Neck injuries can be extremely serious and for this reason ambulance drivers put all car accident victims in a neck brace in case they have sustained a neck injury without realizing. This is now standard procedure. Neck injuries can affect your ability to walk and cause pain when you lie down as well.
Torticollis is the name given to a twisted muscular neck condition that can be very painful and need treatment. Sleeping in an odd position often causes this condition and it may take days or several weeks to come good. Physical therapy is good for torticollis and slowly the neck will become supple again and the patient will be free of pain.
Whiplash is another neck injury that can occur after a car accident or sometimes from rough adventure playground rides. Whiplash strains the muscles and sprains the ligaments around the neck, as the force of a jolt forces energy up the spine into the neck. Very severe cases of whiplash will require the patient to spend several months in a neck brace. Rest is considered vital for healing whiplash, but too much rest and too long in a brace can also cause stiffness. Patients are often advised to remove the brace for a long hot shower each day, gently doing neck exercises that have been recommended by a physical therapist.
The spinal discs closest to the neck can sometimes get damaged from a car accident or as a result of a bad fall, and can become herniated. Surgery is often used for fixing a herniated disc and these days most orthopedic surgeons will opt for minimally invasive surgery. This type of surgery has been used for neck spinal surgery quite successfully and the recovery time is much faster than with traditional surgery.
Because neck injuries and neck pain can often indicate a more serious condition, it is important to tell your doctor of you are suffering from neck pain or stiffness.