Whiplash Symptoms

symptoms can and often manifest as an injury that happens to a person’s neck after an abrupt force of acceleration and deceleration that occurs in incidents such as car accidents. This is one of the many possible neck pain causes that can happen.

Most people who have been in a motor vehicle accident can make healing progress rapidly without the presence of chronic whiplash symptoms. However, there are still others who may feel the symptoms for years.

   Acute and Chronic Whiplash Symptoms

Whiplash is categorized into two categories- acute whiplash and chronic whiplash. Acute whiplash happens when there is an abrupt hyper-extension, hyper-flexion or  rotation of the neck that causes you to experience neck pain and stiff neck. Chronic whiplash occurs when the symptoms continue for so long, approximately for six months and more after an acute whiplash.

What Causes Whiplash?

The most common cause of whiplash is probably car accidents. Especially in those involving rear-end collisions. The impact when two vehicles crash creates a force that causes the neck and head to hyperextend, or bends forward, as the torso is pushed forward. After this, the head and neck then falls backward, placing it in a hyper-flexed position. 

Whiplash symptoms include: tenderness on the back of the neck, inflammation of the neck, headaches, restricted movement in the neck, neck pain and stiff neck.

Diagnosing Whiplash Symptoms

After an accident, the person may taken to the hospital for further examination. The health care provider will then assess if there are injuries needed to be treated. X-rays of the neck are obtained to give a clear picture for any serious injuries.

If the x-ray is normal but the person still experiences whiplash symptoms such as neck pain, a doctor will order a cervical collar to be worn to relief the strain on the neck. After a few weeks of using the cervical collar, the doctor may perform additional tests, x-rays or an MRI scan. The MRI scan can detect injuries to the tissues which cannot be detected by x-rays.

Treatment of Whiplash Symptoms

The first treatment for a whiplash is the use of a cervical collar. The collar reduces the movements of the neck, thus preventing further injuries.

But there are studies shown that immobilization will slow down the healing of the neck. Patients who undergo early exercises may rapidly improve and soon alleviate the symptoms. These kind of exercises are usually done for about 10 times in an hour.

One of the most common of whiplash symptoms is stiff neck or neck pain which can be extremely uncomfortable. However, there are stiff neck remedies that could help ease the pain. Typically, the first pain medication ordered are over-the-counter drugs. 

Another common treatment ordered is temperature therapy. Temperature therapy is done by placing hot and cold compresses alternately on the neck. The heat will reduce the inflammation of the muscles and the cold compress keeps the muscles relaxed.

Another effective treatment is by performing a neck self-massage by rubbing your hands together to keep it warm then place it on the back of your neck. Do this procedure several times day to help your whiplash symptoms.

When You Have A Slipped Disc

slipped discSlipped disc in the cervical spine causes constant pain and worry, one of your primary goals is to get neck pain relief. Learning what a slipped disc is, what causes it and some treatment options is a great place to start your road to recovery for muscular relaxation and peace of mind. This article will give you some information that should point you in the right direction for getting pain relief.

What Is A Slipped Disc?

A slipped disc is a condition where a part of the cushioning disc bulges out of position. This bulging can eventually push on the spinal column or the nerves.

Amazingly, almost 20% of the population has a slipped disc with no obvious symptoms. But for some, a slipped disc in the neck can cause neck pain which can vary from mild to severe, depending on the location and the extent of the protrusion.

What Causes A Slipped Disc?

There are several possible causes for a slipped disc. One of those is the aging process.

In this case of aging, a slipped disc occurs when there is degeneration of the connective tissue as a person starts to age. This will make the soft part weak which later can cause swelling.

While the lower back is the commonly affected area for this condition, it may also occur in the upper back or neck sections of the spinal column.

Another cause of a slipped disc is overuse of the area. And a third cause is trauma or injury.

How Can A Slipped Disc Be Treated?

The preferred treatment of a slipped disc is non-surgical but surgeries may be done if other treatments did not work out. Usually, the treatment for this condition is by taking pain medications, perhaps in combination with anti-inflammatory drugs and rest.

The decision of having a surgery as part of the treatment depends on you and your doctor. Surgery is considered as an option if symptoms of too much pressure on the spinal cord are already felt. In cases where the patient starts to experience paralysis requires immediate emergency care to relieve the pressure soon followed by surgery.

A doctor should be seen right away if changes start to happen in your bladder and bowel habits or when you begin to experience muscle spasms and paralysis.

How Can Neck Pain Caused By A Slipped Disc Be Relieved?

The best neck pain relief treatment is usually physical therapy, also known as physiotherapy.  Physical therapy for the neck centers not only on how you can develop and build up your neck muscles, but also the ligaments and joints that support the vertebrae.

Physical therapy also focuses on accelerating your healing process to reduce pain and swelling. In addition, it teaches you on how to have the best body posture to keep your neck and spine aligned and healthy.

When you begin your therapy, a physical therapist will first get your medical history and ask you questions in order to best know the problem so they can develop a treatment plan.

There are a number of other treatment options like neck surgery and or taking medications.  But today there are also alternative treatments available that will relax and soothe your neck muscles to ease neck pain.

Alternative Treatments For A Slipped Cervical Disc

Perhaps the most popular treatment is massage. Massage therapy will help relax the muscles to prevent spasms.  This therapy is done for 30 minutes to an hour. You are asked to lie on a bed or sit on a chair then the therapist will start to work with their hands on the muscles and soft tissues of the body.

Another treatment is acupuncture. Acupuncture is a treatment where very thin needles are placed in specific areas in the skin. This is done to release hormones that could aid in pain relief and promote relaxation.

Neck pain caused by a slipped disc is definitely uncomfortable and may limit your lifestyle. But hopefully this article has helped you by looking some of your options for neck pain relief.

Degenerative Disc Disease

degenerative disc diseaseDegenerative disc disease is one cause of neck pain , also known as DDD or osteoarthritis of the spine. DDD is the degeneration of the vertebral disc of the upper or lower spine. The disintegration of the discs could lead to spinal stenosis or cervical spondylosis. This condition is not a disease but a degenerative disorder that can be painful and seriously affect your life.

The degeneration of the disc is a normal phase of the aging process but as it wears off, it can place pressure on the nerves of the spinal cord causing pain. With degenerative disc disease, the disc begins to weaken and lose its elasticity.

What Causes Degenerative Disc Disease?

  • If there are not enough fluids in the disc, it will lose its capability to absorb shock. As the discs become thinner, the space of the vertebrae narrows. With this, there will be no cushion between two vertebrae.
  • When there is an injury on the disc like a crack, the jelly-like substance that acts as a cushion may leak causing the tissues to bulge. Herniated disc in the neck is another cause of DDD.

Doctors do not precisely know what causes degenerative disc disease. But age, injury and osteoarthritis all contribute to this condition.

Who Is At Greater Risk Of Developing DDD?

This condition affects young adults and the middle aged people who have vigorous lifestyles. Studies also prove that people who smoke are at risk of acquiring the disease.

Symptoms Of Degenerative Disc Disease

Symptoms of degenerative disc disease include pain caused by stiff neck; tingling sensation of the neck, shoulders and arms; and muscle weakness in the shoulders down to the hands. Tingling and weakness of the muscles are possibly due to a pinched nerve in the neck.

Pain starts off at the lower back and can be felt in the buttocks and legs. You can feel underlying pain at times followed by occurrence of intense pain which may last from a few weeks to a few months.

Pain is also aggravated while you are sitting because the position will add more pressure and weight on the affected disc. Avoid activities with bending and lifting to prevent pain. Some people would feel better or find some relief if they walk or run rather than just sitting down for long hours.

Conservative Care

Patients suffering from degenerative disc disease can be relieved by placing an ice or hot pack to manage pain and inflammation on the affected areas. Some doctors may recommend the use of neck appliances such as neck or cervical collar as part of their treatment.

A neck collar, neck pillow or neck traction is used to stabilize the neck and place it in its proper alignment so that certain movements or positions will not cause additional nerve or disc compression.

Medications That Could Give Relief

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and pain relievers are used to provide relief.  Oral steroids and muscle relaxants may also be used to prevent muscle stiffness which can cause pain.

If pain caused by degenerative disc disease is not relieved within six months of conservative treatment and daily activities are starting to become hard to do, surgery is the next option to consider.

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Cervical Spondylosis

cervical spondylosisCervical spondylosis is a painful cervical disorder caused by the disintegration of the spine within the neck area. This is a result of the wearing and tearing of one or more of the discs located in the spine. If there is continuous pressure on the nerves, it will result in this condition.

Cervical spondylosis may also be linked with osteoarthritis. A type of arthritis, this degenerative condition affects the skeletal system and can certainly limit the mobility of the person suffering with this disease. 

WHAT CAUSES CERVICAL SPONDYLOSIS?

Cervical spondylosis can be acquired genetically. If your genes have a Human Leukocyte Antigen- B, then it can affect the occurrence of this condition. Fortunately, this only exists in few cases since people with a hereditary disorder such as cervical spondylosis is very low.

Another factor that can bring about cervical spondylosis is having a job that requires a lot of neck motion and overhead work. Jobs that place too much pressure on the neck area,like heavy lifting and bending and those occupations that requires an  individual to work in just one position for a long period of time can all lead to the development of cervical spondylosis. 

SYMPTOMS THAT YOU NEED TO BE AWARE OF

An individual with cervical spondylosis can experience severe throbbing pain which radiates down the neck, shoulder and back. It can be accompanied by stiffness of the neck leading to its limited movement. There are also patients who complain of numbness or tingling sensation on one or perhaps both sides of the body.

Finding out for the source of the problem is important since this is an essential element needed in developing a treatment and rehabilitation plan. So, a complete and broad examination is done to identify the source of the problem. 

DOCTOR EXAMINATION

Upon entering the doctor’s clinic, your complete medical history will be taken. The doctor will start to ask you certain questions like: When did the pain started? Have you experienced it before? How long does it take for the pain to subside? Have you been involved in an accident?

The next step is performing the physical examination on your neck, shoulder, arms and legs. The doctor will test your muscle strength, sensation, blood flow and reflexes.

Diagnostic tests are then obtained like x-ray of the upper back and neck where it can reveal changes in the alignment of the vertebrae. CT scan and MRI scans are also done to determine the degree of the nerve compression or if the degeneration of the discs is worse.

TREATMENT FOR CERVICAL SPONDYLOSIS

One of the best forms of treatment for cervical spondylosis is exercise. Doing regular exercise not only improves the strength of the muscles but lessens the chance of further injury and improves the blood supply to the spine. Exercises considered an excellent workout for the back is swimming and walking.

Having the proper posture can lessen the probability of having this condition. If you have a demanding job where you sit for long hours, take time to stand up, do a little stretching or walking. Also, change your seat position often and try to avoid using soft cushioned seats. And watch the positioning of your head and neck if you sit at a desk most of the day. Are you holding your head upright or are you hunched forward?

Surgical treatments are uncommon for those suffering with cervical spondylosis. Surgery is only for patients who experience excruciating pain that cannot be relieved with conservative treatments.

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Cervical Neck Vertebrae and Pain

Neck Vertebrae Neck vertebrae, to fully understand your neck pain, here is a little lesson in the anatomy of your neck.

Our spinal column is composed of three different groups of bones known as vertebrae and the group that supports the axis of the neck is known as the cervical vertebrae. The cervical area has 7 vertebrae and is the smallest out of all the types of vertebrae.

The Role of Neck Vertebrae in Cervical Anatomy

Neck vertebrae are piled up on top of each other and have a cervical disc located between each of them. The cervical vertebrae give structure and power to the cervical spine and their main function is to support our head.  This structure is also responsible in controlling the movements of our neck for rotation, flexion and extension.

Rotation is a movement where the head is turned from side to side. This movement of the neck occurs in the first two vertebrae of the cervical spine known as C1 and C2.

Flexion or the moving of the head forward is controlled by C5 and C6 and extension, a movement where the head is tipped backward, are controlled by C6 and C7.

How Neck Vertebrae in Cervical Pain Are Involved

A problem that affects almost two-thirds of the population is neck pain which may be due to injury, stiff neck, improper sleeping position and spinal problems. Our head is supported by the lower neck and upper back and these areas are the main reason why we experience neck pain. Neck pain occurs when there is tightness of the muscles in the neck or in the upper back or when the nerves of the cervical neck vertebrae is compressed.

Some Pain Relief Measures

Neck pain may be relieved by the following pain relief measures:

Massaging the neck is perhaps one of the easiest remedies to try. This can be done by rubbing your hands together rapidly to create heat which make your hands warm. Start massaging the affected area of the neck slowly for pain relief.

Massage can help in improving and increasing the blood flow in the neck area, which helps in relaxing the tensed muscles in the neck and shoulders. The action of your hands and heat will soothe the muscles and alleviate any discomfort. If you think you cannot do this on your own, ask for the help of a family member or your friend.

Cold Therapy Relieve Neck Vertebrae

Another relief measure is cold therapy, a well-known home remedy against neck pain or stiff neck. Neck pain can be due to an inflamed muscle. The cold treatment can help in reducing swelling, thus restoring the function of the neck muscles. This therapy is done by wrapping ice in a towel and placing it on the affected area for not more than 10 minutes. Be cautious when using ice and don't over do it.

Bad posture can also cause  cervical neck pain since the head is position forward, thus pulling the muscles. Improving your posture is the best preventive measure. When you are working, the position of your computer and the height of your chair can contribute to this health problem. Make sure that everything is set on its proper height so that you will have ideal posture while working. This measure might be very simple but can greatly help you.

Providing treatments and coming up with a decision regarding problems with the  neck vertebrae is sometimes a difficult task for physicians. Look for a physician who is knowledgeable on how to prevent, stabilize and treat any injuries to the cervical vertebrae.

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