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NECK COMPLAINTS

 

What is a neck hernia?

A hernia is when the soft middle of an intervertebral disc is pushed out through a small break in the disc wall. The shooting pain is caused by an intervertebral vertebra that is tearing due to incorrect loading. Such a tear is called a herniation in the medical world.

 

A hernia is a damage to the intervertebral disc that bulges/pushes on a nerve root/spinal cord. An intervertebral disc serves as a shock absorber in movement of the spine and makes room for the nerve root as it exits the spinal cord. The intervertebral disc can weaken due to wrong movement patterns, for example by lifting, poor posture or a lot of repetition in a certain movement. Especially a combination of bending and turning can be very stressful. The pressure on the nerve root can cause neck pain with radiation to the arm, numbness and reduced strength.  

Most common symptoms of a neck (cervical) disc irritation/hernia:

  • Pain in the neck, shoulder, shoulder blade, arm

  • Pain with certain movements (moving the arm or neck)

  • Radiation pain over the shoulder, arm to fingers

  • Referral manifests as tingling or numbness in the arm/hand

  • Pain in the neck/shoulder when coughing/sneezing/squeezing

 

Do you recognise yourself in the above symptoms /information? Make an appointment with one of our chiropractors now.

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What is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?

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Thoracic Outlet Syndrome (TOS) is a name for conditions in which the vascular and nerve bundles in the neck and shoulder area becomes compressed. The vascular nerve bundle coming from the brachial plexus with two blood vessels runs under the collarbone, mainly into the arm.

 

The pinching usually occurs at the height of the upper neck area and the chest. Here, the vascular nerve bundle lies in a narrow space between the muscles, bones and ligaments present. The complaints can be all over the arm or clearly delineated in certain regions of the arm and hand (depending on which nerve or blood vessel is pinched).

 

The brachial plexus runs between the collarbone, first rib and under muscles, when this space is limited the symptoms may include:

 

  • burning, nagging or stabbing pain in the neck, shoulder, arm, wrist, fingers

  • tingling / dull / stinging or sleeping sensation in the neck, shoulder, arm, wrist, fingers

  • loss of strength in the shoulder, arm or hand heaviness in the neck, shoulder,

  • arm swelling and tightness of the arm

  • blue discolouration of the hand and swelling of superficial veins indicate pinching of the vein

  • radiating pain in the neck, jaw and back of the head

  • stiffness in the neck, arm and shoulder may develop

 

What is Upper Cross Syndrome?

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Pain complaints are often present in the neck / shoulders, such as pinching pains with radiations in the arms, hands and fingers. Or, for example, headache complaints. This type of pain can be short-lived or constant, but it can be present for several months or years.

 

Exposure of the human body to gravitational forces, e.g., when standing or walking, is necessary to ensure proper activity of the skeletal muscles responsible for maintaining good body posture. When these muscles are not stimulated to resist gravity for an extended period, e.g., during prolonged sitting or lying, their stabilising function is disturbed by the hypo-activity reaction resulting in muscular weakness and atrophy.

 

The deficit of the locomotor system stability triggers a compensatory mechanism—the stabilising function is overtaken by the mobilising muscles. However, as a side effect, such compensation leads to mobilisers’ increased activity (hyperactivity) and, subsequently, their decreased flexibility, which may finally lead to a pathological chain of reactions within the musculoskeletal system.

Whiplash

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Whiplash is a neck trauma that occurs as a result of an accelerated movement of the head. In most cases, this involves a movement in which the head is moved from front to back or vice versa. A rear-end accident with a car is a good example of this. ​

What are the causes?

As indicated earlier, especially the rear collisions are afraid due to the occurrence of a neck injury of the whiplash type. Yet it is not only the collisions that cause whiplash, sports accidents and diving accidents are also a frequent cause of neck injuries. The consequences are very diverse, one person does not suffer at all, the other person has complaints for a number of weeks and yet another person can have permanent complaints that ultimately lead to dysfunction and participation problems at work and sports. There is still insufficient insight into the causes of these differences.

A classification has been made in the complaints occurring after a whiplash injury.

A distinction is made between four classes:

Class 1: Neck pain and stiffness without physical abnormalities

Class 2: Neck pain with limitation of movement due to muscle and joint injury

Class 3: Neck complaints with symptoms of nerve failure

Class 4: Neck complaints with fractures of vertebrae ​

 

Symptoms of neck whiplash pain:

  • Neck pain and/or headache

  • Decreased movement of the neck

  • Sensitive to light

  • Pain in shoulder and arm

  • Vertigo