First aid for neck injuries

Here you can learn more about what to do after a neck injury.

If you suspect that an athlete has a serious neck injury, the number one priority is lifesaving medical treatment. Check if the athlete is conscious, if the airways are free and if he or she is breathing.

First aid first

Call emergency services immediately if you suspect a serious injury. 

Is the injury serious?

It is important to stabilise the head and neck if a serious neck injury is suspected. Do not correct the head position of a conscious person, and avoid moving the person before an experienced professional is present. Call emergency services as soon as possible.

If the person is unconscious, commence first aid. In addition and especially if the weather is cold, it is important to prevent the person getting cold. Place blankets or clothing around the injured person.

Not all injuries are serious

Pain and stiffness are common after injury. If there is no suspicion of a severe acute neck injury, it is safe to move the head and neck. Start slow and increase the degree of movement gradually.

If pain and stiffness persist for more than three weeks following injury, it advisable to consult a doctor or physiotherapist regarding treatment, information and exercise guidance.