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Neck Strain (cont.)

Is Follow-up Necessary After Treatment of Neck Strain?

It is important to follow up with a doctor for recommendations for proper rehabilitation of a neck strain. This is particularly important for older people in whom the healing process is often prolonged where underlying medical conditions require monitoring. Physical therapy as a core part of rehabilitation can be very beneficial.

Typically, for an uncomplicated neck strain, follow-up should be within two weeks, or at the patient's discretion, unless symptoms warrant otherwise.

  • For motor-vehicle crash victims, earlier follow-up is recommended, within one week of the accident.
  • Immediate follow-up should be sought for any unbearable symptoms or any unexpected progression or worsening of one's condition. Go to a hospital's emergency department if necessary.
  • Follow-up should also occur for medical clearance to return to work and for all people requiring prescription medication for pain relief.

People with neck strain and new or worsening symptoms or symptoms that won't go away should contact their doctor. If one does not have a regular doctor and is unable to find one, seek help at the hospital's emergency department for any unexpected or severe symptoms. The primary goal for people and their doctors is always early and complete recovery.

Is It Possible to Prevent Neck Strain?

The key to reducing the incidence of neck strain involves trying to reduce the likelihood of injury to the neck, including from motor-vehicle accidents. The American College of Physicians recommends that all automobile occupants wear seat belts, including the use of child safety seats of appropriate size and construction, for all children weighing less than 40 pounds. In addition, head restraints must be properly adjusted for height so that early contact with the back of the head should occur during a collision, particularly from the rear. Automobile manufacturers have modified vehicles to include devices that add tension to the seat belt during a collision and have devised a multitude of airbag devices to cushion vehicle occupants during crashes. Drive defensively and never while under the influence of mind-altering drugs.

Appropriate safety equipment should also be used by those engaged in dangerous or physical occupations. In addition, home builders are attempting to build safer homes, with fewer opportunities for accidental injury.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/3/2016

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