Neck pain is a COMMON problem. The exact cause of the pain is often unclear, however most cases of neck pain is not due to a serious disease or neck problem, and the pain usually improves in 4-6 weeks. Neck pain can be the result of a traumatic incident such as a car accident or collision, or non-traumatic incident such as an overuse situation. You may feel pain in your neck, shoulders, upper limb, base of skull and even your back. If a nerve is irritated, you may feel a tingling sensation in your arm or hand. Difficulty moving your neck is common, and movements of the neck, shoulders or back may feel like its worsening your pain.
Common causes of a-traumatic neck pain include:
Poor sitting posture at the desk, computer, reading, driving etc
Poor sleeping posture
Repetitive movements of looking up
Changes in the joints and muscles due to general wear and tear
Stressful work and home situations
Changes in neck posture due to eyewear.
Tips to maintaining good posture:
Keep your computer monitor at eye level and use a chair with back support
Avoid tilting your head to talk on the phone or texting on the phone and looking down for long periods of time.
Ensure that your bedding situation supports the nature curvature of your back and neck.
How can physiotherapy help?
Regardless of how the neck injury occurred, physiotherapy is an essential part of your road to improved health. Techniques such as soft tissue release and mobilisations can help to reduce muscle spasm and promote joint health. It is important that a thorough biomechanical assessment is conducted to ensure that all contributing joints, muscles and neural structures are addressed. Your therapist can also help direct you on the right path if further imaging or referrals are required. Strengthening and stretching of the neck and surrounding joints is highly important to your rehabilitation to prevent worsening of your condition in the future. Your therapist will work with you to develop a home exercise program that best suits your lifestyle and aim to prevent reoccurrence of pain.