Whiplash-Associated Disorder (WAD)
The term “whiplash-associated disorder” is used to describe the clinical manifestations of a whiplash injury – which occurs when an “acceleration-deceleration” force is applied on the neck. The neck is injured by a sudden jerking or “whipping” of the head – straining the muscles and ligaments of the neck beyond their normal range of motion. While many associate the occurrence of WAD with car accidents, it can occur in any mishap when an acceleration-deceleration force is applied on the neck for example, in a diving accident, on roller coasters, sports injuries, or being punched or shaken.
Whiplash is one of the most common causes of neck and head pain. Read below to find the symptoms that whiplash causes as well as other common causes of neck and head pain aside from whiplash.
– Pain in the neck, head, shoulder, and arms
– Pain and stiffness in the neck – muscles may feel knotted and stiff
– Pain when moving head from side-to-side, front-to-back, and rotation
Our necks are exposed to a lot of stress. Often, people experience pain in this region caused by a number of different factors. The pain may begin in any of the structures in the neck (muscles, nerves, vertebrae and the disks between them, etc.) and can radiate down to the back and arms. Pain can also be radiated from other areas like the shoulder, jaw, head, or upper arms. A common cause of neck pain is muscle strain or tension – and everyday activities are the culprit. Being bent over a desk all day, poor posture while reading or watching TV, or sleeping in an awkward position can all be causes. It can also be caused by more serious incidents, like falls or accidents. Other causes may include a cervical herniated disk, arthritis, and meningitis.
– Stiffness and soreness of the neck
– Difficulty moving head
– Pain that spreads to shoulders, arms, or back
– If neck pain involves nerves, you may feel numbness, tingling, or weakness in your arm, hand, or elsewhere
Sitting for long periods of time in one position or keeping your head/neck in static position can cause stress on the Head & Neck and make you vulnerable for injury. Especially if you’re looking up or sideways for long periods of time. Improper ergonomics in the workplace can also cause unnecessary stress on your head and neck and make you vulnerable for injury.
The most common and overlooked cause of head and neck injury is having an improper bed and pillow. Most people spend 1/3 of their lives in bed. For long periods of time each day, people will put their heads and necks on a pillow that is NOT right for their necks and lay in a bed that offers little to no support for the spine. Sleeping in this improper position puts stress on their neck. They might not feel it at that moment, but eventually it causes wear and tear and makes them more vulnerable to injury.
Poor Core Strength
The abdominal and low back together (core) are the foundation of your spine. Your head and neck are part of the spine and if your core is not strong, then stress will travel through up the spine to your head and neck and make you vulnerable to injury.