Neck injuries in the workplace are often the result of slip-and-fall accidents, which injure the soft tissues in the neck and lead to a serious sprain or strain. Lifting heavy loads, especially when the job involves repetitive lifting that occurs over a long period of time, is another cause of neck injury; sitting in uncomfortable or awkward positions, placing significant strain on the neck or back in the absence of proper ergonomic precautions, may also trigger neck injuries.
Symptoms of neck injury include an ache or stiffness in the neck muscles, radiating pain to the shoulder or neck region, muscle spasms, dizziness or headache. In cases of more serious neck trauma, severe pain — or the inability to move extremities — may result.
A chiropractor or other medical professional can evaluate the full extent of a neck injury with diagnostic imaging such as X-rays or an MRI and then provide treatment recommendations. Treatment may include immobilization of the neck following an acute injury, medication, or the application of ice to the affected area 24 to 48 hours after the injury. Depending on the extent of the injury, surgery may be an option.
Medical professionals may also recommend strengthening and flexibility exercises as part of a rehabilitation program to alleviate neck pain and help preclude further neck injuries.