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Neck Pain and Whiplash

The neck is comprised of seven individual small bones which are arranged in a precise structure to support the head. A delicate curvature must be present to maintain the tripod-like balance of each vertebra atop the next. This curve must be maintained to allow clear passage of the spinal cord and allow the nerves to travel out into the body from between the vertebra. When the bones of the neck move out of normal position, a myriad of problems may occur, including neck pain, headache, and upper back pain. 

The normal shape of the neck may be lost over time due to long-term postural habits, such as poor computer work station, reading in bed with your head propped forward on pillows, and talking on the phone with your head tilted to the side. The normal shape of the neck may also be lost instantaneously in a motor vehicle accident or sports injury. When the vehicle is hit, the body, subject to inertia, remains essentially motionless while the head and neck snap back into hyperextension and then flex forward forcefully. This causes a signature pattern of damage known as whiplash. This same pattern can be observed after forceful sports collisions. 

Whatever the cause, abnormal alignment of the neck creates abnormally high strain in the numerous innervated tissues in the region. The muscles at the top of the neck, designed by evolution to rapidly turn the head side to side and control balance, are instead called upon to constantly attempt to pull the head up onto the shoulders from its forward position. This stretches and fatigues the muscles, causing pain, spasm and dysfunction over time and frequently leads to long term problems.

How we can help

Recently developed techniques in chiropractic have demonstrated the ability to restore cervical curvature, imporve posture and reduce pain; and these results are stable at long term follow-up. * Chiropractic care and massage therapy at Banic Chiropractic Clinic may be a good choice for a patient with chronic neck pain and are essential for someone suffering from whiplash. Even in cases where the car isn't damaged, you could have sustained injury, similar to broken eggs in a parfect carton. Do not put off an early visit to your chiropractor after any accident, often the symptoms don't show up for days or even weeks and delay of treatment lengthens healing time and increases the incidence of long term problems. 

*J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2003; 26(3): 139-151.