A new study finds that auto injuries can cause more problems than just neck pain. In this article, researchers found that patients with whiplash or insidious-onset of neck pain were more likely to have problems with shoulder function. This misalignment of the shoulders may create and even sustain neck pain as well as cause other problems, like headache.
In the study, patients with neck pain had more difficulty performing routine shoulder movements, and their head and neck postures were altered. The study also found that what neck disorder a patient had impacted the type of shoulder dysfunction they had: patients with insidious-onset of neck pain could not elevate their shoulders as much, and those with whiplash had shoulders that were slightly tilted forward.
These findings corroborate other studies that indicate that whiplash patients have a higher risk of developing shoulder pain and experiencing a number of other pain conditions. Since a neck injury can alter the function of other parts of the body, it’s crucial that patients seek a holistic treatment that addresses the multifaceted nature of neck pain and whiplash.
Chiropractic works by getting to the root of the problem – your spine – and studies show that chiropractic can reduce the pain and disability of both whiplash and neck pain. Seeking early treatment may help you avoid developing shoulder and back pain later on.
Helgadottir, Harpa, and Eythor Kristjansson, Sarah Mottram, Andrew Karduna, and Halldor Jonsson, Jr. Altered Alignment of the Shoulder Girdle and Cervical Spine in Patients With Insidious Onset Neck Pain and Whiplash-Associated Disorder. Journal of Applied Biomechanics. 2011; 27:181-191.
Berglund A, Nygren A, Jensen I, et al. The association between exposure to a rear-end collision and future neck or shoulder pain: a cohort study. World Congress on Whiplash-Associated Disorders. 1999;p. 99.
Kosek E, Januszewska A. Mechanisms of pain referral in patients with whiplash associated disorder. European Journal of Pain 2008;12:650-660.
Miller J, Gross A, D’Sylva J, Burnie SJ, Goldsmith CH, Graham N, Haines T, Bronfort G, Hoving JL. Manual therapy and exercise for neck pain: A systematic review. Manual Therapy 15(2010) 334-354.