Neck Pain Coventry & Birmingham
The neck (cervical spine) is composed of vertebrae that begin at the base of the skull and end in the upper torso. The vertebrae along with the ligaments provide stability to the spine, while the muscles allow for support and movement of the neck.
The neck supports the weight of the head which is 5 kg, this amounts to a significant load for the neck to cope with during motion, thus increasing stress on the neck. Compared to the rest of the spine, the neck is less protected and is more susceptible to injury and various disorders that can result in neck pain and restricted motion. Sometimes neck pain is a temporary condition going away on its own accord. Other cases require medical diagnosis and treatment to relieve the symptoms.
Causes of Neck Pain
Neck pain may result from abnormalities in the soft tissues, muscles, ligaments, and nerves as well as in bones and joints of the spine. The most common causes of neck pain are soft-tissue abnormalities due to injury or prolonged wear and tear. In rare instances, infection or tumours may cause neck pain. In some people, neck problems may be the source of pain in the upper back, shoulders, or arms. Cold laser therapy has a five star rating for treating neck injuries and conditions.
Neck Injury in Coventry & Birmingham
Due to its flexibility and the weight of the head it supports the neck is extremely vulnerable to neck injury. Road traffic or diving accidents, contact sports, and falls are the main causes of neck injury. A "rear end" shunt during a car accident may result in hyper-extension, a backward motion of the neck beyond normal limits, or hyper-flexion, a forward motion of the neck beyond normal limits. The use of seat belts and head restrains in cars can help to prevent or minimize neck injury. The soft tissues such as muscles and ligaments are most commonly involved. Severe neck injury, including fracture or dislocation, may lead to the damage the spinal cord and cause paralysis.
Causes and Symptoms of Neck Injuries
Most cervical disc syndromes are caused by neck injuries that involve hyperextension, which results in compression of the anatomic structures. Flexion neck injuries in the cervical area do not result in nerve compression.
Pain, loss of sensation or new sensations, and weakness are the main symptoms and signs of neck injuries. The most common neck injury symptom is pain and it is usually the only one. Rarely, neck injuries are complicated by compression of either a cervical nerve root or even more rarely by a compression of the spinal cord. When compression of the nervous tissue occurs, patients will report abnormal sensations other than pain and will report loosing strength in one arm (nerve root compression) or in both arms and legs (spinal cord compression).
Whiplash Coventry & Birmingham
An acute whiplash injury follows sudden or excessive hyper-extension, hyper-flexion, or rotation of the neck and causes neck pain and other symptoms. Whiplash is common in road traffic accidents, and may also be caused by sports injuries, falls or assaults. Most cases whiplash injuries occur as the result of rear-end vehicle collisions at speeds of less than 10 miles per hour. Patients often present with any of the following symptoms: neck pain and stiffness, occipital headache, thoracic back pain, lumbar back pain, upper-limb pain or paraesthesia.
There are two types of whiplash injury:
- Typical cervical hyper-extension injuries occur in passengers and drivers of a stationary or slow-moving vehicle that is struck from behind. The body is thrown forward but the head lags behind, resulting in hyper-extension of the neck. When the head and neck have reached maximum extension, the neck then snaps into flexion.
- A rapid deceleration injury throws the head forwards and flexes the neck. When the chin hits the chest it limits forward flexion but the forward movement may be sufficient to cause longitudinal distraction and neurological damage. Hyper-extension may occur in the subsequent recoil.
Whiplash injuries may occur at relatively low vehicle velocity impacts. One study showed the cervical muscle injury threshold to be about 10 km/hour. Whiplash associated disorders (WAD) can be classified by the severity of signs and symptoms:
- Grade 1: no complaints or physical signs.
- Grade 2: indicates neck complaints but no physical signs.
- Grade 3: indicates neck complaints and musculoskeletal signs.
- Grade 4: neck complaints and neurological signs.
- Grade 5: neck complaints dislocation and fracture. Most cervical spine fractures occur predominantly at two levels:
- One third of injuries occur at the level of C2, and one half of injuries occur at the level of C6 or C7.
- Most fatal cervical spine injuries occur in upper cervical levels, either at cranio-cervical junction C1, or at C2.
Uncomplicated cases of Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD)
Whiplash cases that are uncomplicated are the result of sprained ligaments in the neck. The muscles of the neck will spasm naturally, as a protective reaction. The whiplash injury may cause a stiff neck and pain that may be present down one or both arms if the nerves in the neck part of the spinal cord get compressed. Pain Relief for whiplash can be found with Chiropractic or Physiotherapy treatment including pain medication and Cold or low level laser therapy, this therapy has a 5 star rating for pain relief, inflammation and healing. Cold or low level laser therapy section can be found under pain relief.
Severe cases of Whiplash
Severe cases of whiplash may last for a months or more with persistent, and in some cases constant, pain. This may indicate that the whiplash injury has caused extensive damage and resulting in discs rupturing and trapped nerves in the neck. This may also predispose to a "slipped" disc, also known as a prolapsed, bulging, ruptured or herniated disc in the back. Cold or low level laser therapy, this therapy has a 5 star rating for pain relief, inflammation and healing. Cold or low level laser therapy section can be found under pain relief.
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Neck pain is extremely common and often doesn't require treatment, but if you are suffering...
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