Common Neck Injuries

What is causing my neck pain?

Whiplash

Injury that involves a rapid back-and-forth or rotational movement of the head, commonly seen in motor vehicle accidents and contact sports such as hockey and football. Results in diffuse pulling or straining of the soft tissue of the neck (muscles, ligaments and tendons). Symptoms include neck pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Besides acute injury management (LINK), treatment includes physiotherapy, exercises to improve postural support and stability, massage therapy and chiropractic.

Cervical Muscle Strain

A “pull” or tear of the muscles that support your neck. Typically caused by sudden movements and other trauma. Symptoms include pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. Besides acute injury management, treatment includes physiotherapy, exercises to improve postural stability and support, massage therapy and chiropractic.

female at desk holding her neck

Neck Herniated Disc (Slipped Disc)

The disc is a rubbery fluid-filled shock absorber between the bones (vertebrae) of the spine. A herniated disc occurs when the disc lining (capsule) tears allowing the thick disc fluid to squeeze out. Typically caused in the neck by bending or twisting injury, especially if sudden or traumatic. May be associated with a pinched nerve or cervical radiculopathy. Symptoms included pain, stiffness and lack of motion. Besides acute injury management, treatment includes physiotherapy, exercises to improve postural stability and support, massage therapy and chiropractic.

Facet Joint Strain

Inflammation or mechanical irritation of the facet joints of the spine which are the small joints that connect one vertebra to the other. Typically caused by overuse or repetitive motions that put the neck into an over arched or rotated position; can also be caused by trauma that causes hyperextension of your neck. Symptoms include pain, stiffness and lack of motion. Besides acute injury management (LINK), treatment includes physiotherapy, exercises to improve postural stability and support, massage therapy and chiropractic.

Mechanical Neck Pain

Pain arising from the soft tissue structures (muscles, tendons and ligaments) that surround the vertebrae of your neck. Multiple anatomic structures and tissues are usually involved. Typically caused by overuse, poor postural stabilization, repetitive motions, and muscle tightness and imbalances. Symptoms include neck pain and stiffness. Treatment includes physiotherapy, exercises to improve postural stability and support, massage therapy and chiropractic. In severe cases, surgery is sometimes needed.

Cervical radiculopathy

Pinching, compression or irritation of the nerve roots in the spine of your neck. Typically caused by a herniated disc or osteoarthritic or degenerative bone spurs. Symptoms include sharp electric-like pain that shoots all the way down your arm to your hand, numbness and tingling, and may include weakness. Besides acute injury management, treatment includes physiotherapy, exercises to improve postural stability and support, massage therapy and chiropractic. In severe cases, surgery is sometimes needed.

Degenerative Disc Disease

Wearing down of the integrity of the shock-absorber discs between the vertebrae, leading to degenerative changes such as bone spurs. Typically related to aging and genetics, but also associated with previous back injuries. Symptoms include pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion. May also be associated with cervical radiculopathy, facet joint osteoarthritis  and spinal stenosis. Treatment includes physiotherapy, exercises to improve core strength, exercise to improve postural support, chiropractic and massage therapy.

Facet Joint Osteoarthritis

Wearing down or degeneration of cartilage in the facet joints of the spine which are the small joints that connect one vertebra to the other. Typically related to aging and genetics, but also associated with previous neck injuries. Symptoms include pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion, especially when arching or extending or rotating your neck. May also be associated with cervical radiculopathy (LINK), degenerative disc disease (LINK) and spinal stenosis (LINK). Treatment includes physiotherapy, exercises to improve core strength, exercise to improve postural support, chiropractic and massage therapy.

Spinal Stenosis

Narrowing of the spinal canal through which runs your spinal cord, causing increased pressure on the spinal cord and the nerve roots. Typically related to aging, genetics, degenerative disc disease and facet joint osteoarthritis. Symptoms include pain that runs down your arms to your hands, as well as numbness, tingling and weakness. Treatment includes physiotherapy, exercises to improve core strength, exercise to improve postural support, chiropractic and massage therapy. In severe cases surgery may be needed.

man on bed holding neck

Individual treatments may vary based on the specific diagnosis and severity of the injury. Seeking professional medical advice for an accurate diagnosis and a tailored treatment plan is recommended for optimal recovery.

Services

SPORTS MEDICINE

Our physicians specialize in sports medicine and are certified with the Canadian Academy of Sport & Exercise Medicine (CASEM). They provide expert medical care for high performance athletes, recreational athletes and active individuals.

PHYSIOTHERAPY

Our physiotherapists focus on sport- and activity-specific rehabilitation. Our goal is to return you to your activity as soon and as safely as possible.

CHIROPRACTIC

Our chiropractors utilize functional assessments to diagnose and determine the appropriate treatment plan and therapeutic methods. These techniques include Active Release Technique (ART), Athletic Movement Assessment (AMA), Diversified chiropractic Manipulation technique.

MASSAGE THERAPY

Our Registered Massage Therapists use preventative and restorative therapies to help you maintain, rehabilitate and improve physical function or relieve your pain.

ATHLETIC THERAPY

Our Certified Athletic Therapists use a full range of treatments to rehabilitate, prevent injury and help you return safely to your sports and other activities.

FOOT ORTHOTICS

Our pedorthists are trained in assessing, casting, design and fitting of foot appliances (orthotics) and in fitting of footwear to reduce painful and debilitating conditions of the lower limbs and feet.

BRACING

Our bracing professionals help fit you with a stocked or custom brace so that you may be able to return to sports or recreational activities sooner and safer.

DIETITIAN & NUTRITION

Our Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist helps to promote good nutrition habits that can help you maintain your energy levels, weight and muscle mass and can lower your risk of certain diseases.

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