Neck pain and stiffness can cause headaches and sleep issues, or simply just prevent you from enjoying life. Whether it’s muscular aches, headaches, jaw pain or tightness, sharp pain or mobility issues, a sore neck is very frustrating. However, it’s often quite easy to resolve.
The causes of neck pain are numerous so an accurate diagnosis by a professional physiotherapist in Como is recommended before beginning treatment. Getting a thorough assessment by a health professional can often give you insight into some of the causes of your pain and neck dysfunction. Our highly experienced physiotherapists in Como and South Perth would be pleased to assist you.
The Causes of Neck Pain Often the neck joints become stiff or locked, and as a result this can cause nearby muscles to spasm such as in the neck and shoulders. It may even cause weakness of local muscles. If this continues, neck posture can alter. This puts strain on muscles and joints, resulting in pain. Just a single stiff joint or tight muscle can have a huge impact, if it’s not attended to as soon as possible.
Poor posture is a common cause of neck pain. It can also aggravate past injuries. Overuse is another common cause. Performing repetitive activities can over-stress structures within the neck. Lack of muscle control is also a cause of neck pain, and by strengthening and improving coordination of the neck muscles, injuries can be avoided and symptoms improved.
There are many forms of neck pain, some of these include: joint injuries, general neck pain, muscle-related injuries, bone-related conditions such as osteoporosis, disc injuries, nerve pain and referred pain, tension headaches, and vertigo or dizziness. Your neck can also affect your jaw and TMJ.
Neck Pain Treatment Treatment for neck pain depends on the cause. Physiotherapists are qualified and experienced at diagnosing and treating neck pain and headaches. Muscle strength may be a cause particularly in more chronic or persistent conditions, or commonly posture issues can cause neck pain. There are many causes and a physiotherapist will thoroughly analyse the situation to ensure the correct treatment.
A physiotherapist will examine the range of motion of your neck, along with assessing numerous structures to identify the source of your pain. Muscle strength will also be tested to determine if this is a contributing factor to your neck pain. A range of motion assessment will test many movements including: Rotation Extension (tilting your head back) Flexion (tilting your head down) Retraction (pulling your head back) Protraction (pushing your head forward)
The majority of neck pain originates from neck joints and muscles. Strengthening exercises can often be an effective way to correct stiffness, headaches or pain. However, chronic neck pain may be due to persistent habits and ergonomic issues with sleeping, working or in your home environment. While these may be harder to solve, the right questions from an experienced physiotherapist will identify the contributing factors. The sooner the issue is addressed, the better the outcome will be.
Some of the treatments used for neck pain include: injury treatment using joint mobilisation, acupuncture and dry needling, soft tissue treatment including massage and trigger point release, stabilising exercises, massage, support braces, heat packs, manipulation techniques and more. Pilates and weight training specific to the neck can also be beneficial.
Prevention A good exercise program can dramatically reduce the risk of another neck injury. Modifying or adjusting your workspace is another effective way to prevent neck pain. Good posture, combined with working in an ergonomically designed area can reduce the risk of neck problems. Maintaining good posture is a great way to prevent neck pain because it limits extra strain on the neck. There are a range of postural exercises that can be provided by an experienced physiotherapist to help you find a good position more naturally if this has been a struggle.
There are many causes for neck pain including poor posture, weak muscles and overuse. Integrity Physio is located in the South Perth/Como area and can provide an effective treatment plan to reduce pain and prevent future injuries.