Hmm, interesting. I hadn't thought of the dog doing the yanking that would cause the injury. Duh.
We used the Gentle Leader on an extremely dominant older Pomeranian (the below-named Bubbles, whom we adopted at 6yo) who hated listening. He didn't hit the end of the lead trying to run off, but he often wanted to go his own way and pull. He would start to feel the pressure from the nose loop and go back to a heel very nicely. We didn't have to pull with much more than a finger, and never quickly. It worked very well for our particular situation, but I can see that it might not be the safest choice for the OP.
Okay, then, I second my suggestion for the Easy Walk Harness. It has worked well for our Papillon, who is nearly 1&1/2. I didn't want to use the GL on her because I didn't want to leave it on during the day and have it get wet/messy from water and food, nor did I want to have to put it on and take it off several times a day. (When I decided to get something to help control her, she was still on a puppy feeding schedule.) The EWH worked very well on her. I suppose she might have been one more prone to injuy from the GL, as she had/has a tendency to run and bounce around while on the leash. In fact, I think it's time to start using the EWH regularly again.
Our new Pomeranian, Jack, is nearly 8yo and very calm on the leash. I think we might get a GL for him only because there are times when we are walking that he gets interested in a smell and refuses to budge. Jack weighs around 5-6lbs, whereas Bubbles weighed 12-15lbs, so we will have to get Jack his own GL, not to mention the fact that I wouldn't feel right using Bubbles' stuff with another dog anyway.