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Neck Pain & Whiplash

Neck pain can interfere with normal daily activities, preventing us from sleeping, working and exercising.

Poor sleeping habits?

Neck pain comes about for a number of reasons, for example, sleeping on the sofa rather than in your bed can cause neck stiffness when you wake up the next morning.

Bad desk position and slouching at work?

Some occupations lead to extended postural strain on the muscles and joints in the neck, like when we sit in front of the desk for too long with rounded shoulders and slouched back.

It’s even hard to concentrate with neck pain!

Sometimes neck pain can make life so uncomfortable that it’s hard to get dressed, wash properly and even combing the hair is difficult. Neck pain can prevent us from lifting heavy weights or doing the shopping, prevent us from reading at night and can cause tension Headaches.

Driving the car can be troublesome, sleeping is disturbed and recreational and social activities take a back seat if neck pain is really bad.

The importance of proper neck function

The neck supports the head which holds all of the sensory apparatus for hearing, vision, smell, taste and lingual sensations. The movements of the head are executed by the neck muscles which can become tight through poor posture or from movements that cause acute strain like whiplash.

Whiplash and neck strain

Whiplash is a cervical acceleration/ deceleration syndrome characterised by neck pain and can also present with other symptoms including headache, blurred vision, dizziness, nausea, numbness and back pain.

When assessing patients with whiplash and associated disorders the following are taken into consideration in dividing patients into:

  • Those with symptoms and no objective findings (examiner /chiropractor findings)
  • Those with symptoms with orthopaedic but no neurological findings
  • Those with symptoms and with neurological findings

There are also some “modifiers” that contribute to patient outcome and prognosis following whiplash, these include whether the patient has some pre-existing:

  • Canal stenosis
  • Degeneration
  • Pre-injury abnormal neck curve

What is a good prognosis following neck pain caused by whiplash?

  • Group1: This group has excellent prognosis. They have minor residual problems such as muscle spasms or occipital headaches.
  • Group2: Good prognosis. Residual problems may occur, yet the likelihood of neurological manifestations is small.
  • Group3: Poor prognosis. This group has modifiers, and residual problems such as numbness, or weakness are possible
  • Group4: Guarded prognosis. This group has many modifiers and the likelihood of persistent neurologic signs such as muscle weakness, atrophy, radiculitis, and other things is increased with the possibility of the need for surgical intervention.
  • Group5: Unstable. Patients in this group will have radiculopathy and or myelopathy in many cases and surgery is often indicated.

For help with neck pain and to speak with us about physiotherapy or chiropractic co-management with Osteopaths call us today!


Croydon Sports Injury Clinic Ltd | 0 208 651 4439