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Neck Pain

 

Neck Pain | Headache, Whiplash, Thoracic Spine

Causes

Neck pain is a common problem, with two-thirds of the population experiencing neck pain at some point in their lives. Waking up with neck and shoulder pain is a common problem. Persistent use of your arms i.e. driving or computer use can present in a similar fashion. Sources of neck pain may include muscular tightness in the neck and upper back or pinching of the nerves emanating from the cervical spine (neck); resulting in pins and needles and/or numbness. Joint dysfunction in the neck and upper back can cause pain in this region. Physiotherapy can rectify this using either manual therapy or very specific exercise therapy, depending on the cause of pain.

TIP:
Avoid postures that increase either the pain or pins and needles. Support the arm if you find this gives you relief. Seek treatment from your chartered physiotherapist as early as possible to ensure a speedy recovery.

 

The neck can be a source of headache. The muscles of your upper back attach onto the base of your skull. If they become tight they can pull on the joints of the upper cervical spine, compressing local tissues and causing headaches. Pain that is generated from this area is primarily experienced in the head and side of the neck. This type of headache is very common in office workers and drivers with poor posture i.e the “chin poke” posture. In these situations, re-aligning or mobilising these upper neck joints and muscles often alleviates your headache, combined with posture and ergonomic education.

Neck pain is a common occurrence after a car accident. This injury can cause pain to radiate down to the shoulders and arms. If the upper part of the neck is injured, headaches can also occur. Physiotherapy can really help with all of these problems. If managed correctly many of these people will get complete resolution of their pain with no ongoing problems. The most important thing for anyone suffering with whiplash associated pain is to seek treatment early. Neck pain associated with a whiplash injury can commonly become chronic and affect day to day living if left untreated.

TIP:
Use heat on the sore area after 24 hours and try to keep moving the neck gently to avoid it becoming stiff. If the pain and stiffness has not subsided in 3 – 4 days seek advice from a chartered physiotherapist.

Your thoracic spine is the area in the middle of your back. The majority of your rotational movement occurs in this region of your back. Pain and stiffness in this area can be a problem for those sitting for prolonged periods in work or in the car. Repetitive heavy lifting can also cause thoracic pain. Sometimes the pain can be felt at the front in the area of your breast bone. Deep breaths can aggravate this problem due to the close proximity of the ribs. Physiotherapy can help with this problem using a wide range of manual techniques in combination with specific exercise.

 

TIP:
For those working at a computer pain in this region can often be the result of sitting with your keyboard or screen slightly off centre. Ensure that these two items always directly in front of you.

 

To find out more about the services that Ballsbridge Physiotherapy can provide please contact us.