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Causes of Neck Pain

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neck pain

The causes of neck pain and strain include poor sleeping posture. A traumatic incident where the neck is moved too rapidly or too far without control of that movement. Examples may include in a football tackle or in a fall. Poor and prolonged work postures either in a seated or standing position. Excessive emotional stress.

Simple conservative preventative strategies include managing emotional stress. Light cardio exercise regimen can also assist with emotional stress. The use of sound ergonomic equipment at your work station. Implementing self-mobilising exercises throughout the working day. Frequent breaks in routine to change postural alignment. Modifying work tasks in consultation with an occupational health specialist to reduce the risk of neck injury. The application of hot and or cold compresses. Adequate nutrition and hydration to maintain a healthy body healthy spine.  Always follow the advice of your health professional.

neck pain is a common condition that is very disabling. If the condition is severe in nature if commonly will refer pain into the shoulder or down the arm. There are many causes of neck pain. neck pain can be caused by trauma such as ‘whiplash’, as well as sporting injuries, sustained postures at work, stiffness and arthritis in the joints of the neck.

Muscles, joints or nerves in the neck or a combination of all three all contribute to neck pain. The specific structure causing neck pain can be identified during an assessment. Research suggests that physiotherapists are very good at identifying the exact area responsible for pain; once identified this area can be treated appropriately.
A common cause of neck pain is excessive stiffness in the joints further down the spine at the base of the neck and between the shoulders. It is thought that stiffness in these areas causes excessive stress through the areas further up causing them to become overworked and painful. Recent research suggests that certain patients benefit greatly from manipulation of these stiff areas with large improvements achieved over one or two treatment sessions.

Treatment of Neck Pain

Treatment consists of;

  • Mobilising or manipulating stiff neck joints
  • Trigger point release and deep tissue massage to reduce tension and muscle spasm around the neck and shoulder.
  • Muscle retraining and strengthening around the neck
  • A home exercise program to improve range of motion and maintain strength
  • Postural education and advice (including taping if 
necessary) to prevent re-occurrence.

Acute Common Torticollis (Wry Neck).

Torticollis literally means twisted neck. Onset of symptoms will generally be noted on waking and will involve one side of the body only (uni-lateral). Symptoms: The pain will be localised to the neck though may spread to the shoulders over time. Head and neck movement will be restricted. Occurrence. Most commonly seen in younger people with or without a history of trauma.

Causes include

1. sleeping or sitting in awkward positions without proper head and neck support.
2. Poor sustained working postures eg. In front of the computer screen.
3. Carrying heavy loads unevenly.

Non-pharmaceutical management includes

1. Gentle ranging exercises to the affected area.
2. Avoidance of aggravating activities.
3. Maintenance of sound spinal alignment in a safe ergonomic work space.
4. Local heat applications.
5. Use of a supporting pillow.
6. Always following the advice of your treating health professional.