Can Physio help with Neck Pain?
What is Neck Pain?
Pain in the neck or shoulder which has different intensities, ranging from aching to electric shock feel.
Neck pain is very common. Neck muscles can be strained from poor posture — whether it’s leaning over your screen or bending over your work desk. Osteoarthritis can also be a common cause of neck pain.
Signs and symptoms include:
- Pain that’s often worsened by holding your head in one place for long periods, such as when driving or working at a computer
- Muscle tightness and spasms
- Decreased ability to move your head
Your neck is flexible and supports the weight of your head, so it can be vulnerable to injuries and conditions that cause pain and restrict motion. The causes of neck pain can include:
- Muscle strains. Overuse, such as too many hours hunched over your devices, often triggers muscle strains. Even small things, such as reading in an uncomfortable position or clenching your teeth, can strain your neck muscles.
- Worn joints. Just like all joints in your body, your neck joints tend to wear down with age. Osteoarthritis causes the cushions (cartilage) between your bones (vertebrae) to deteriorate. Your body then will form bone spurs that affect joint motion and cause pain.
- Nerve compression. Herniated disks or bone spurs in the vertebrae of your neck can press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord.
- Injuries. Rear-end auto collisions often result in whiplash injury, which occurs when the head is jerked backward and then forward, straining the soft tissues of the neck. For more information, please see our page on Whiplash.
- Diseases. Certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, or meningitis, can cause neck pain.
Sometimes, neck pain can be a symptom of a more serious problem. Seek medical care if your neck pain is accompanied by numbness or loss of strength in your arms or hands or if you have shooting pain into your shoulder or down your arm.
Seek immediate care if severe neck pain results from an injury, such as a motor vehicle accident, diving accident or fall.
Contact a doctor if your neck pain:
- Is severe
- Persists for several days without relief
- Spreads down arms or legs
- Is accompanied by headache, numbness, weakness, or tinglin
Most neck pain is associated with poor posture combined with age-related wear and tear. To help prevent neck pain, keep your head centred over your spine. Some simple changes in your daily routine may help. Consider trying to:
- Use good posture. When standing and sitting, sit up straight and be sure your shoulders are in a straight line over your hips and your ears are directly over your shoulders.
- Take frequent breaks. If you are sitting for long amounts of time, get up, move around, and stretch your neck and shoulders.
- Adjust your desk, chair, and computer so that the monitor is at eye level. Knees should be slightly lower than hips. Use your chair’s armrests.
- Avoid tucking the phone between your ear and shoulder when you talk. Instead put it on speaker if possible.
- If you smoke, quit. Smoking can put you at higher risk of developing neck pain.
- Avoid carrying heavy bags with straps over one shoulder. The weight can strain your neck on that side.
- Sleep in a good position. Your head and neck should be aligned with your body. Use a small pillow under your neck. Try sleeping on your back with your thighs elevated on pillows, which will flatten your spinal muscles.
Can Physio help with Neck Pain?
We assess the exact biomechanical cause of your neck pain and put together an individualised plan to not only alleviate your pain but stop it from re-occurring.
One of the most common things we see in clients with neck pain is that they get symptomatic relief with massages etc, but often, they do not address the underlying reasons as to why their neck is getting sore in the first place, and far too often, the symptoms persist once they return to that particular activity.
A thorough plan of attack is vital for long term elimination of pain and stiffness.
If you’re experiencing any neck pain, come and see us! Give us a call on (08) 9203 7771 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and book an appointment and we’ll check them out, alleviate any concerns and give you the best possible treatment to keep the pain at bay.