Understanding the Link Between Concussions and Neck Pain
Have you ever suffered from a concussion and neck pain thereafter? If so, you’re not alone. The two often go hand in hand, and it’s important to understand why this happens and what it might mean for your overall health.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that occurs when the head is hit or jolted, causing the brain to bounce back and forth in the skull. This can result in a variety of symptoms, including headache, dizziness, confusion, and nausea. Neck pain is also a common symptom of a concussion, but it’s often overlooked or attributed to other causes.
When a person suffers a concussion, the brain is jolted inside the skull. This jolt can cause the neck to move quickly and forcefully, which in turn, can cause neck pain. The impact of the concussion can also cause the neck muscles to spasm, leading to further pain.
Causes and Prevalence of Post Concussion Neck pain
Concussions are a serious health concern, affecting millions of people each year. In the United States alone, there are approximately 1.6 to 3.8 million sports-related concussions annually. However, concussions are not just limited to sports injuries. They can also occur as a result of motor vehicle accidents, falls, and other types of trauma. Even a minor bump or blow to the head can cause a concussion.
While the immediate symptoms of a concussion may be mild, the long-term effects can be severe and life-altering. Many people who suffer from concussions experience ongoing headaches, dizziness, and other neurological symptoms. In some cases, concussions can lead to chronic neck pain, which can be debilitating and affect a person’s quality of life. Additionally, research has suggested that repeated concussions can lead to a higher risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
To reduce the risk of post concussion and neck pain, it is important to take appropriate precautions when participating in sports or engaging in other activities that could result in head injury. Wearing protective gear, such as helmets and mouthguards, can help absorb the impact of a blow and reduce the risk of concussion. Additionally, it is important to seek medical attention immediately if you suspect you may have suffered a concussion. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent further damage and improve your chances of a full recovery.
Why Neck Pain After a Concussion Shouldn’t Be Ignored
It’s important to note that neck pain after a concussion might be a sign of something more serious going on. In some cases, it could indicate damage to the cervical spine, which can have long-term effects on your health and mobility. Additionally, neck pain could be a sign of a more severe concussion or an underlying condition that requires medical attention.
If the pain is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other symptoms like numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms or legs, it’s important to seek medical attention right away. The reason for this is that, if left untreated, neck pain can lead to chronic pain and disability.
Tips to Alleviate Neck Pain and Muscular Stiffness after a Concussion
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to alleviate neck pain and muscular stiffness after a concussion. Stretching can help to relieve tension in the neck and shoulders. Often times, the body tightens up after an injury. This causes strain on the surrounding tissues, and can cause your pain to stick around a bit longer.
Magnesium supplements can help to relax the muscles, as this mineral is known to be nature’s muscle relaxant after all. Be careful when starting magnesium supplements, as too much magnesium at once can cause a bowel movement. If you prefer to avoid oral supplementation, there is another option to get your magnesium intake. A warm bath with Epsom salts can also be helpful – as Epsom salt actually supplies the body with magnesium transdermally. Be sure to use warm water and let it soak in for at least 10-15 minutes.
Finally, exercise helps support the muscles and the spine. After an injury, you can expect to have elevated levels of inflammation as part of the human body’s normal response to injury. While this helps in the short term, a part of the recovery process involves managing and reducing this inflammation. Exercise is a phenomenal tool for strengthening these muscles and also reducing inflammation.
Please note that not all remedies work for everyone, and some may not work at all. It’s best to consult with a healthcare professional before trying any new treatments. Your doctor will be able to recommend the best course of treatment for your symptoms. Also, if you’re experiencing sharp pains, and numbness or tingling – skip these tips and reach out for medical care as soon as possible.
Seek Help from a Qualified Professional
If you’ve recently suffered a concussion and are experiencing neck pain or other symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention from a qualified professional. At Comprehensive Accident and Injury Center (CAIC), we specialize in treating traumatic brain injuries and offer a range of services to help you get back to your normal routine.
As a MAC Concussion Center, we have the expertise and resources to properly diagnose and treat concussions and other TBI-related conditions. We also offer physical therapy in addition to TBI treatments, all under the same roof. This makes it easier for patients to get the treatment they need in fewer appointments and time.
It’s crucial to note that when you visit Comprehensive Accident and Injury Center, our team of medical professionals will perform imaging on your spine to determine if there is any damage. If a diagnosis is made, we will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan to address your specific needs.
Why It’s Important to Address Neck Pain After a Concussion
Neck pain after a concussion shouldn’t be ignored. It could be a sign of something more serious going on and requires medical attention. By following these tips and seeking help from a qualified professional, you can alleviate your symptoms and get back to your normal routine.
So, if you’re concerned about neck pain and concussion, or if you have questions about your symptoms, please don’t hesitate to contact CAIC today. Our team of experienced professionals is here to help you get back on track and live your best life.