Neck injuries- Why we get them and how to treat them

whiplash physiotherapy treatment

Neck injuries are becoming more and more prevalent but why?

You may be experiencing pain, stiffness, decreased strength in your neck and arm, difficulty turning your head, muscle spasm and  headaches. Why is this the case?

Firstly, we will differentiate acute from non acute neck issues:


Car accidents, horse riding and sports with repeated high impacts like rugby are some of the causes of serious acute neck injuries. These can cause whiplash, spinal cord injury and fractures of the vertebrae. Whiplash is definitely the most common of these injuries affecting 1/125 who are attending A and E.

Non acute and chronic

More common to the general public and what we see a lot of in the clinic are neck pain cases which come on gradually over time. These include strained muscles and tendon, sprained ligaments, joint restrictions, pinched nerves and disc injuries. Generally we see combinations of all of the above.

We classify non acute neck pain which lasts for more than 3 months as a chronic neck pain injury.

Why we get non acute and chronic neck pain

The causes behind non acute neck issues are numerous

These include:

  • Increased stress levels which can result in poor breathing patterns, 
  • Decreased strength around the shoulder and upper back, 
  • Poor sleeping positions and the amount of sleep you get, 
  • Lack of exercise 
  • Excessive amounts sitting and driving in the same position throughout the day.

Also of course the modern classic of too much screen time on a laptop or phone with the head poking forward (lockdowns certainly didn’t help with this!) are among the most common causes that we see in the clinic.

What can be done about this?

At APC, it is paramount that we figure out the ‘’why?’’ or in other words, the root cause of your neck pain. 

Your Physio identifies this when listening to your story (e.g. any combination of the above mentioned causes). 

An agreed upon and achievable plan must be put in place between the patient and therapist. 

Then, starting from the ground up, we address the areas of imbalance in a holistic and systematic fashion so that you can stop worrying about your neck and get back to living your life pain free and doing the things that are important to you.

A great start to resolving your neck pain issues, is to check out our brand new neck pain guide which delves into more detail on the causes and solutions to your pain.

Click the link below to download our brand new Neck Pain Guide


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