The human body can withstand some impact imposed on it, but when the impact is targeted directly, it can be difficult to do so. Such injuries are referred to as direct impact injuries or blunt trauma and are often experienced in sports, physical attacks, and other outdoor activities. The neck is particularly at risk of such impact injuries because it does not have any protection.
Other major bones in the body usually have a mass of muscles surrounding them and they usually absorb most of the impact. The neck, however, is exposed and only has a thin layer of neck muscle to protect it. This reduced mass of muscles was meant to allow for movement of the head, but it also leaves the neck at risk of an injury and subsequently of neck pain.
The main symptom of a neck injury is pain in the neck. Before a treatment plan is implemented, it is important to determine the extent of damage caused by the direct impact injury to the neck. X-ray and MRI technologies are used to examine the cervical vertebrae and identify the damage. Direct impact injuries to the neck often cause fractures or dislocation to the neck, which can either be managed through physical therapy or neck braces.
It is important to address the problem earlier on because, if left untreated, the vertebrae could become damaged even further.