What is neck pain? What are causes and risk factors for neck pain?
- Muscle Strain – from sporting injuries, car accidents, poor posture, poor work position.
- There are a lot of muscles that connect the head to the upper shoulders – see below. Any of these can become tight and painful, particularly when we sit at a desk badly for hours!
- Joint Sprain – facet joints and ligaments – same as the above.
- Whiplash – from car accident or hitting your head.
- Disc – from sudden injury or repeated irritation – may give nerve root pain as the nerve root is affected by the disc pressing on it or chemicals from the disc irritating the nerve root.
- Viral Infection
What are other symptoms that are associated with neck pain
- Neck pain is commonly associated with dull aching muscular pain coming from the shoulders up to the head or neck or going from the neck down into the shoulders.
- Sometimes pain in the neck is worsened with movement of the neck or turning the head and often you can turn your neck to one side without pain but you have a lot of pain and restriction when you try to turn your head the other side. Can be due to torticollis, which means “twisted neck” – see below.
- Other symptoms associated with some forms of neck pain include numbness, tingling, tenderness or sharp shooting pain into the arms (see above – the foramina and nerves); fullness, difficulty swallowing, swishing sounds in the head, dizziness, lightheadedness, and lymph node (gland) swelling.
- Neck pain can also be associated with headaches, facial pain, shoulder pain, and arm numbness or tingling. These associated symptoms are often a result of nerves becoming pinched in the neck.
What can be done to help relieve neck pain?
Chiropractic treatment can be very effective in reducing neck pain, whatever the cause we may use any of the following:
- Soft tissue massage.
- Medical dry needling (Western acupuncture)
- Manipulation of the neck or mobilization of the joints.
- We often use therapeutic ultrasound on the tight muscles.
- We give postural advice and advice regarding how you can work without irritating your neck pain.
- Rehabilitative exercises.
- Lifestyle advice.