A neck injury is any injury or trauma involving the neck. The neck consists of vertebrae, spinal cord, nerves, spinal discs, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, in addition to the windpipe, esophagus, and blood vessels. Trauma can affect any of the neck tissues. Neck injuries can be serious and may lead to serious or life-threatening complications, such as loss of movement (paralysis). Neck injuries should have medical attention.
If you’ve received a neck injury in Sacramento or the surrounding areas, it’s important that you have it looked at by a professional at Dignity Health so it can heal properly. Dignity Health is equipped to provide the medical expertise you need at a location near you. In addition to having state-of-the-art emergency rooms at all six hospitals, Mercy General Hospital is a Spine Center of Excellence, and Mercy San Juan Medical Center is a Level 2 Trauma Center.
Call 911 for immediate emergency care.
Symptoms of a Neck Injury
Symptoms of a neck injury vary with the specific type of injury. Some symptoms can be seen immediately. Others may not appear until later. Signs and symptoms can include:
- Pain, which may worsen with movement
- Tingling and numbness that can spread to the shoulders and arms
- Sleep problems
- Sore throat
- Fatigue, weakness, or difficulty concentrating
- Inability to move the neck through its full range of motion
- Bleeding or bruising
Seek emergency care (call 911) for the following symptoms:
- Severe headache or bleeding
- Unconsciousness, even if very brief, or unresponsiveness
- Breathing problems
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Swelling or deformity
Treating Neck Injuries at Dignity Health
Our suggested treatment options depend on the type and severity of neck injury. Minor injuries, such as superficial wounds, usually heal with home management. For severe neck injuries, dial 911 and follow these first aid instructions:
- Monitor breathing and pulse. Begin CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), if necessary, and continue until medical help arrives.
- Do not move the person unless absolutely necessary. Do not pick up a child. Help them remain still and hold their head in the position that you found it until medical help arrives. Do not try to straighten the neck.
- Apply direct pressure to a bleeding wound, but do not change the position of the neck. Do not attempt to remove any object stuck in the wound or head.
- Do not remove a helmet.
You can help prevent neck injuries by:
- Using your seat belt
- Not diving into shallow or unknown water
- Not leading with your head in sports
Rely on the emergency doctors at Dignity Health to deliver personalized treatment and the latest techniques and technologies for your care.
Dignity Health provides comprehensive care for neck injuries in the Sacramento, CA region.