprains can heal on their own, but you'll experience less pain and inflammation from seeking treatment. Your chiropractor will likely recommend the use of heat to relax this kind of pain rather than cold compresses. If the sprain doesn't heal properly in the first place, it's harder to treat later when the pain has become chronic.

Ligament Tear

More serious neck sprains involve the tearing of the ligament tissue. These tears can cause far more severe pain than a simple sprain, and it may take months for healing to finish. Depending on the amount of damage, your chiropractor can decide if a brace is a good idea to maintain stability and minimize unnecessary movement while you are healing. As with a sprain, careful healing of a tear will limit the formation of scar tissue that could movement issues in the neck.

Herniated Disc

As in the spine, the vertebrae of the neck contain discs between them that cushion the bones and prevent damage. If you have a serious fall, you could end up with a herniated or slipped disc that causes chronic pain. Adjustments to the neck can help create space for the disc to return to normal positioning. 

For more info about slip and fall injuries, contact a local chiropractor.