Neck Pain

Neck pain affects a large percentage of the population. It can be very debilitating restricting movements and even causing headaches. The neck is anatomically referred to as the cervical spine.

Causes

It is often hard to know the exact cause of neck pain. There are many factors that contribute to the cause of neck pain, for example:

Hereditary factors

Type of exercise you do

Sleeping position/type of pillow you use

Type of job you do

Types of neck injuries

 



Wry Neck

Wry neck is a painfully twisted and tilted neck and is often referred to as torticollis. This condition can be present at birth or acquired due to a number of reasons. If it is due to muscular spasm and joint dysfunction seeking osteopathic or myotherapy treatment for it may help ease symptoms. Your therapists may also suggest specific exercises, self care or clinical pilates to reduce the risk of recurrence.

Disc Injury

The spine is made up of the vertebrae (bones) and discs (shock absorbers). The discs sit in between the vertebra in your spine and help to make up the spinal column. The discs can develop tears or can bulge, sometimes with the fluid inside them bulging as well. Occasionally this disc injury can put pressure on nerves causing pain, numbness or tingling radiating down the arm. To diagnose a disc injury in the neck (cervical spine) you may need to have an MRI.

Treatment options may include:

  • Osteopathy
  • Myotherapy
  • Clinical Pilates
  • Exercise Rehabilitation
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Specific Stretches
  • In some instances surgery


Neck Sprain/Strain

Neck sprain refers to the injury of the small joints of the cervical spine called the facet joints and may also involve an injury to the cervical spine ligaments. Neck strain refers mainly to strain of the muscles in the neck and is commonly referred to as a wry neck. It is very common for a sprain and strain to occur together. A common example of this is when people suffer whiplash to the neck. This can occur during a car accident where the head is thrown forwards and back due to impact of the car. Due to the speed and velocity of the head movement the muscles will often go into spasm to try and protect the joints and ligaments. As a result the person will have a very stiff and painful nekc.

Neck sprains and strains can be acute or chronic in nature. Sometimes these issues may cause headaches which are commonly referred to as cervicogenic headaches.

Treatment options may include:

  • Osteopathy
  • Myotherapy
  • Rest
  • Clinical Pilates
  • Specific Stretches
  • Ice/Heat


Arthritis

There are many different types of arthritis and the pain associated with arthritis is quite variable. The most common type of arthritis in the neck is Osteoarthritis, which, is due to ‘wear and tear’ of the joint and bones, however other forms such as Rheumatoid Arthritis can also occur. Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease and causes inflammation of the joints.

Treatment options may include:

  • Osteopathy
  • Myotherapy
  • Clinical Pilates
  • Specific Stretches
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Postural and Ergonomic Advice


Postural strain

A postural strain is a strain of muscles related to poor seated or standing posture. As postures are different in each person, so are the postural strains. For example desk workers often have tight muscles through the front of the chest and a slouched posture. This can lead to a weakness of muscles around the back of the shoulders, which may cause dysfunction in the neck.

It is rare that one muscle is problematic in isolation so your osteopath will assess for other causative factors to your pain.

Treatment options may include:

  • Osteopathy
  • Myotherapy
  • Clinical Pilates
  • Specific Stretches
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Postural and Ergonomic Advice