A type of cervical strain injury that is often termed cervical acceleration-deceleration injury. This is most commonly caused by a motor vehicle accident, but can occur from diving, sporting events, trauma to the neck or body, pulls and thrusts on the arms, and falls, landing on the trunk or shoulder.
This is caused by external forces that act on the neck and upper trunk, which exert a “lash like effect” on the musculoskeletal structures. The severity of neck pain due to a MVA is determinate on head position, amount of force, and the force direction during the accident. A rear-end MVA is the most common type of MVA for whiplash. During this type of impact the neck usually hyperextends initially and then rapidly hyperflexes, which results in a hyperflexion injury to the cervical extensors. This is the direct opposite for a front-end MVA. Despite the direction of the impact the soft tissues of the neck are overstretched and tears occur resulting in a classic strain/sprain. A history of neck injury is a significant risk factor for chronic neck pain.
Muscles that are affected the most do depend on the direction of the impact.
-Rectus Capitis Posterior Minor
Aggravating factors include intolerance to prolonged static neck posturing or repetitive upper extremity movements.
If the patient has increased upper extremity pain with neck ROM, or reports weakness, numbness or tingling refer back to their physician.
Signs & Symptoms
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