Why is neck pain such a pain in the neck? An important base for our head to provide us with a wide range of sight, the neck or the Cervical Spine is predominantly meant for movement rather than to support load as found in the lumbar spine. Neck pain is becoming a more common occurrence in modern culture as people spend more time seated at desks and attention is drawn toward screens. Prolonged positions and repetitive neck movements are linked to increased loads on the joints and muscles of the neck that are designed to move rather than remain stationary. The neck is also susceptible to traumatic injury, commonly occurring in vehicle collisions resulting in whiplash injuries, or in contact sports with high velocity. These types of impacts to the neck are also often associated with trauma within the skull and concussion.
Do you have Neck Pain?
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The cervical spine is composed of seven vertebrae, discs lie between each vertebrae while nerve roots exit the spinal cord through bony gaps in the joints between each vertebrae and travel down the arms. For this reason, nerve-related pain may be felt in the arm yet originates from the nerve roots in the neck. Nerve-related pain is often associated with descriptions of pins and needles, buzzing, warm or cold sensations on the skin. Nerves, just like any tissues of the body are meant to move as we move our bodies. Occasionally, a nerve, or branch of a nerve may become compressed near a muscle or joint during certain movements or while at rest leading to irritation of the nerve. In many cases, physiotherapy management and addressing mechanics of movement can relieve the compression on the nerve and alleviate symptoms.
Many intricate muscles are present in the neck to produce movement in multiple planes. Proper function of the neck is imperative for the performance of our senses, like hearing, balance and especially vision. The Deep neck Flexors play an important role in support and stability of the neck and head in upright postures, weakness in this muscle group often leads to increased neck pain and headaches. A Cervicogenic Headache originates from the neck due to mechanical dysfunction refers up toward the head, often felt predominantly on one side and be managed well through manual therapy and specific exercise prescription.
Some acute or traumatic neck injuries may include:
- Acute cervical radiculopathy
- Vertebral fracture or stress fracture
- Dens fracture
Some atraumatic (non-traumatic) causes of neck pain may include:
- Myofascial/postural neck pain
- Facet arthropathy
- Cervicogenic headaches
- Disc protrusion or degeneration
- Cervical Radiculopathy
- Trigeminal neuralgia
- Neck osteoarthritis
What can I do about my neck pain? Tips and general Information:
- If you find your neck pain is predominantly while working at a desk, try setting a timer on your watch or phone as a reminder to change your posture. Stand up, change your sitting position, or have a short walk to allow you neck and shoulders to be held and move in a different way. This may help to decrease the fatiguing effects of prolonged postures on your neck.
- Gentle neck stretches, allowing your head to hang forward and to the side can help to relieve feelings of muscle tension in the neck.
- Alternating between a heat pack and cold pack on the base of the neck and top of shoulders can also provide some relief.
- Gentle chin tucking exercises can help improve function of the deep neck flexors for postural stability and control. Along with general physical activity and exercise, neck health and function has shown to improve very well.
How can a Brisbane physio help my neck pain?
PhysioTec is your choice for physiotherapy for neck pain in Brisbane. There are many potential options for management depending on your condition and your personal needs and goals. Physiotherapy for neck pain at PhysioTec may include:
- A thorough patient interview and physical assessment
- An evaluation of possible underlying causes, particularly important for long standing or recurrent conditions
- Education and personalised advice about how to best manage your neck condition and speed your recovery
- A tailored and progressive exercise program, including video-based exercises on a free App and/or colour photographs and typed text instructions
- Taping as required
- A gym program and a progressive return to work or sport plan.
1. Why do I wake up with headache and neck pain?
Quality of sleep can affect us the following day. Poor sleep due to distractions or stimulating factors like screen time can lead to poor quality sleep. Furthermore, an uncomfortable mattress or pillow can lead to poor sleep quality as well and may not allow the body, including neck, to relax and recover during sleep leading to a sore neck and headache.
2. Is my neck pain related to my TMJ (Temporomandibular joint)?
Many muscles are found interacting between face and neck including muscles used for movements of the jaw. It is possible for tension arsing from the neck to influence movement at the jaw and may affect the TMJ (temporomandibular joint). Furthermore, due to closeness of these neck and facial tissues, referred pain is possible in the close proximity.
3. Can neck pain cause dizziness?
Neck pain and dizziness can be associated with one another, however types of dizziness are important to differentiate to distinguish the source. Some cranial and facial nerves can be affected at the neck and may have associated symptoms of dizziness.
Our Brisbane Physiotherapy Clinic, services areas including: Brisbane, Tarragindi, Mount Gravatt, Holland Park, Rocklea, Yeronga, Annerley, Camp Hill, Carindale, Coorparoo, Salisbury, Sunnybank, Greenslopes, Seven Hills, Acacia Ridge, Indooroopilly, Woolloongabba, etc.
Because of our expertise in hip conditions, dance injuries and performance, and hypermobility, we also have people visiting us from all over Queensland, Australia and even international visitors. We also have a telehealth service for remote patients.
23 Weller Rd, Tarragindi QLD 4121, Australia
📞 Ph (07) 3342 4284 Fax (07) 3342 4204
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