Dallas Qualified Medical Evaluators for Neck Injuries
Your neck is vital to your everyday movements and, as such, a neck injury can make your life unbearable. From sleeping at night to walking across the room, let alone continuing your career or engaging in joyful activities, neck injuries are painful. Even a mild injury can have long-lasting and extremely painful consequences, while more serious ones can result in lifelong disabilities and the inability to work long-term.
At Work Injury MD, our Dallas Qualified Medical Evaluators (QME) know that a neck injury can be physically excruciating and mentally exhausting, from simple sprains and strains to more complex injuries like bulging discs and repetitive motion injuries. Our medical professionals are dedicated to both relieving your pain and healing your body, through both short-term acute care and long-term management and therapy.
To learn more about our clinic, or to schedule a consultation with a physician, please call us today or fill out our quick contact form.
Common Types Of Neck Injuries
Your neck is the most exposed and fragile part of your spine: Its ability to twist, turn, and rotate the head allows us to engage in a wide variety of necessary activities and movements, but it also creates an area vulnerable to damage and harm. Some of the most common injuries include:
- Whiplash and neck sprains. This is a common injury sustained by those involved in rear-end car accidents, caused by the neck forcefully and rapidly snapping back and forth during a collision. The symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, headaches, numbness or tingling in the arms, fatigue, and tenderness. The best treatments for whiplash are pain management and physical therapy.
- Muscle strains. Neck strains can be caused either by repetitive movements (such as carrying heavy items) or by a single incident (such as a car accident or fall). They often heal with self-care and rest, but some require pain medication and physical therapy. For workers suffering from neck strain, it is important to pinpoint the cause of recurrent strains on the job.
- Pinched nerve. A pinched nerve occurs when a nerve radiating from your neck or spine is compressed by a ligament, tendon, or bone, causing significant pain. Pinched nerves often cause pain to radiate down the shoulder and arm, sometimes all the way to the wrists, hands, and fingers. Untreated pinched nerves can cause permanent scarring that damages the nerve’s function.
- Disc injuries. Bulging or herniated discs take place when the soft discs located between the vertebrae pushes outward and puts pressure on surrounding nerves (causing pinched or compressed nerves). Also called a slipped disc or ruptured disc, herniated discs may not cause any pain, or may cause intolerable pain. Treatment for slipped discs includes pain management, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery.
- Cervical fracture. Known more commonly as a broken neck, a cervical fracture takes place when one of the seven vertebrae in the neck is broken. This is an extremely serious injury that could damage the spinal cord, causing paralysis. The most common causes of a broken neck are traffic accidents, falls, construction site accidents, and other similar types of blunt force trauma. A broken neck requires immediate medical attention and the stabilization of the neck to prevent spinal cord damage. Recovery involves stabilization, pain medication, and extensive physical therapy.
Common Causes Of On-The-Job Neck Injuries
Neck injuries take place in a variety of ways, but some types are more common for workers and federal employees because certain types of accidents take place on the job more often than others. According to our skilled Dallas Qualified Medical Evaluators, the four leading causes include:
- Traffic accidents. Any worker who regularly drive as part of their job, such as postal workers or construction workers, are at risk for injury in motor vehicle accidents. Car accidents can result in the full spectrum of neck injuries, from a mild case of whiplash to a paralyzing or fatal spinal cord injury.
- Falls. Even a minor slip can cause a serious injury that requires both acute and follow-up care. In fact, even catching yourself from falling in some cases can result in a sprain or strain in your neck. On the other extreme, falls from great heights or falls on concrete can result in more serious consequences, such as fractured vertebrae.
- Repetitive movements and actions.
- Lifting. Injuries like sprains, strains, and disc issues can surface from lifting, especially lifting in an incorrect manner or lifting too much weight. These could occur after lifting one object or after lifting a series of objects.
These are just a few of the most common causes of at-work neck injuries. No matter how you injured yourself at work, you deserve careful, caring medical attention – and you deserve to be pain-free.
Symptoms Of A Neck Injury
The number one symptom is the pain, However, it is imperative to understand that you can have a neck injury that doesn’t involve pain, or that you can have many other serious symptoms (besides pain) that affect your life, your work, and your well being.
- Neck pain. Pain can come in many different forms, from dull, aching discomfort to burning to sudden shocks and bolts of pain. Pain may affect the neck, though it may also affect the head, shoulders, arms, and back.
- Loss of feeling or numbness. Problems in the neck, especially with vertebrae, can cause pressure on the nerves, which in turn can cause loss of feeling, numbness, and tingling in the neck, shoulders, and arms.
- Loss of movement. Many injuries can also cause stiffness or pain during movement, which prevents patients from being able to turn their head, lift things, or participate in everyday activities.
- Loss of coordination. Suffering from numbness and loss of feeling can also result in loss of coordination, especially involving the arms, hands, and fingers.
- Weakness. In many with bulging discs, patients won’t feel pain but will report feeling weakness and loss of strength on one or both sides of the body, especially the shoulders and arms. During diagnostic testing, a doctor should check for equal strength on both sides of the body.
- Spasms. Muscle spasms in the neck and nearby areas can be both painful and debilitating. These abrupt and usually short-lived spasms are often due to overuse.
- Paralysis. The very worst injuries result in damage to the spinal cord, which is protected by the vertebrae. When the spinal cord is severely damaged or severed, all function and feeling can be lost below that point. Spinal cord damage in the neck may result in quadriplegia or death.
Symptoms of a neck injury should be treated seriously and quickly. Not treating it can lead to worsening conditions and even permanent damage. It is also important to understand that untreated injuries involving chronic pain can lead to serious mental health issues like depression and anxiety that can deeply and negatively impact your life.
Neck Injury Treatments: Healing From Hurt
Our experienced Dallas Qualified Medical Evaluators deeply understand both the physical and mental trauma that is associated with injury. Our medical services focus on three types of treatment for neck injuries, from strains & sprains to fractures:
- Pain management. Some on-the-job neck injuries only require over-the-counter medication for pain management, while others require prescription-strength medication.
- Injections. Steroid injections are often an effective way to promote healing, especially in the case of herniated discs.
- Physical therapy. Physical therapy is often vital to recovery, as well as to prevent reoccurrences in the future – its aim is to strengthen the muscles around the neck and to teach patients how to protect their health.
- Surgery. Although surgery is only recommended when other treatments fail, it is necessary for some injury sufferers, especially in the case of a vertebra fracture or multiple herniated discs.
How Our Qualified Medical Evaluators in Dallas Can Help You Recover
We have the medical professionals, resources, and tools to help manage your pain and finally get you the healthy neck that you need to return to work and your regular activities. Our compassionate Dallas Qualified Medical Evaluators specialize in neck injuries suffered by workers, so you can be sure that your concerns about your health, your career, and your workers’ compensation documentation are on our minds. Our QME doctors in Dallas help the following workers:
- Postal workers
- Construction workers
- Office workers and clerks
- Jail and prison workers
- TSA employees
- Registered nurses
- Forest service employees
- Compliance officers
To schedule a consultation or to learn more about our services, call our clinic today.