Head & Neck Injuries

You’re invited to browse our catalogue of articles describing common neck injuries and how we treat them – from slipped discs to muscle strains. Injuries can be caused by damage to muscles, ligaments, nerves, bones or joints. Below are links to articles explaining the different types of structures in the neck and the injuries related to them. We’ve also included tips on how to tend to your injury at home!

Most injuries don’t happen in isolation. In most cases there are two or three structures at the root of the problems our patients experience. To illustrate an example: If you are suffering from whiplash, we expect 3 ligaments to be sprained, clear injuries to 4 muscles, as well as 6 tendon injuries.

When diagnosing patient problems, we determine the main area which has been damaged and focus our treatment on that. The general progression of problems stems from these underlying structures (generally in this order): 1) Nerves  2) Bones  3) Joints  4) Discs  5) Ligaments  6) Tendons  7) Muscles

Neck Pain

Treatment requires us to distinguishes between four types of neck pain; accident/injury with trauma, acute/sudden neck pain with no trauma, slow progressing neck pain and chronic neck pain. This article is written to help you understand the structure of your neck and how tension or imbalance in the structure causes different types of neck pain. Included is a detailed list of symptoms (ranging from Mild to Severe) to help you judge the urgency of getting treatment for the pain in your neck.

This article provides detailed causes of neck muscle spasms and levels of urgency for treating symptoms. Explanations of our (Cilliers & Swart) diagnosis and treatment processes are included in this article. We’ve also included tips to prevent further injury or recurring injury to your neck muscles. Keep in mind that your neck muscles have a direct relationship with other parts of your body, like your shoulders and back. This means that a related injury can be causing your neck muscles to stiffen.

Neck Disc Injury

Cervical Discs are shock absorbers in your neck. Neck pain can be the result of one of these discs being damaged and forming a Cervical Disc Bulge or Prolapse. A slipped neck disc causes a sharp pain in your neck, shoulder blades, down your arm into your hands and/or fingers. This article includes a self-test method you can try at home.

Whiplash

Whiplash is a colloquial term used for a cervical acceleration/deceleration (CAD) injury to the neck and head. This means that jerking your head forwards, backwards and sideways can injure multiple muscles, ligaments and joints in one motion. This article unpacks what happens in the moment(s) of injury, how to judge the seriousness of your symptoms and what to expect from physiotherapy treatments.

Neck Joint Degeneration   

Also referred to as Cervical Spondylosis. Spondylosis refers to the normal degenerative changes caused by aging and posture. In short – it is the “wear and tear” on your neck joints. It isn’t necessarily cause for panic and alarm, even if pain progressively creeps in. Read this article to find out how and why this happens, the types of symptoms associated and how we treat it.

Wry Neck   

If you are reading this from a ‘funny angle’ because you cannot face your screen head-on, this article is for you! Wry neck is when your neck joint gets stuck, inflamed and you’re unable to turn your neck. This causes you to keep your neck in a fixed position to reduce the pain. We call this a wry neck – wry meaning distorted, lopsided, twisted or pulled out of its proper place. Or we call it an acute locked joint, which we have the key to unlock.

Nerves can become trapped as they run through your spine to your arms. The ‘trapping of neck nerves’ refers to the pinching of the nerve between the other underlying structures in the neck such as muscles, bones, ligaments, discs and much more. This article outlines how nerves get trapped, symptoms associated and even includes a self-test you can do at home.

A muscular injury is damage to the muscle tissue of the neck. This can happen because of faulty training, especially if you fixate your neck when you do ab workouts. Luckily physiotherapy, manual therapy combined with the right exercise program, can resolve symptoms of a neck muscle strain.

Concussion  

Concussion is the most under diagnosed injury in sports – mainly because athletes want to stay on the field, which tends for it to go unreported. Concussion is defined as “a mild traumatic brain injury caused by biomechanical force”. Perhaps if we all referred to it as a “mild traumatic brain injury” it would be taken more seriously. The after effects of a concussion is enough to encourage anyone to rather have it looked at, than hoping for the best.

Aching, throbbing, even sharp, shooting pain in your head limits your ability to concentrate. This leads to small irritations or big mistakes. Headaches also affect your mood and patience. Read this article to discover why you are suffering from headaches that can be relieved with physiotherapy treatment. Cluster headaches, tension type headaches, migraines and cervicogenic headaches are all treatable with physiotherapy.