Massachusetts Medical Malpractice – Cervical Strain
The cervical spine refers to the seven vertebrae that make up the neck. They are separated by disks that cushion each vertebrate. When the muscles and tendons of the cervical spine are injured, this is called a cervical strain. A tendon is the fibrous tissue that connects the muscle to the bone. Without tendons, the bones could not move, thus they are the foundation of bodily movement. Car accidents and other traumatic occurrences cause cervical strains.
If a muscle or tendon is stretched beyond its normal range, this is when an injury can occur. Cervical strains are very frightening because many people associate spinal cord injuries with paralysis. If a person is involved in a motor vehicle accident and believes s/he has compromised the cervical spine in any way, the victim should seek immediate medical attention. The symptoms of a cervical strain include: instant sharp pain in the area, bruising, swelling, muscle spasm with stiffness and a tearing or popping feeling in the neck.
Whiplash can cause a cervical strain. Whiplash is when the head moves suddenly in one direction and recoils in another, causing the neck to be forced beyond its normal range, usually caused by a hit from behind in an auto accident. Victims experience these symptoms: headaches, fatigue, dizziness, pain in the shoulder and between the shoulder blades and pain in one or both arms. Additional signs are sleep disturbance, poor concentration or memory or a sudden onset of ill–temperament or depression. Whiplash is more serious than people tend to believe, in fact, many victims never fully recover from it.
Treatment varies. If the cervical strain is not serious, the victim can ice the area, massage and apply a heat pack to the neck after the swelling has gone down. However, complications can arise when the pain does not go away. In these cases, the doctor may prescribe painkillers and muscle relaxers, if the muscle spasms will not dissipate. Cervical traction may be recommended for prolonged pain, so the neck remains immobile while it heals. Physical therapy may also be a recommendation of the doctor as part of treatment.
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