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Neck Pain...

Neck Pain, Headaches and Whiplash

As with back pain, many neck problems are not caused by a single incident, but by the cumulative affect of negative lifestyle-related factors. Of course, some neck problems are due to traumatic events such as a whiplash accident, a fall, or a sports injury.

Risk Factors for Neck Pain

More and more people have occupations that require sitting at a desk. The use of computers has risen dramatically and many people now spend eight to ten hours a day in an ergonomically incorrect position in front of a computer. The posture that most desk workers assume - sitting in a position with the head bent forward – strains the muscles in the neck and the ligaments that hold the facet joints together. Also, the normal forward curve of the neck is reversed, causing more stress upon the surrounding tissues. This stress can lead to spinal problems including herniated discs and misaligned joints, which are common causes of spinal nerve irritation. Besides neck pain, spinal nerve irritation in the neck can cause symptoms including headaches, vision problems, arm and hand pain, tingling sensations, and shoulder pain.


Headaches and migraines are frequently associated with disorders of the cervical spine. When the cervical vertebrae lose their normal position or range of motion, sensitive nerves and blood vessels associated with structures in the head can be stretched or irritated, producing symptoms ranging from a dull ache to throbbing pain. In many cases, tight knots in the muscles of the neck called “trigger points” can also cause referred pain in the form of a headache.

Countless other factors – including toxic fumes, certain foods, food additives, alcohol, caffeine, and stress – can cause headaches. However, chiropractic adjustment and management has proven to be very effective in the treatment and prevention of headaches.


Whiplash is a result of a forceful, forward and backward jerking motion of the head, causing injury to the structures of the back and front of the neck. This injury is commonly associated with car accidents involving rear-end collisions. Even at low speeds, the amount of force generated by such an accident is very strong and can cause trauma to the ligaments, muscle, facet joints, discs, and the spinal nerves. Besides neck pain and immobility, symptoms such as headaches, nausea, vertigo, arm and shoulder pain, tingling in the hands and fingers, and weakness of the arm and hand are associated with whiplash injury. Immediate evaluation and x-rays are necessary to rule out the possibility of fracture.

Chiropractors are educated to understand whiplash injury and manage your care without drugs or surgical intervention. Proper management is essential to recover from the pain and symptoms of whiplash and to prevent future disability.


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