Neck injuries are common in contact sports. More then what most people think. This blog is targeted at, but not limited to contact sports as we all know life happens and anything can be hurt at any time. Before reading this always remember that neck injuries are not always obvious. ALWAYS Err on the side of caution.
“The consequences of not getting it checked out, far out way the inconvenience of waiting in an emergency room.”
If you’ve never seen a serious spinal injury, they can be quite scary. It’s important to always remember a few simple things.
- Do not touch someone who has had a spinal injury if you are not qualified to do so.
- Wait for an on site medical professional or first aid officer.
- If you are performing first aid basic DRABCD applies. If you can ensure the person is breathing, again avoid moving them if at all possible and make sure if conscious the player does not move themselves.
- Call 000
- Give the medical professionals room to work and speak.
Outside of these obvious highly traumatic injuries, it can be extremely difficult to determine if a neck has been seriously damaged. Not managing this can allow the injury to worsen. Hallmark signs of a serious injury to the neck include:
- Pins and needles or numbness in the extremities.
- Loss of consciousness
- Bony tenderness
- Increased symptoms with movement
If any of these occur go straight to hospital and if ever possible DO NOT drive yourself.
Sometimes a neck can be fractured with movement being achievable and the only symptom is pain. We call this a stable fracture.
If you have had an injury to your neck or if a team mate, friend or family member injures their head or neck, encourage them to seek medical attention. If ever unsure the physiotherapists at Village Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation can help determine the most appropriate course of action and later help you recover.