Having a broken neck can be, among other things, restricting. Your neck will be encased over the next several weeks and there’s not much you’ll be able to do in the meantime. The name has some bad connotations associated with it, not undeserved, but generally not as lethal as TV makes it seem. Like any other bone in the body, your neck can fracture or even break in parts.
The healing process is going to be a steady, delicate process. There’s a lot more at stake when it comes to a broken neck than a fractured arm or leg. During this period, your primary goal should be ensuring you don’t agitate your injury as much as possible. Everyday habits you may be accustomed to like driving, exercising, and chorework will mostly be out the window.
So What Can You Do With A Broken Neck?
Losing your autonomy is inconveniencing and frustrating, but it’s better than being paralyzed. In the meantime, there are new things for you to focus on while you’re recovering from your injury. Finding things to do when you’re constricted and unable to do anything that requires you turning your head can be a challenge.
It’s good to find a silver lining in everything. Your recovery time can be put to good use and explore areas you might not have time for otherwise. So long as whatever that new exploration is doesn’t infringe on your overall healing.
Self-Care For Your Healing
Before anything else, you need to be sure that you know what you’re doing when you’re taking care of your broken neck. Most of what you’ll be doing is adapting to operating in a neck brace.
For starters, eating food is going to present a new challenge. It’s harder to chew, bring food to your mouth, and you may not be able to eat everything you want to eat. A broken neck hurts, and a repetitive chewing motion can agitate that. You’ll want to center your diet around softer foods that are easier to chew than hard foods. Soups and smoothies are a great option for this.
You’ll also want to center your diet around foods that will help your body heal faster. High-calorie, high-protein meals will supply you with the energy and nutrients to provide your body with the necessary tools to hustle the healing process. Vitamin C, D, calcium, and protein should be your focus. Supplementing your meals with vitamin and mineral pills is also recommended.
You’ll find that your broken neck will cause some pain and discomfort while it’s healing, especially in the early stages. The best advice for dealing with that is: if it hurts, don’t touch it. If you’re doing an activity that causes discomfort, take a step back from that. Pain relievers, like aspirin, are good supplements to alleviate the pain. However, make sure you follow the directions and check with your doctor if before you take more than necessary.
Ensure that you get plenty of rest while you’re recovering. Rest is an essential part of the healing process, as any good parent is able to tell you. Rest doesn’t just mean sleep either - sitting, laying down, and taking other leisure positions help reduce stress on your neck. You’ll have plenty of time to get back into activities once your neck is back in better shape. First step is getting that neck brace off.
There’s little better self-care than giving yourself the benefit of the self. Don’t push yourself, take some time for yourself, and use every precaution to ensure your neck stays safe.
Take Time For Your Hobbies
Maybe it’s been a while since you’ve read a book. Perhaps you used to be an avid jigsaw player, but over the years other interests and responsibilities drew your focus. Your broken neck may stop you from doing some of the daily things you’re used to, but it can’t stop you from everything. If anything, you have the opportunity to get back into something you used to not have time for.
It doesn’t need to be an old hobby either. You might want to consider getting into something you’ve had interest in but hadn’t taken the time for yet. Hobbies are an excellent way to develop yourself, your interests, and have minimal impact on your healing.
Physical Therapy For Your Good
If taking the time to rest and relax isn’t your cup of tea, you may be interested in physical therapy. While exercises that involve lots of running, quick physical motions aren’t recommended, there are neck-specific exercises designed to strengthen your neck. They’re non-agitating and intended to help you recover from a broken neck.
For starters, you’ll want to get acquainted with a trained physical therapist. They’ll be the go-to specialist on what exercises will best fit you and complement your recovery. Having guidance on your path to recovery is better than hoofing it alone. It’s not something you should attempt on your own, you’ll more likely do more harm than good. The more your trained specialist learns about your injury and you, the more they’ll be able to help.
Improving your posture is something that can be easily and safely done on your own time. The better your posture is, the healthier your spine will be and the minimization of pain you’ll feel on a daily basis. Good posture is something that anyone, whether you’re injured or healthy, can learn that will benefit you in the long run. You may as well develop new, healthy habits while it’s pressing.
Your therapist will likely begin you with exercises that will improve your neck muscles. These will further protect your neck as well as ensure proper healing and improve neck function. The primary exercises aren’t going to be neck stretches or involve weights, thankfully. Neck massages and wax therapy are the primary examples that will help your neck properly repair.
Heat and cold therapy are other candidates to look into when interacting with therapeutic practices. Depending on what you most need, heat and cold therapy increase or decrease blood flow to your neck. Heat is generally good for any pain you’re healing, while cold can be used to reduce swelling or inflammation. Depending on what you need, they’ll help your neck tissue repair.
Using ultrasound is another option to improve your healing rate. Primarily, it’s used to introduce new medicines into the affected area, which is generally challenging to get to due to the neck brace. Ultrasound, otherwise known as phonophoresis, helps ease pain. Alternatively, another technique using electric charges, known as iontophoresis, helps affect deep tissue with medicine.
The most important part of physical therapy is not repairing your spine. That’ll heal on its own. The muscles that surround the bone is what’s most important to work on. The healthier and stronger your muscles are, the more they’ll be able to support your neck and prevent further injury or pain. There’s going to be plenty of damage done to your neck muscles as well, after all.
Keep Your Health In Mind
Healing from a broken neck may prove to be fairly taxing on your mind as well as your body. The restrictions you’ll face not being able to do as much as you were prior to the accident will probably be frustrating. That’s why it’s just as important to focus on keeping your mind and sanity at ease as well as your body.
The sooner you’re able to get back to full working order, the happier you’ll be. In the meantime, you’ll want to prepare your body as much as you can to resume daily working life as smoothly as possible. The neck brace is going to give you a stiff neck, so that’s all the more reason to prepare your muscles to handle the workload.
Before all else, make sure you’re communicating with your doctor and therapist. Whether it’s an issue of medicine or therapy, they’re going to be the most educated sources you’ll have on hand. With their help and your commitment, you’ll be feeling better in no time at all.