The neck is a small area of your body but is comprised of many structures. The area of the spine in this area is referred to as the cervical spine. The top two vertebrae within the cervical spine attach to the head and are responsible for rotation of the head. The lower 5 vertebrae are responsible for the main movements of the neck. Ligaments around the spine in this area help support the spine and provide stability.
There are many muscles within the neck providing controlled movement of the head, neck, shoulders and even the rib cage.
Neck pain is usually not caused by a serious condition but is often caused by poor posture, sleeping in poor positions and ageing. Common conditions of the neck include arthritis, nerve impingement, whiplash, disk protrusions and muscle strains and ligament sprains from sudden movements like twisting or lifting awkwardly. Anxiety and stress can cause muscle tension around the neck and shoulders which can also cause pain.
People with neck conditions often experienced pain and tenderness around the neck. Pain can also refer to the shoulder and arm and also to the head causing headaches.
Physiotherapists are highly skilled in the assessment and management of neck pain. A detailed assessment of your neck will identify the factors causing your pain and from this your Physiotherapist will create an individualised treatment plan to get you on the road to recovery. Your Physiotherapist may identify problem areas in parts of your body other than your neck, for example postural abnormalities in any part of your body can lead to neck pain. Lifestyle and daily activities will also be discussed as many activities such as reading and watching TV at an angle or repetitive computer work can add stresses to the neck and cause problems. Management of all identified problematic areas will be incorporated into your treatment plan.
Your treatment plan will likely include an exercise program to target the specific problem areas as Physiotherapists are highly skilled in exercise prescription. Your exercise program may include stretching, strengthening, balance and postural exercises. Other treatments that may be used include soft tissue work, mobilisations, electrotherapy, heat and cold therapy, kinesiology taping, strapping, relaxation techniques, advice and education.
Depending on your condition your pain should improve within just a few Physiotherapy sessions. However, continued support is available to prevent further injury and for those of you who need to improve your sport performance or daily activities. Your Physiotherapist can help design your exercise program that is specific and relevant to your needs.
Other services that are available at Estuary Clinic to help in the management of your neck pain include: