Mild and severe neck injuries – what to do.

OptiStart Chiropractic
October 9, 2018

A child’s neck and head is a very important area of their body!!

Important nerves pass through this region, carrying messagesto the body from the brain, but also from the body to the brain. The brainstemand cerebellum are important brain areas that lie close to the upper cervicalspine.

Head trauma is an important area for parent’s and practitioners to be aware of. It is important to know when to seek medical evaluation or Chiropractic evaluation after a fall.

Medical consultation is required in the following situations:

- loss of consciousness, memory loss.

- nausea and vomiting.

- seizures

- altered mental status

- eye or ear pain (or other eye/ear symptoms)

- the child under 2 after a fall

- irritability (not easily consoled)

Other reasons to attend straight to immediate medical consultation include:

- High force mechanisms of fall


  - fall greater than 3 feet.

  - fall onto hard surface.

  - scalp swelling or bruising.

- Unwitnessed trauma

After mild falls it is appropriate to consult with the Chiropractor.

- The majority of injuries (90%) to the head are classified as mild.

Situations where this applies include:

1. Low force mechanism (e.g. fall under 3 feet)

2. No signs and symptoms

3. More than 2 hours since injury

4.Relatively older (e.g. over 1 year)

The child can then be assessed for subluxation to the neck, spine, legs and arms.

Extra time may be needed after a fall, therefore call ahead to change your appointment to a periodic review (20 minute) appointment.

Your Chiropractor will ask you specific questions about the fall, and perform relevant examination

Your Chiropractor is trained to recognise if referral is required.

After the visit parents should observe:

  • behaviour and activity
  • arousal levels
  • continuation of normal functions (for example, feeding and sleep routine)


Any change in these parameters should prompt alert the parents to call the chiropractor for re-assessment.

Prognosis (for mild injuries) is considered to be very good. Minor, short term effects include may include:

- Headaches

- Concentration problems

- Hesitation to return to normal activities.         

Chiropractic care may shorten the natural history of theseissues. Any continuation of these symptoms requires further investigation.