Neck Pain

WHAT CAUSES NECK PAIN

WHAT CAUSES NECK PAIN

Your head is heavy and balanced on a narrow support made up of seven bones called cervical vertebrae. The vertebrae are separated from each other by discs, stabilised by joints and ligaments and moved by muscles. Since the neck is very mobile, it can be easily damaged if not careful.

Injury and poor posture are the most common causes of neck pain and discomfort. Diseases such as arthritis or degeneration of the discs can also cause pain. A disorder of the neck joints or muscles can cause referred pain to your head, shoulders, arms and upper back.

Neck injuries most often result from motor vehicle accidents, sports or occupational accidents. Damage may occur to the vertebrae, joints and nerves, discs, ligaments and muscles. A common neck injury is the sudden rapid acceleration/deceleration injury or ‘whiplash’, where the head is thrown forward or backward in a head-on forward motor vehicle collision.

Habitual poor postural can lead to neck pain because ligaments are over-stretched, muscles become tired and neck joints and nerves are put under pressure. Slouching your shoulders with your head pushed forward, sleeping with your head in an awkward position, or working with your head down for long periods, will all eventually cause neck pain.

Neck pain

HOW TO PREVENT NECK PAIN?

Here are some useful tips to help you prevent the onset of neck pain:

POSTURE

Think Tall: Chest lifted, shoulders relaxed, chin tucked in and head level. Your neck should feel strong, straight and relaxed.

WORK

Avoid working with your head down or to one side for long periods. Stretch and change position frequently.

SLEEPING

A down pillow that is the correct height for your size is important and best to sleep on your back or sides, but avoid sleeping on your stomach to prevent neck problems. Consult your osteopath or physiotherapist for recommendations of the correct pillow height for you if in doubt.

EXERCISE

Keep your neck joints and muscles flexible and strong with correct neck exercises. Your osteopath and physiotherapist will be able to assist you with the correct stretching exercise techniques.

RELAXATION

Recognise when you are stress and tense because you may be hunching your shoulders or clenching your teeth without realising it. Use breathing techniques with stretching exercises to help you relax when you feel tense.

HOW YOUR OSTEOPATH & PHYSIOTHERAPIST CAN HELP?

Our osteopaths and physiotherapists are highly qualify to determine the source of your neck pain and treat it. They may use:

  • Mobilisation

  • Manipulation

  • Massage

  • Cupping

  • Dry needle

  • Remedial exercise

  • Postural assessment, correction and advice

  • Relaxation therapy

Manipulation can be an effective treatment for neck problems but it is used with professional discretion for maximum benefits. Our osteopath and physiotherapist will accurately assess if manipulation is required and check your neck before manipulating it to see if other methods, such as mobilisation, would be preferable instead.

Our osteopath and physiotherapist can also offer you self-help advice on ways to correct the cause of neck pain, such as practical tips for work and in the home, adjusting furniture, relaxation and exercise.

If you are in PAIN, book an appointment now by calling 1300 455 322.