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Whiplash

Whiplash is the injury associated with the neck as a consequence of an injury to the soft tissues (ligaments, tendons or muscles) following an accidental movement or force applied to the neck thus causing the neck to move past its regular angle of motion. Any sudden and unexpected rough movement of the can cause whiplash. Road accidents or any blow to the neck during sports or assault are likely to cause whiplash.

Symptoms of whiplash occur gradually after the injury. The neck pain is likely to be acute. There may be swelling in the neck and muscle spasms. Headache accompanied with dizziness, buzzing noise in the ears and at times hazy vision are symptoms of whiplash. In rare cases, there is loss of function relating to the neck.


Depending on the severity of the case treatment can either be at home or with the help of a doctor. Applying ice on the affected part will bring down the swelling and the pain. Do not apply ice directly on the skin as this might lead to frostbite; use a towel or some cloth in between the ice and your skin. You can use a pain reliever to help reduce the pain, in case of continuing pain consult your doctor.

The physician may suggest neck massages and heat therapy. Bed rest is needed for acute cases. A cervical collar is suggested to minimize the motion of the neck. Minimal activity or nil activity for the neck is suggested till it heals thoroughly. Whiplash is an unpredictable condition and can occur to anybody, all you can do is try and prevent the condition. Suggested below are few prevention norms:

  • The seat headrest should be at the appropriate height while driving, the upper tips of your ears should coincide with mid-headrest.
  • Wear your seat belts while driving.
  • Ensure you keep your neck safe while taking part in any sport involving physical contact.
  • Learn to position your neck correctly and never use your neck as a stand.

Cancer of the Head and Neck

Head and neck cancers can be of many types, based on the area where they are found.

  • Oral Cancer
  • Salivary Gland Cancer
  • Laryngeal Cancer
  • Hypopharyngeal Tumors
  • Nasopharyngeal Cancer
  • Hypopharyngeal Tumors
  • Tumors of the Oropharynx
  • Tumors of the Nasal Cavity

Symptoms of head and neck cancer can range from a lump in the neck to hoarseness of voice to even a growth in the mouth. A person may notice a change in voice. A person suffering from mouth and tongue can lead to sores. Basal cell cancer of the skin is another form of head and neck cancer. Early detection of head and neck cancer is vital to timely treatment. Most of these cancers lead to identifiable symptoms. Blood in the saliva or phlegm can indicate mouth, nose or throat cancer. Persistent earache and difficulty in swallowing can be due to infection or tumor in the throat. Cancer of the nasal cavity can result in nose blockage, pain in the forehead and face numbness.


Most common causes for head and neck cancers are smoking, chewing tobacco and alcohol. Other probable factors for head and neck cancer are are HPV infection, asbestos exposure and excessive sun exposure. A person suffering from Epstein Barr virus is at higher risk for developing head and neck cancer. Do not ignore a persistent lump on the neck or tongue or jaw. Consult a doctor when you notice difficulty in swallowing for more than a few weeks.


A doctor will conduct a physical examination and probably take a biopsy of any suspicious lymph nodes or tissues. If a cancer of the head or neck is detected, further tests will be needed to judge the extent of spread. The type of treatment usually depends on the extent of spread of the tumor.


Cervical Spondylitis

Neck pain that affects the cervical spin is called cervical spondylitis. This pain can spread to the rear of the neck, both sides of the shoulder, collar bone and shoulder joints. It restricts neck movement and the arms become motionless due to weakness in muscles.


Spondylitis symptoms


  • Inflammation of the spine and other joints
  • Back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Leg pain
  • Spinal deformity
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Bladder incontinence
  • Pain while moving the affected joint
  • Decreased mobility
  • Pins and needles or burning/tingling/creeping sensation of the skin in the back, leg and thigh
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Bibliography / Reference

Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: November 11, 2019