Neck pain is one of the most common complaints related a motor vehicle accident. The neck is actually the most vulnerable area of the spine when discussing whiplash related injuries. Why is the neck so vulnerable to injury?
First, if you are wearing your seat belt then your torso actually acts like part of the car or part of the seat. However, your neck is not part of the stationary seat and thus is at a much greater risk of dealing with the forces of the collision.
Secondly, in a whiplash injury the mechanism involves the neck actually being pushed backwards as the torso moves forward. This causes shearing forces to occur to the joints of the cervical spine. This can injure discs, facet joints, synovial folds, etc. This injury occurs within 330 milliseconds. It takes a muscle longer than 330 milliseconds to fire. Thus, you could have the strongest muscles possible but they are not able to fire in time to protect you from this injury. Again, your muscles cannot protect you from a whiplash injury because the injury occurs before the muscles can fire.
In this article, I would like to discuss the common signs and symptoms related to an injury to the synovial joint. We have thin structures in our neck called synovial folds. These folds are normally not impinged by the cervical vertebra. However, if an injury occurs, such as whiplash, then the synovial folds can become impinged. This would typically happen on one side.
The patient typically presents with pain significantly more severe on one side. They also tend to laterally flex their neck to one side as it provides them relief. For instance, if the impinged synovial fold is on the right then the patient would lean to the left. In fact, if the patient tries to lean back to the right it increases their discomfort. Does this sound familiar?
Thus, this patient experiences neck pain after a car accident, decreased neck range of motion after a car accident, and increased neck pain with movement after a car accident. The proper treatment involves actually adjusting (manual manipulation) the opposite side of where the synovial fold is impinged. Once the folds are no longer impinged then pain relief occurs.
If you are looking for neck pain relief after a car accident then I would suggest you call our office today. We specialize in providing short term care for your neck and back pain. We serve patients in Roseville, MN, Saint Paul, MN, Shoreview, MN, Arden Hills, MN, and Falcon Heights, MN.