Whiplash, Neck Pain & Injury
Whiplash injury to the neck occurs when the neck moves forward and backward at high speed. Commonly, whiplash occurs during a high speed car accident, but can also occur during other activity such as bungee jumping and contact sports. Neck trauma can damage the bones and joints of the neck, and injure ligaments, nerves, muscles and other soft tissues. Patients with whiplash often report tenderness, pain and weakness in the neck.
The neck has many pain sensitive tissues and the cause of pain can be tricky to pinpoint. Acute neck pain may be due to disc injury, nerve impingement, sudden stress or damage to nerves, muscles, tendons, ligaments. Bone damage, degeneration or fracture can also cause neck pain. Acute neck pain may occur after injury, whiplash or trauma, but there are many chronic conditions that can contribute to an acute episode of neck pain. Infections of the glands in the neck and bones can also cause acute pain - this is usually associated with fever and feeing ill and needs to be identified quickly!
Degenerative diseases of the bones can cause damage and destruction to the bony structure of the neck. Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis certain metabolic conditions and long term use of certain medications can all contribute bone degeneration. Usually, the discomfort associated in these situations is a constant low-level ache that changes intensity throughout the day. Occasionally, patients can have acute episodes of intense neck pain that may benefit from chiropractic management.
The bones of the neck stack to make a gentle “C-shape” and support the weight of the head. Degenerative changes and trauma may disrupt this natural C-shape changing the optimal position of the head on the neck, leading to muscular and postural compensation patterns. This can damage discs, ligaments and bones and may lead to neck pain, possibly with associated numbness, tingling and weakness of the arms and hands. Poor posture long term many contribute to degeneration of the cervical spine. Ideally, we should conduct all of our activities, including desk work with correct posture, so as not to stress the static structures of our neck, or create extra work for the supporting muscles. Optimal sitting posture includes:
- sitting with your shoulders back and down
- chin slightly tucked,
- elbow at right angles with the desk
- hips at right angles with the chair
- adjustable chair with upper back and lumbar support
- both feet flat of the floor
- computer/laptop screens elevated and in line with the eyes.
Chiropractic for Neck Pain
Balanced Body Chiropractic are experienced in managing all aspects of neck pain and the impact it may be having on your daily activity. A thorough assessment and history of your neck pain is essential to allow for the implementation of an appropriate management and treatment plan. Your daily needs and difficulties, the tissues suspected to cause pain will be considered when managing your individual needs. Rehabilitation and ergonomic advice is also available. Chiropractic treatment may be effective in providing neck pain relief, reducing nerve pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the arms and hands. In some cases, chiropractic treatment may assist neck muscle activation required to maintain optimal neck posture.