Like the back, the neck can sustain a variety of injuries, from muscle strains to disc problems and ligament tears. Due to it’s function and position on the body, a neck injury can damage the spinal cord and cervical nerves, which can lead to devastating and life-altering consequences.
The extent of a work-related neck injury is largely dependent upon the cause. For example, a neck injury from a fall or vehicle accident can cause sudden and significant trauma to the neck region, potentially leading to paralysis. Unfortunately, as the severity of the neck injury increases, so does the potential for long-term treatment and care.
Neck pain may feel like stiffness or severe pain, sometimes referred to as a kink. Pain may spread to the shoulders, upper back, or arms, or it may cause a headache.
When a person receives a neck injury, neck movement may be limited, usually more to one side than the other. Neck pain refers to pain anywhere from the area at the base of the skull into the shoulders. The neck includes:
- The bones and joints of the cervical spine (vertebrae of the neck).
- The discs that separate the cervical vertebrae and absorb shock as you move.
- The muscles and ligaments in the neck that hold the cervical spine together.
Minor neck injuries may result from tripping, falling a short distance, or excessive twisting of the spine. Severe neck injuries may result from whiplash in a vehicle accident, falls from significant heights, and direct blows to the back or the top of the head from falling objects.
Conversely, neck injuries that develop slowly over time have a better chance for treatment and eventual recovery. Work factors that lead to neck injuries of this nature include tasks that repeatedly use the upper body and arms. Also, jobs that require the head to remain in a forward or odd position for long periods, or otherwise create continual tension in the neck, can lead to persistent and painful injuries. These type of injuries are called Cumulative Trauma Disorders, which the State of California recognizes as a work injury.
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For additional information on workers’ compensation benefits and neck injuries please feel free to contact us at (844) 612-5800. Even if you just have a question, we’re more than happy to speak with you.