Neck Injury Symptoms & Treatment

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Cervical Spinal Stenosis

Degenerative/Trauma-Related Narrowing of Spinal Canal

Your cervical spine is the collection of vertebrae at the base of your skull, whereas your lumbar spine is in your lower back. The most commonly reported symptom of Cervical Spinal Stenosis is a tingling in the hands. Sometimes, the condition can also appear as weakness, numbness or tingling in arms, legs or feet. Some people experience problems with balance and walking, and in extreme cases, nerve damage in the bladder or bowel can lead to incontinence.


The condition occurs due to a narrowing of the spinal canal, which houses the spinal cord. In most cases, this is the result of degeneration due to age, but it can also happen following traumatic injury. Cervical Spinal Stenosis can be a painful, and sometimes debilitating, condition that results in significant sensory changes if left untreated. Physiotherapy intervention has proven to be an effective recovery treatment.

Cervical Radiculopathy

Pinched Nerve/Shooting Pain

Cervical Radiculopathy is sometimes described as a shooting pain or numbness of the arms. You might also be experiencing muscle weakness and tingling in your fingers, or perhaps your hands don’t seem as coordinated as they used to be. These symptoms could be the result of compression—or pinching—in one or more nerve segments near your cervical vertebrae.

The shooting pains associated with Cervical Radiculopathy can happen for many different reasons—from age-related degenerative changes in later life to ruptured discs in younger patients, resulting from injury.

Brachial Plexus Injuries

Heavy Impact/Contact Sport

Brachial Plexus injuries are typically the result of playing contact sports, and are often referred to as ‘burners’ or ‘stingers’. If you have this kind of sudden injury, which violently extends your neck on one side, you may experience burning pain in your arms or shoulders, and find that your movement in these areas of your body is restricted. It’s possible too that you’ll have reduced feeling in your arms or shoulders.

Much like concussions in the past, Brachial Plexus trauma was largely ignored as a sports injury. This type of injury is often misdiagnosed, which is why it’s important to talk to a Registered Physiotherapist who has the knowledge to assess and identify the exact cause of your pain or discomfort, and the expertise to ensure full return of all areas of motor control.

If you suspect you have a Brachial Plexus injury, act quickly. Many people are under the mistaken impression that ‘burners’ will heal on their own. Unfortunately, left untreated, these types of injury can actually trigger secondary problems.

Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease

Age-Related Neck Stiffness

Wear and tear over time can cause the discs between our vertebrae to lose substance, resulting in stiffness, pain and often a lack of mobility. Other symptoms include tingling, numbness and weakness of the neck, arm and shoulders. All of this can have a significant effect on quality of life. Left untreated, Cervical Disc Degeneration can also lead to progressive conditions like Cervical Stenosis.

Cervical Osteoarthritis

Spondylosis/Neck Arthritis

Known both as Cervical Osteoarthritis and Cervical Spondylosis, this age-related condition describes arthritis of the neck. Many patients suffer from headaches and neck stiffness as a result. Some experience a loss of mobility that interferes with everyday tasks, such as driving. Other spondylosis sufferers talk about a grinding or cracking sensation in the neck with a turn of the head.

Cervical osteoarthritis can be asymptomatic for years, but many of our patients have been in significant pain for a long time before they come to us. Once the condition gathers enough speed, the pain can be unbearable.

If you’re suffering from Cervical Osteoarthritis, the good news is that, in the right hands, it is possible to roll back the clock and return to a pain-free life.

Cervical Strain Whiplash

Cervical Strain / Whiplash

Known as Cervical Strain and Whiplash, this condition is characterized by a sudden acceleration of the head on the neck.  Often caused by a motor vehicle accident or severe jolt stemming from a sports injury a concussion may also accompany a whiplash injury.  Whiplash is classified on a scale of 1 to 4 the most severe whiplash being accompanied by a cervical fracture.

Patients who suffer from whiplash are often unsure as to what the right treatment program can be.  Our team at Focus Physiotherapy will help identify and outline the most appropriate treatment plan for your injury and its’ severity.

Our team will diagnose, determine the degree of injury and design the optimal recovery program for your level of damage.  If you’re suffering from Cervical Strain or Whiplash, the good news is that, in our hands, it is possible to recover.