Are you having a BAD neck?
May 18, 2024
Are you having a BAD neck?

Understanding your Neck Pain

 

Neck pain is one of the most common conditions and many people will experience neck problems at some point in their life. Especially during those COVID period of time with all working from home. The majority of neck problems can be effectively managed with physiotherapy. For an effective treatment, finding the underlying causes of the pain and minimising risks of recurrence play an important part.

 

Anatomy of neck

 

The structure of the neck consists of a network of blood vessels, nerves, discs, muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones, which together allow movement of the head and protect vital nervous and circulatory system structures. Due to the large number of structures, symptoms of the neck pain can differ and largely depend on the type of the neck pain.

 

Types of neck pain

 

Non-Specific mechanical neck pain

This is the most common type of neck pain and produces following symptoms:

  • Stiffness
  • Pain felt around neck, on both sides or just one
  • Pain that goes down to your shoulder or sometimes to your upper arm
  • The pain can vary from mild to severe and can be
  • Sharp/pinching, dull/achy, or mix of both.

 

Radicular neck pain

This type of pain is less common than non-specific mechanical pain and produces following symptoms:

  • Inability to fully move your head
  • Pain in the neck and down the arm
  • Pain can travel as far as the hands and fingers
  • Sharp and shooting pain
  • Pain can be severe at the times
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness and
  • Tingling/pins and needles

 

Headaches (Cervicogenic headaches)

Many people do not realise that headaches can be caused by problems in the neck. Cervicogenic headache is a pain that is produced in the neck due to stiff muscles that constrict blood flow, and the pain is felt in the head.

 

What causes neck pain?

 

In some cases, neck pain can be caused by traumatic incidents such as car accidents and can cause a condition called whiplash. The majority of neck pains that we see and treat most of the time arise for no specific reason and are most likely caused by:

  • Poor posture
  • Desk work/study
  • Muscular strains
  • Age – degeneration and arthritis
  • Pinched nerves
  • Injuries to intervertebral discs
  • Stress/tension
  • Sedentary “lockdown” lifestyle
  • Improper exercise technique “youtube exercise videos”

 

 

What can you do?

  • Ensure your workstation is set up to help you sit in a good supported posture. To find out how to properly set up your working space check our Workspace Ergonomics
  • Correct your posture regularly when sitting and standing, draw your shoulders back and hold this posture for 10 sec before you relax.
  • Perform posture correction at least twice every hour while you are working.
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach as it may strain your neck muscles.
  • Be active and exercise regularly to improve muscle tone and posture.

 

How can MAXVALE PHYSIOTHERAPY help YOU?

 

If neck pain is affecting your life, the team at Maxvale Physiotherapy can help you and get you on the road to speedy recovery. As there are many causes of neck pain, our experienced physiotherapists will carry out a thorough assessment in order to identify the causes of your pain and discomfort. We can then apply effective treatment that may include:

 

  • Soft tissue and trigger point massage
  • Gentle mobilisation of the joints
  • Dry needling
  • Postural re-education
  • Individualised Pilates exercise program
  • Hydrotherapy

 

Written by : Branka Zoric, APA Physiotherapist

Edited by: Dr Max Lim, FACP MSK Physiotherapist