Neck injuries can be incredibly painful leaving an athlete stranded on the sidelines for weeks, months or even years depending on how serious the neck injury is.
Neck injuries in sports are normally caused by trauma when coming into contact with another athlete or hitting the ground hard. However, neck injuries can also stem from poor posture leading to excessive strain being put on the neck.
Common neck injuries include whiplash, slipped discs and severe stiffness known as wry neck. All of these cause pain, stiffness and spasms, meaning they’re impossible for an athlete to ignore.
The sports most associated with traumatic neck injuries are all forms of martial arts as well as rugby, football and surfing. With sports such as cycling, where athletes are crouched over the frame of their bikes, it’s easy to develop pain and stiffness in the neck.
Neck injuries are largely unavoidable, but athletes can help themselves by not overtraining, ensuring they always maintain good posture and undertaking flexibility exercises to keep the neck loose.
Neck injury rehabilitation requires rest and in some cases, physiotherapy. Massaging the neck is always advisable during recovery and athletes should always get permission from their doctors or physios before returning to training.
We’ve got more information and advice on neck injuries listed in the articles below with specific reference to many different injuries and sports.