Neck Pain

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Article by John Miller

What Causes Neck Pain?

Neck pain or a stiff neck are extremely common can affect your life in so many different ways. Whether it be sharp neck pain, dull muscular aches, headache, or an inability to fully move your head, a sore neck can be very frustrating yet it's simple to fix in the majority of cases.

neck pain

There are many causes of neck pain. It is important to make an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your neck pain so that appropriate treatment can be directed at the cause. Please consult your physiotherapist or doctor for the most accurate diagnosis and best treatment for your neck pain.

Neck Joints and Muscles

Commonly we find that neck joints (cervical spine) become stiff or locked much like a rusty hinge. This in turn usually causes protective muscle spasm of some neck and shoulder muscles and weakness of others. The longer this abnormal scenario exists, the harder it is to reverse the habit. Your neck posture alters, which strains adjacent joints and muscles, and the condition cyclically deteriorates. Ultimately you end up with a sore neck.

stiff neck

The interesting thing about necks is that one stiff neck joint or one weak or tight muscle can have a dramatic effect if not fixed quickly. We often see patients who have unsuccessfully tried various neck treatment techniques. What we normally find it that it is a combination of your neck joints, muscle stretching, massage, acupuncture/dry needling, neural tissue, strength exercise and postural techniques that are required to reverse some well established poor habits.

Common Neck Pain Causes

neck pain

General Information

Neck Joint Injuries

Muscle-related Injuries

Bone-related Injuries

Disc-related Injuries

Nerve-related / Referred Pain

Vertigo-related

Headache/Migraine-related

Systemic Diseases

Neck Pain Treatment

sore neck

What is the Best Treatment for Neck Pain?

The best treatment for your neck pain is determined entirely by the specific reasons for WHY you are suffering neck pain. Everyone is different, but there are some common similarities.

Your physiotherapist is highly skilled at the diagnosis and treatment of mechanical neck pain and headache. Posture correction is important but it does depend upon the availability of enough joint and muscle flexibility to attain a good posture, plus muscle strength and endurance to maintain your good posture. Any deficit will need to be addressed.

We understand that your neck pain may not be solely about stiff or wobbly joints or tight/weak neck muscles. There is a whole gamut of information that your physiotherapist will analyse during your diagnostic consultation and then commence the correction of your individual problems. They'll also consider other systemic conditions that can cause neck pain eg cancer, and direct you towards the appropriate healthcare practitioner if appropriate.

Fortunately, the vast majority of neck pain does come from your neck joints and muscles. Pleasingly, researchers have shown that a combination of neck joint and muscle treatment performed by your physiotherapist and some specific strengthening exercises are an effective way to eliminate your neck pain, stiffness and headaches.

For advice specific to the diagnosis and management of your neck pain, please contact your trusted healthcare practitioner.

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Common Neck Pain Treatment Options

neck exercises

If you are in severe neck pain or have a stiff neck, it is best to quickly be assessed to exclude any red flag conditions such as cancer and then commence the best neck treatment straight away.  

Chronic neck pain can be a lingering problem due to habit. Research tells us that symptoms lasting longer than three months become habitual and are much harder to solve.  The sooner you get on top of your neck symptoms the better your outcome.

Some of the neck pain treatment options available may include the following:

  • Bed Rest
  • Early Injury Treatment
  • Avoid the HARM Factors
  • What to do after a Muscle Strain or Ligament Sprain?
  • Acupuncture and Dry Needling
  • Sub-Acute Soft Tissue Injury Treatment
  • Scapular Stabilisation Exercises
  • Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises
  • Biomechanical Analysis
  • Proprioception & Balance Exercises
  • Medications?
  • Ergonomics
  • Soft Tissue Massage
  • Brace or Support
  • Deep Neck Stabilisation Exercises
  • Electrotherapy & Local Modalities
  • Heat Packs
  • Joint Mobilisation Techniques
  • Kinesiology Tape
  • Neurodynamics
  • Physiotherapy Instrument Mobilisation (PIM)
  • Prehabilitation
  • Strength Exercises
  • Stretching Exercises
  • Supportive Taping & Strapping
  • TENS Machine
  • Video Analysis
  • Yoga
  • Neck Pain FAQs

  • Common Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
  • What is Pain?
  • Physiotherapy & Exercise
  • Massage Styles and their Benefits
  • What Causes Post-Exercise Muscular Pain?
  • Can Kinesiology Taping Reduce Your Swelling and Bruising?
  • Chest Pain: Is it a Heart Attack or Your Spine?
  • Cluster Headaches? Free Online Test
  • Headache or Migraine... What to do?
  • Heat Packs. Why does heat feel so good?
  • How to Achieve the Best Standing Posture
  • How to Minimise or Prevent Whiplash
  • Migraine? Free Online Test
  • Neck Headache? Free Online Test
  • Posture Trainer? Check out the BackTone 4000
  • Sports Injury? What to do? When?
  • Tension-Type Headache? Free Online Test
  • What are the Benefits of a Standing Desk?
  • What are the Common Adolescent Spinal Injuries?
  • What are the Common Massage Therapy Techniques?
  • What are the Early Warning Signs of an Injury?
  • What are the Healthiest Sleeping Postures?
  • What are the Signs of an Unsupportive Pillow?
  • What Can You Do To Help Arthritis?
  • What is a TENS Machine?
  • What is Chronic Pain?
  • What is Good Standing Posture?
  • What is Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy?
  • What is Nerve Pain?
  • What is Sports Physiotherapy?
  • What is the Correct Way to Sit?
  • What to expect when you visit PhysioWorks?
  • What's the Benefit of Stretching Exercises?
  • When Should You Use a Shoulder Posture Brace?
  • Why do your Joints Click?
  • Why Kinesiology Tape Helps Reduce Swelling and Bruising Quicker
  • Call PhysioWorks

    Book Online

    What's the Best Pillow for Neck Pain?

    best pillow for neck pain

    The correct pillow is also vital. If you are waking through the night or in the morning with a stiff or painful neck it may be that it's actually your pillow and not your neck that is the cause.

    More information: Pillows

    Neck Collar?

    neck pain headache

    A neck collar is not recommended for most non-traumatic injuries as the collar encourages muscle weakness. However, in severe neck spasm conditions such as wry neck or whiplash, a collar is often used in the first week to assist with muscle relaxation.

    Please ask your physiotherapist for specific advice.

    Does a Posture Brace Help Neck Pain?

    sore neck headache

    Posture support braces have improved over the years with new designs being very effective in building awareness of what the correct posture actually is. This is great for teenagers, the elderly or those using computers.

    There are various posture braces available. You can find more information about posture braces via our online shop.

    Neck Pain Conditions

    General Information

    Neck Joint Injuries

    Muscle-related Injuries

    Bone-related Injuries

    Disc-related Injuries

    Nerve-related / Referred Pain

    Vertigo-related

    Headache/Migraine-related

    Systemic Diseases

    Buy Helpful Neck Pain Relief Products Online

    Neck Injuries

    Call PhysioWorks

    Book Online

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    Last updated 07-May-2018 04:22 PM

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