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Neck and Back Injuries

Neck and Back Injuries Facts

  • Trauma to the neck and back can lead to spinal cord injury and permanent disability.
  • If trauma occurs, the neck and back should be splinted and movement should be avoided.
  • Accurately determining the cause and extent of the injury is important.
  • The vertebral column has many ligaments and muscles that protect the spinal cord and assist in movement.
  • Injury to any of these structures may cause significant and debilitating pain, even if a neck or back injury does not involve the nerves.

Neck and Back Injuries Symptoms

  • Someone with a neck or back injury may have localized pain, tenderness, and stiffness. Muscles on either side of the spinal column may spasm immediately after an injury or up to 24 hours later.
  • Numbness, tingling, or paralysis of an extremity indicates that a more serious injury may have occurred.
  • Any penetrating injury to the neck requires immediate treatment. Leave the object in place until medical personnel can remove it.
Last Reviewed 12/24/2015
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