Lots of people suffer from neck aches and pains and as a consequence can be more predisposed to tension type headaches. Office workers for example spend long hours sat in the same position doing repetitive tasks, which can result in the neck muscles becoming tight and pain generating. This in turn can make the joints of the neck stiff and tight.
Hence, manipulation to release the joints, improve mobility and reduce muscle tightness can reduce the likelihood of headaches
The pain from a whiplash doesn’t have to happen immediately after the trauma. The body can compensate for the injuries in the short term and it is not until weeks or even months later that the pain develops.
Whiplash is a hyper-flexion or hyper extension injury (acceleration/ deceleration injuries) that can lead to changes to normal neck movement. Research shows that after a Road Traffic Accident (RTA) involving a rear end shunt, that the neck curve can change to an abnormal S-shape which significantly alters normal neck movement.
These types of injuries do not always need to be a result of a RTA and can sometimes result from a slip or fall. It can even result from repetitive movement of constantly flexing or extending your neck.
Normally, the joints at the back of your neck glide over each other and are self-lubricated, but a whiplash injury forces these joints together which can then damage the surrounding structures.
There are receptors in your ligaments that are called proprioceptors. These receptors tell your body information regarding the position of your joints. In a Whiplash injury these can become injured and this can result in many symptoms that include:
- Light headedness
- Neck Pain
- Arm Pain
- Poor concentration
We may advise you to use ice on your neck after such an injury. As well as manipulative treatment we will use exercises and stretches that will help improve your hand/eye co-ordination to retrain those receptors that have been injured and to improve your neck strength.
I was in a high speed accident and seem fine, but my friend was in an accident going at 10mph and is severe pain. Why is this?
When your neck is stretched quickly as would happen in a high speed accident an immediate muscle spasm will occur to protect your neck form harm. When a more gradual stretch occurs the receptors do not always recognize there is a problem and the protective mechanism does not occur often leading to injury.
Why does rest not help?
In the initial stages a small amount of rest is required to help reduce inflammation. It is equally important to try and keep your neck moving as while your body is healing scar tissue may be formed and if you keep moving your neck this will ensure that the scar tissue remain more flexible. This will lead to a faster recovery.