Whiplash injury occurs after a sudden, violent hyperflexion/ hyperextension movement of the cervical and upper thoracic spine. Causes of these injuries vary from: sports injury, falls, accidents in the workplace, and most commonly car accidents. The pain experienced here can be extremely intense and is usually felt most in the cervical muscles, whose tension and rigidity can increase over time, limiting movements of the head. Vertigo and intense headaches often contribute to the pain experienced. In rare cases pain can radiate along the arm through to the fingers of the hand which may be associated with altered sensation and weakness. If these symptoms occur it may be a sign of a slipped cervical disc(s) and needs particular attention. In these cases the first diagnostic exam you undergo is a standard X-ray of the cervical spine in order to exclude fractures. 

A CT scan may be required if there is any suspicion of a fracture that the first X-ray may have missed. MRI scans may also be used where neuropathic pain is experienced.

While neck pain is common, it is not normal and should receive professional medical care to determine the cause. Dr. Daniel J. Saenz at MVMT Matters in Sacramento, California, is experienced in accurately diagnosing and treating chronic and debilitating neck pain. Call today to schedule your appointment.