I turned my neck in my sleep last night

Patient

Q: I turned my neck in my sleep last night and felt a sharp pain on my right side. How likely is it that I tore my neck artery? Or have I been watching too many medical shows?

Symptoms:  Sore neck
Doctor

A:   Hello,
Thank you for your medical query at AskTheDoctor.com
I understand your concern.
If one of the vessels in the neck was torn (artery or vein), death would have been imminent because it would bleed profusely. Also, no one can tear any artery just by turning the neck sharply. The worst case scenario would be that your muscles would go into severe spasmic state, and there will be difficulty in moving the neck for the next few days.

So, considering the nature of your query, yes, the medical shows are making you slightly paranoid. But we all go through this phase, so no not worry. You definitely did not tear a neck artery.

Hope this was helpful,
Feel free to discuss further,
Regards.

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: Thanks for your reply, so I don't need to worry about having a carteroid artery dissection from turning my neck?
Doctor: Hello,
No, please do not worry.
It is an acute condition and won't happen on turning the neck like that.

Regards.

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