How does trauma affect the neck?

The neck is an intricately designed part of the body, made up of layers and layers of muscles that stabilise a stacked column of 7 bones, and provides protection for the nerves and blood vessels connecting your brain to your body, as well as your, airway and oesophagus. When trauma occurs, any of these structures can absorb the force and become damaged. 

Necks need to be strong to hold the head up and protect these structures, but also mobile enough to move your head into different positions when it needs to. This mobility is where the neck can be so significantly influenced by trauma. With so many structures and so much mobility, there are many things that can get injured when a traumatic injury occurs to the neck, which can give a variety of symptoms, such as

  • Neck, shoulder and/or back pain
  • Restricted neck mobility
  • Radiating pain down your arm/s
  • Pins and needles or numbness
  • Feeling of weakness in the neck and arms
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain

And not all symptoms from trauma are physical:

  • Brain fog/difficulty focusing
  • Visual disturbance
  • Dizziness
  • Memory issues
  • PTSD
  • Anxiety
  • Fear/avoidance
  • Poor sleep
  • Nightmares

How easy is it to cause trauma to the neck?

Despite the capacity for injury, necks are stronger than you might think. For proof of just how strong the neck can be, when F1 drivers crash they can experience 50G force or more against their necks, equivalent to 250kg, and often can walk away from the crash. The reason they are able to do this is the amount of support the muscles provide to stabilise movement. Not to mention the years of dedicated strengthening of their neck muscles, but it goes to show the capacity for injury is high, but so is the capacity to prevent injury).

The complexity of symptom presentation can make understanding how to proceed with treatment quite tricky, but this is where our Physiotherapists can help. We have the training and experience to assess and specifically treat the issues that arise from neck based trauma with a combination of hands-on treatment, exercise, lifestyle changes and education. We also know that some things require more than just Physiotherapy, and can provide guidance on seeking adjunctive treatments and other options that are available.

Neck Pain Patient Resources

Learn more about the causes of neck pain, your neck anatomy, poor posture and even why your neck cracks in our Neck Pain Patient Resources page.


Headache, Neck & Jaw Conditions We Treat

Our Brisbane clinics specialise in the treatment of head, neck and jaw conditions, many of which are notoriously difficult to treat. If you’re experiencing symptoms of any of the following problems, our team has the expertise and training to help.

Headaches


Migraines


Jaw and Orofacial Pain

Neck Pain and Trauma

Whiplash and Nerve Pain

Vertigo & Dizziness


Tinnitus


Singing / Vocal

Therapy

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If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort then don’t put it off - contact our friendly team today to make an appointment with one of our expert physiotherapists.

Minimising impact of trauma?

The best way to reduce the impact of trauma is prevention. If you engage in activities that you believe may predispose you to injuries, preventative strategies and muscle training can be quite helpful. 

But not all trauma comes with a warning, in which case the sooner you see a health professional, the better. Our Physiotherapists are trained to assess and specifically treat the physical parts of trauma, and can refer for further investigations should they deem it necessary to rule out significant injury. 

We also understand that it is not always just a physical issue, as it can affect your psychological health, social life, work and hobbies. Because of this we aim to collaborate as part of a holistic team to not only improve your symptoms but get you back to what it is you want to do.

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Get in touch with us today for more information on our services or to make an appointment with our friendly team.