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Back and Neck Pain

Neck Injuries

The care you need after a neck injury

Trauma to any part of the neck is a serious concern. A neck injury can involve:

  • Blood vessels
  • Nerves
  • Muscles, ligaments and tendons
  • Esophagus and windpipe
  • Spinal cord
  • Spinal discs
  • Vertebrae

Car accidents, sports accidents and falls are common causes of neck injuries, including whiplash. Offering communities in Elkhart County comprehensive emergency care, the Goshen Hospital Emergency Department treats neck injuries. We approach neck trauma with a high level of care, focusing on relieving your pain and preventing serious complications. Call 911 or visit us on High Park Avenue.

Symptoms of a neck injury

Symptoms depend on what area of the neck is affected. After a neck injury, you may have:

  • Headache
  • Pain, which may worsen with movement
  • Trouble moving the neck through its full range of motion
  • Bleeding or bruising
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue, weakness or difficulty concentrating
  • Sleep problems
  • Sore throat
  • Tingling and numbness that can spread to the shoulders and arms

When to get emergency treatment

A severe, life-threatening neck injury presents additional symptoms. Always call 911 if these symptoms appear after a neck injury:

Minor neck injuries often heal without surgical or emergency treatment. When neck injuries are severe, Goshen Hospital Emergency Department offers 24/7 treatment.

What to do in first response to a neck injury

If you’re near someone who suffers a neck injury, follow our first aid tips after calling for medical help:

  • Do not move the person unless absolutely necessary
  • Do not pick up a child who has a neck injury, help them remain still and hold their head in the position that you found it until medical help arrives
  • Do not try to straighten the neck
  • Do not remove a helmet
  • Monitor breathing and pulse and begin CPR if necessary, continue until medical help arrives
  • Apply direct pressure to a bleeding wound, but do not change the position of the neck
  • Do not attempt to remove any object lodged in a wound or head

For emergency care that’s personalized to your needs, visit us on High Park Avenue anytime you need to go to the ER for treatment of a serious condition or illness.

Slipped Disk

Emergency care for back and neck pain from a slipped disk

A disk is a round cushion that sits between each vertebra in the spine and acts as a shock absorber when you move. A slipped disk, also called a ruptured, bulging or herniated disk, is when the soft center of a disk squeezes through the dense outer layer of the disk. This applies pressure to a spinal nerve and causes inflammation, aches and pains in the back and neck.

Sometimes your pain is severe enough that you need to go to the emergency room. Serving Elkhart County, Goshen Hospital Emergency Department can provide relief for a herniated disk. Our emergency physicians and nurses work together with our orthopedists to provide relief and a plan for healing.

For immediate medical care, call 911, or come to our emergency room at 200 High Park Ave.

Herniated disk symptoms

Back pain from a herniated disk is usually felt in the lower back, which is also called the lumbar spine or lumbar region. If you have a herniated disk in this area, you may experience these symptoms:

  • Lower back pain that’s burning, sharp or achy
  • Shooting pain from the lower back or buttocks down one leg
  • Weakness, tingling or numbness in one leg

Symptoms of a slipped disk in the neck, or cervical spine, include:

  • Headache, especially in the back of the head
  • Burning neck and shoulder pain that may shoot down one arm
  • Weakness, tingling or numbness in one arm

Sneezing, coughing, sitting down or bending over may worsen your symptoms because they put more pressure on the affected nerve.

When to go to the ER for a slipped disk

The severity of your back or neck pain may cause you to come to the emergency room for herniated disk treatment. Also, some situations imply complications and require emergency care, including:

  • Bladder or bowel dysfunction, even when you have a full bladder
  • Progressive loss of sensation in the back of your legs, inner thighs and areas around the rectum (saddle anesthesia)
  • Worsening symptoms to the point where you can’t do your normal activities

At Goshen Hospital Emergency Department, we perform tests to diagnose a herniated disk, offer pain relief and provide any other needed emergency treatment. Our physicians refer you to an orthopedist at Goshen Physicians Orthopedics & Sports Medicine for additional care. These orthopedic specialists may recommend home care (such as rest, ice and medication), physical therapy, steroid injections or surgery

Trust our teams to provide integrated care that focuses on your well-being and healing your slipped disk.

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