Whiplash is a neck injury that’s commonly associated with car accidents but can occur from numerous different activities. Whiplash is what’s known as an acceleration deceleration injury. This is where the neck is forced into a direction and then its counter in quick succession. Your neck is known as your cervical spine (made up of 7 vertebra) and is designed to have excellent mobility. This mobility unfortunately predisposes it to this type of injury. Whiplash damages the soft tissues of the neck (muscles, ligaments and tendons) and in more severe cases may result in fracture. Symptoms can include headache and jaw pain. The majority of whiplash incidents resolve within 4-6 weeks following correct therapy and guidance.
Cervical Facet Lock/Strain
This type of injury usually occurs rapidly and can create considerable pain and restricted movement. When a facet has suffered injury in the neck the pain can sometimes radiate into the shoulders and upper back particularly over the scapula (shoulder blade).
Cervical Disc Herniation
The cervical spine is the second most common region to suffer discal injury. When the material herniates it may compress the nerve root adjacent to the vertebrae. This can cause pain and paraesthesia into the arms travelling as far as the finger tips. This injury can be triggered by something severe such a blunt trauma to the head or something as mild as a cough or sneeze.
Upper Cross Syndrome
Desk based sitting can predispose us to developing postural imbalances where the muscles on the front of our chest (pectorals) and base of the head (sub-occipitals) to become tight. The muscles on the front of our neck (flexors) and scapula retractors (rhomboids; upper back muscles) become elongated and weak. Over time this can predispose us to issues such as headache, upper back pain, neck pain and other problems.