We often take our necks for granted, forgetting the crucial role they play in supporting our heads, aiding in motion and keeping our bodies functional and alert. Of course, once the natural movement of our necks becomes compromised, we quickly realize just how important this part of our body is. Hyper-extended or pained necks can be very uncomfortable, causing a strain in our neck muscles and making it difficult to move our heads without pain.
So, how does neck hyper-extension occur, and what can we do to treat it? NJ Spine and Wellness has some answers!
Neck Hyper-Extension: Causes and Symptoms
Neck hyper-extension, also sometimes known as whiplash, is an injury caused by a sudden, forceful motion of the neck. When your neck hyper-extends, the movement damages the soft tissues in the neck and neck joints. This can happen in any number of situations, from car accidents and diving injuries to physical assaults, forceful falls and even chronic neck strain caused by poor posture or exercise technique.
The first symptom you’re likely to notice is a pain in your neck, which may come in the form of throbbing discomfort at the base of your skull or sharp pain when you try to move your neck. This pain is often accompanied by symptoms such as stiffness, muscle spasms, headaches, tingling and tenderness in the neck.
Common Ways to Treat Hyper-Extension
If you’re noticing some of these hyper-extension signs, don’t panic! There are many ways to soothe and treat neck hyper-extension, and in most cases, the issue doesn’t lead to any long-term injury. Only about 10% of those diagnosed with whiplash or neck hyper-extension go on to experience chronic pain.
Typically, the first line of defense is a neck brace to keep your head in place and limit any movement that could do further damage to your ligaments. You’ll also likely be administered pain medication to relieve your discomfort and calm any swelling.
The severity of your hyper-extension will be measured by your doctor through a series of exams, likely including an X-ray, MRI or CT scan. They’ll then map a course of action, which may include muscle relaxants, prescription medications, numbing injections or a soft cervical collar. If your range of motion is limited because of your hyper-extension, you might also be treated through a physical therapy regime to help you stretch and exercise.
While most of your hyper-extension treatment will happen at home and not require a hospital, if you experience any whiplash symptoms, you’ll want to see a doctor as soon as possible. They can determine the severity of your injury and suggest the best treatment options to help you heal.
How NJ Spine and Wellness Can Help Your Hyper-Extension
If you’re experiencing any symptoms or pain associated with hyper-extension, NJ Spine and Wellness can offer effective treatment to help you heal. We offer a range of services, including physical therapy, occupational therapy, acupuncture, pain management and medical specialists. Through an elite assembled team, we can figure out the root of your hyper-extension issues and assist you on the path to recovery to help you get better faster!
Contact NJ Spine and Wellness today to schedule an appointment.