Head and neck injuries can be some of the scariest injuries in sports. If significant contact to the head or neck or rapid motion of the head or neck occur, a medical evaluation is recommended.
Having a healthcare professional that you trust to rule in/out serious medical conditions and to facilitate your recovery will ensure a safe and effective return to activity.
For many head and neck injuries, professional neck & head injury treatment via physical therapy may be recommended. Herlong Sports Physical Therapy treats a number of head & neck injuries, including but not limited to the following.
Common Sports Head Injuries
A concussion is an injury to the brain that results in temporarily altered brain function. No structural changes are seen on imaging with a concussion. However, metabolic changes and an “energy crisis” occur as a result of the brain trauma leading to temporary neurological symptoms.
Concussions are a form of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and should be managed under the supervision of the appropriate medical professionals. If you are experiencing symptoms of a concussion, seek professional concussion treatment as soon as possible.
Common Sports Neck Injuries
Cervical radiculopathy is defined by irritation of one of the nerves originating in the neck. Symptoms include pain, numbness, or tingling in the upper back, between the shoulder blades, down the arm, or even into the hands or fingers. Cervical radiculopathy may be caused by a disc herniation.
Stingers or Brachial Plexopathy is an injury or overstretching of the nerves that originate from the neck and travel down the arm. This injury often occurs when the head and neck are forcefully side bent and/or when the shoulder is depressed.
Symptoms may include burning, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arm. Symptoms typically resolve in a few minutes or less; however, if symptoms persist, evaluation from an appropriate medical provider is recommended.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS)
Thoracic outlet syndrome is defined by the compression of nerves that originate from the neck or blood vessels in the thoracic outlet region, the area between the clavicle (collar bone) and the first rib. Symptoms may include neck pain, shoulder pain, and/or numbness, tingling, swelling, or pain down the arm and into the fingers.
Sprains and strains can affect the neck when an overstretching of one or more of the ligaments (sprain) or muscles/tendons (strain) of the spine occurs. This may be due to high-speed, forceful movements of the neck or excessive motion, such as whiplash, contact injuries in sport, or even lifting.
Ligaments are structures that connect bone to bone that provide stability and assist in control of a particular joint. Ligament sprains typically take 4-6 weeks to recover from; however, in some cases symptoms may persist for several months or more. Muscle strains typically take a few days to recover from, but may persists for a few weeks.
Spinal Cord Injury
Injury to the spinal cord usually occurs from high-energy trauma to the head and/or neck. Spinal cord injuries may occur from a fracture to one or more of the bones in the neck, damage to one or more of the ligaments of the neck causing a dislocation of one of the joints injuring the spinal cord, spinal stenosis (narrowing), or a disc herniation that compresses the spinal cord.
Symptoms may include muscle weakness or paralysis of the arms and/or legs, pain or pressure in the neck, numbness or tingling in the extremities, and/or decreased coordination. Symptoms may last for anywhere from a few hours (transient quadriplegia) to a lifetime. A spinal cord injury is considered a medical emergency.
What Patients Are Saying
I came to Herlong Sports for my back and I can proudly say that today I experience no pain! They are amazing physical therapists who pay close attention to their clients and put them first. Not only that but they are extremely personable and kind. They also helped both my sister and brother with their sports injuries and both are back and better today. Go here!
Shawn and the staff at Herlong PT are awesome to work with and have helped me work through knee pain I’ve dealt with for years. After working with them this summer my knee pain has gotten significantly better and Shawn has helped me to correct a lot of small details in my training I wouldn’t have addressed on my own. As a D1 athlete who has been to multiple PTs I highly recommend!
As an avid athlete, I've had my share of injuries and Shawn is the best physical therapist I've worked with. He's worked most recently on my achilles after it flared up with tendinitis. Shawn is very attentive and has a way of tweaking every exercise so it isolates the exact right muscle/joint to produce maximum results. I'm also a big fan of dry needling with stim and Shawn is one of the only PTs in the area that does it. If you're an athlete recovering from an injury or just need periodic maintenance, I would highly recommend Shawn and his team.
I had knee pain for about six years and surgery was not an option. When the knee pain worsened I finally decided to try physical therapy. I am amazed that Herlong Sports Physical Therapy solved my knee pain problem. After each session I journaled what they taught me. Now I am committed to using those notes and to stick with the exercises that made my knee feel healthy and strong. Thank you Herlong!
Herlong Sports Physical Therapy is great. Scheduling is really easy and my physical therapist was really knowledgeable and helpful. Overall everybody at the facility is really kind and I had a great experience. I would definitely recommend this place
This is by far the best physical therapy you can choose. All the employees are extremely nice and friendly, and always welcome you with a smile. It’d be a HUGE mistake not to choose Herlong Sports Physical Therapy.
I have been to a few different physical therapy places in the past and just never got the attention that Herlong has given to me. From my first visit, I knew that I was in good hands. Herlong takes the time to listen to my concerns and adjust the treatment plan accordingly. I have only the highest praise for Herlong and would highly recommend them and their 1-on-1 approach
Shawn is amazing! He is very patient with my impatient teenager! I love how specific he is and I love how he takes video clips of the exercises she is supposed to do at home. Highly recommend!
Strong attention to detail, caring, really helps you understand your problems and how to fix them.
Shawn and his team are knowledgeable and hardworking. I’ve been going there for about 3 months and have since worked on my core strength and tight back. My back no longer is giving me issues and my strength is improving to new personal records. I feel confident in their abilities to help clients achieve their goals. I’d recommend everyone to them!
Great experience with Shawn and his team. Gave me lots of tips and exercises to help me relieve my pain and get back to my workouts. He also helped improve my form for various exercises so I don't get hurt again! Highly recommend!
Head & Neck Injury Treatment
If you are experiencing head or neck pain, weakness, or loss of function, make an appointment with one of our doctors at Herlong Sports Physical Therapy!
Maryland is a direct access state, which means that you do not need a referral to see a physical therapist.
Appointments at HSPT are one-on-one, 45-minute sessions with a licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy who will develop an individualized program specific to you based on the best research evidence and your unique values, preferences, and circumstances.
Session frequency can range anywhere from one session every other week to three or more sessions per week, depending on the injury.