Neck pain has multiple causes, including muscular imbalances, trapped nerves, disease, or lifestyle habits. Not only does our neck enable us to turn our head, but it has a vital role in the human body. It is a pathway for air, food, liquids, blood, and more to travel from the head to the body and vice versa.
How is neck pain diagnosed?
A physiotherapist may ask you a number of questions to assist in their diagnosis and treatment plan. These include:
- Where exactly is the pain located?
- Is the pain on one or both sides of the neck?
- What movements limit you?
- Does it hurt more if you look left or right?
- Is the pain sharp or a dull ache?
- How intense is the pain?
- Are you getting headaches?
- Is the pain constant or intermittent?
- What makes the pain worse or better?
- How does the pain affect your daily living?
- How many pillows (and what type) do you sleep with at night?
- How do you sit at work in front of your desk?
- Do you carry heavy bags?
- Have you had any blurred vision, double vision, or dizziness?
- Do you have any shoulder or arm pain?
All these questions together with a physical examination aids your physiotherapist in diagnosing what may be wrong with your neck and why you are experiencing pain. If the pain does not go away after a few physiotherapy sessions, you may get referred for an X-ray or MRI scan to assist with diagnosis and further treatment.
Possible causes of neck pain:
- Fracture of vertebral body, spinous or transverse process
- Ligamentous sprain
- Muscle strain
- Nerve compression
- Postural related pain e.g. due to bad sleeping position
- Stress and anxiety
- Acute torticollis
- Brachial plexus injury
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
How to treat neck pain
Suggestions for treatment include:
- Heat/Ice Therapy
- Taking pain medication
- Reducing stress
- Changing your sleeping position
- Practising good posture when sitting, walking, or standing
How we can help your neck pain
We will do whatever we can to get you on the fastest route to recovery. Some of the treatment methods we use include:
- Strengthening exercises
- Myofascial trigger point release
- Cross-friction massage
- Stretching and range of movement exercises
- Functional exercises
- Postural exercises
- Core stability exercises