Neck pain is a common and often limiting presentation for athletes and the general population alike. It is estimated that 70% of people will experience some form of neck pain throughout their life. Fortunately, very few of these cases result in considerable or long-lasting interference with daily activities with only 2% of neck pain cases resulting from a serious structural injury.
Neck pain is classified as any form of pain in the region between the base of the skull and the top of the shoulder blades. Although the source of the pain is within this region in some cases it may result in secondary/referral pain into your shoulders, arms and head.
Types of Neck Pain:
- Non-specific neck pain
- Muscle strains
- Overuse/ Muscle spasm
- Joint irritations
- Wry Neck
- Whiplash Associated neck pain
- Neck Fractures
- Radicular pain ( Neck pain with referred symptoms in the Upper limb)
- Radiculopathy ( Neck injury with reduced nerve function in the upper limb)
If you are experiencing neck pain, stiffness or radiating pain from the neck and shoulder, it is important to present to a Physiotherapist or Doctor in order to be properly assessed in order to properly diagnose the cause and effectively treat neck pain.
If your neck pain has started after; Sustaining a fall, a direct contact to the head or neck playing sport, or been involved in a motor vehicle or bicycle accident it is highly recommended you present to emergency or a doctor prior to attending physiotherapy for assessment and treatment.
Neck Pain Treatment may include:
- Education regarding;
- Diagnosis and Prognosis
- Self-management strategies
- Activities to avoid
- Advice for sleep
- Importance of safe movement and general exercise
- Graded exercises including:
- Strength and endurance exercises
- Range of motion exercises/ stretches
- Manual therapy/hand treatment including:
- Taping strategies