The cervical vertebrae are the topmost seven bones of the spinal column. Important nerves exit between each of these vertebrae. The vertebral arteries run through small holes in the boney processes that are at the sides of these vertebrae.
Whiplash is the term commonly used after abnormal flexion/extension forces are applied to the cervical spine such as may occur in a motor vehicle accident, sports, or even amusement park rides. Neck associated disorder refers to neck pain that occurs in the absence of these forces. It is a common experience. Most of us will have at least one episode of neck associated disorder in our lifetime. Having had at least one episode makes it more likely that we will have another one at some time in the future.
Signs and symptoms
Neck-related pain can be either localized or referred. Localized pain is at the one spot. Referred pain can be felt near or far away from the injury. Pain referred from neck related muscles may produce pain anywhere in the head (headache), upper back, or arms. If the nerves that exit between the neck vertebrae are involved, there may be pain or weakness into the arms, hands, and fingers in predictable patterns.
You may feel pain or stiffness in the neck right after an injury, or it may appear and become worse over the following few days.
When hit from behind by surprise, there can be hyperextension (backwards bending) of the neck that is not limited until hitting the headrest. In reaction, the head and body is often thrown forward. This can lead to a hyperflexion (bending) injury. These abnormal movements can lead to injury of the ligaments that normally stabilize the neck and limit abnormal movement. These ligament injuries may be mild or severe. There is also the risk of fracture of the vertebral bodies, although this is much less commonly seen. Risk factors for Neck Associated Disorder include age, family history, sedentary, and repetitive work. Degenerative joint changes are often seen on X-ray and do not always explain the reasons for someone’s neck pain. They are often seen also in persons with no neck pain.
Shoulders happen to be extremely prone to injury since the ball of the upper arm is larger than the socket that holds it. This results in many problems such as sprains, strains, dislocations, rotator cuff tears and frozen shoulder.
If you have shoulder pain or suffer an injury to your shoulder, seek the advice of a physiotherapist early on to determine the exact nature of your problem. Early treatment for shoulders can result in a faster and better recovery. Be mindful however, that some shoulder problems require surgery, and professional guidance is essential during your recovery. A physiotherapist can help you avoid common complications after surgery, restore your strength and flexibility and get you back to your activities as quickly as possible.
1.Get in balance.
The shoulder joint needs the perfect balance of strength and flexibility to keep it in great shape and injury free. Your physiotherapist can assess your movement and show you how to strengthen the rotator cuff to keep the shoulder positioned optimally in the joint to prevent improper mechanics while moving the arm.
2. Correct poor postural habits.
Improving your movement, strengthening your shoulder muscles, and correcting poor postural habits can improve your shoulder function and reduce pain. Learning the right skills for your activity is important for preventing many shoulder injuries. Your physiotherapist is a movement expert who can prescribe specific exercises to improve your movement and posture.
3. Keep it loose.
Frozen shoulder is a debilitating and painful condition, which is a common complication of many shoulder injuries. Physiotherapists can help with pain relief and a faster recovery, and show you how to keep the shoulder moving through the full available range of motion to maintain optimal muscle balance around the shoulder girdle. Your physiotherapist can provide specific exercises to correct imbalances.
4. Get the right advice.
Shoulder dislocations, separations and instabilities require specialized rehabilitation to protect your injury and have you back to full activity. Consulting a physiotherapist can reduce the need for shoulder surgery; if you need surgery your physiotherapist will refer you to a physician. Your physiotherapist can help you with pain relief, protection from further injury and a full rehabilitation plan.