Recent Neck Injuries
For any of these neck injuries, contact us for an assessment
Patients typically report intense pain around the cervical muscles as well as stiffness and discomfort when trying to move the head. Some patients also experience a sense of vertigo and intense headaches.
The term Whiplash Associated Disorder (WAD) is a common and disabling condition which occurs in the cervical and thoracic region as a consequence of a Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA). It occurs when the cervical/thoracic muscles become over-stretched and strained as a result of the impact of a collision. It usually occurs after a hyper flexion or hyper extension of your neck as a result of the forces during the accident. Typically the effects of Whiplash start to be felt 24-48 hours after the initial mechanism of injury. Depending on the degree of your injury, the effects can last from weeks to months after the accident occurs.
The common symptoms you may experience with Whiplash include, but are not limited to:
- neck pain, typically posterior region of neck
- radiating pain in head, shoulder, upper arm, thoracic spine, and between your shoulder blades
Headache, dizziness, loss of balance, visual disturbances, numbness, weakness, and cognition issues.
What are my treatment options?
After a detailed assessment, your Physiotherapist will determine what the best course of treatment is for your injury. During the initial stages of your injury, the treatment is usually focussed on pain management through the use of modalities (ice/heat, Ultrasound, TENS, Laser, etc.) and pain strategy techniques you may use at home to reduce discomfort levels.
As your pain is reduced, Soft Tissue Techniques, Manual Therapy Techniques, Massage Therapy, Therapeutic Taping, and Home Exercises may be incorporated to improve general mobility and strength in the region.
Deep Neck Flexor training is very important, as these muscles are vital for posture and these muscles usually become ‘stretched’ and ‘deactivated’ after an injury.
Fractures without neurological involvement are usually associated with localised pain, restriction of movement and a postural alteration to the spinal column. Depending on the severity of the fracture, kyphosis and scoliosis can follow as a result of the distortion.
X-rays are usually sufficient for establishing a reliable diagnosis in these cases, although sometimes CT or MRI scans are required to remove any doubt. Treatment for these stable fractures is conservative, with most patients wearing a semi-rigid brace for 2-3 months before starting an appropriate rehabilitation programme.
Unstable fractures are always treated surgically due to the associated risks of nerve damage. Rehabilitation following these kinds of surgical interventions are handled on a case-by-case basis.
Pain is severe and can pulsate, paraesthesia often accompanies this pain located around the area of the compromised root. flexion and extension is reduced and extremely painful.
Clinical diagnosis stems from reports of pain shooting down the upper arm from the neck as a result of the compressed nerve root. X-rays, MRI or CT scans can all be used to support the diagnosis.
In most cases, a conservative treatment can be used. During early stages, a neck brace may be required, accompanied by a course of drugs to help the patient manage their pain. Manual therapies spinal decompression or traction and acupuncture form the start of the rehabilitation process (massage, and muscular stretching are all useful here), before physical therapy and exercises to restore full range of motion begin. Maintenance programmes are also important to help patients maintain their strength.
For any of these conditions, contact us for an assessment