What Causes Neck Pain… And How Physio Can Help
We all experience neck pain at some point in our lives.
In most cases its a stiff neck with tightness and a feeling of restriction
In some cases neck pain can be severe and becomes chronic neck pain
With a change of activity of the last couple of years
More home offices, kitchen offices we have seen the secondary effect with an increase in chronic neck pain presenting to the clinic
Types of Neck Pain
Causes of Neck Pain
Should You See a Physio?
Is Neck Pain Linked To My Headache?
Types Of Neck Pain
We hear a lot of people say they have neck pain, but the type of neck pain someone is experiencing can make all the difference.
There are Two main types of neck pain:
1. Mechanical Neck Pain
This involves the joints and muscles and more commonly presents as a stiff neck
2. Neural Neck Pain
This is a different beast.
It can involve the nerve roots of the cervical spine and is commonly referred to as a pinched nerve.
As the nerve roots pass from their source in the spinal cord into the cervical spine they can get irritated or compressed (pinched nerve)
It may be accompanied by tingling sensation in arms/hands or numbness in arm/hand muscles.
What Causes Neck Pain
Sometimes neck pain can start with a tight upper back or waking up with neck stiffness.
This can be due to an imbalance in the muscles that support the neck and head, which can create tension in your neck resulting in some cases in severe neck pain.
Other causes of neck pain include…
Sleeping in awkward positions
Poor posture while sitting at a desk
Lifting and moving in poor positions over long periods of time
Should I See A Physio If I Have Neck Pain?
As we age, it is more common for us to experience pain in our neck.
Our physiotherapists here at Compass physio will conduct a thorough assessment that includes asking about your
Past medical history
Together you will work out a treatment plan that will best suit your needs and help you return to living without neck pain.
We have a step by step system that ensures a thorough assessment of the cervical spine and ensuring you get your neck pain diagnosed
Is My Headache Linked To My Neck Pain?
A headache may be a symptom of neck pain
A headache can also be caused by tension in the neck muscles and shoulders (poor posture), eye strain, numbing or tingling of the arms and hands, or lack of sleep.
The best treatment is to address any underlying causes of the pain first, such as improper posture at work or in your home environment, poor ergonomics of computer desks or chairs, stress and anxiety.
How Do I Free A Trapped Nerve In My Neck?
If you’re neck pain is caused by a nerve from the cervical spine there are options
- Get the right pain relief. This could be a discussion with the GP or the Local Pharmacist. They may advise muscle relaxants if symptoms are severe or often some basic painkillers/anti inflammatories to start.
There are specific pain killers for nerve pain that the GP can prescribe in severe cases of neck pain
2. Imaging Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in small number of cases is required to give clarity on exactly what the issue is
A Physio letter or if you are using your private insurance will be required to get the MRI
3. A physiotherapy assessment. Early intervention
I recommend anyone who is developing neck pain, pain in the neck and shoulder, or radiating pain down the arm has a thorough assessment.
Clarity on the source of the symptoms which could be
- Muscle pain
- Facet Joints
- Nerve Root
- Spinal Stenosis
- Bone Spurs
- Herniated disc
- Several other pathologies
Will inform the correct treatment and exercises for you