If your symptoms do not go away as expected or if new symptoms appear, you should seek medical attention without delay.
Call your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:
In addition, symptoms suggesting possible injury to the vital structures contained in the neck should prompt early contact with your doctor. These may include the following:
If you are unable to reach your doctor (or do not have one), you should go to a hospital's emergency department without delay for evaluation of any of these types of problems.
If you get sick or reinjured while your neck pain is present, you should contact your doctor.
You must seek immediate medical attention for any symptom suggesting a problem affecting the nervous system, airway, or spinal cord.
Examples of spinal cord injury
Any other acute symptoms suggesting a nerve problem
If your pain is not severe and you do not have any new numbness, weakness, or other symptoms of nerve failure, you may safely treat yourself at home.
In addition to the recommendations for specific measures to be taken during the rehabilitation phase of a neck strain, follow up with your doctor, even if an initial visit or prescription medication was not necessary. This is particularly important for older people in whom the healing process is often prolonged. They may have other medical conditions that require monitoring.
Typically, for an uncomplicated neck strain, follow-up should be within 2 weeks, or at your discretion, unless symptoms warrant otherwise.
Most doctors instruct people to contact them right away for any new or worsening symptoms or symptoms that won't go away or, in fact, any concerns that you can't resolve on your own. If you do not have a regular doctor and are unable to find one, you should seek help at the hospital's emergency department for any unexpected or constant symptoms. The primary goal for people and their doctors is always early and complete recovery.
The core concept in reducing the incidence of neck strain injury involves trying to reduce the likelihood of being involved in 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 your 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, homebuilders are attempting to build safer homes, with fewer opportunities for accidental injury.
With appropriate diagnosis and treatment, your overall prognosis for complete recovery from neck strain is excellent. The vast majority of people with neck strain recover completely, rapidly, and without incident, with appropriate management. In the absence of complicating factors such as nerve problems, a previously healthy person may reasonably expect complete recovery within a few days to a few weeks. neck strain injury is a major source of lost days of work and can occasionally lead to a chronic pain syndrome.
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