The cervical spine or neck is made up of seven bones that are surrounded by ligaments, tendons, intervertebral discs, and muscles. Its primary job is surrounding and protecting the spinal cord, the secondary is to support the weight of the head. Range of motion of the neck consists of bending forward, back, side to side, and rotating left/right. Due to the flexibility of the cervical spine it is very susceptible to different types of injuries. Some injuries that are seen on a daily basis are posture related (improper computer monitor height, texting while looking down constantly, non-supportive chair at work station, etc. ) these can be avoided by taking the proper action steps to correct the posture related injuries.
There are Injuries and Accidents that cannot be avoided. These sudden motions of flexion and extension (also known as whiplash) this whiplash motion can injure the supporting tissues around the neck and head area. Muscles respond naturally by tightening and contracting (muscle spasm), creating muscle fatigue and tension, this results in pain and stiffness. Severe whiplash injuries can also injure the intervertebral discs causing (herniated and bulging discs) joints, discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerve roots. Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash.
As part of the literature review, published in the March/April 2007 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, the researchers reviewed nine previously published trials and found “high-quality evidence” that patients with chronic neck pain showed significant pain-level improvements following spinal manipulation. No trial group was reported as having remained unchanged, and all groups showed positive changes up to 12 weeks post-treatment.