What is Neck Pain
Neck pain can occur from strains, sprains, and spasms in the structures around the neck.
A strain refers to a stretched or torn muscle or tendon, while a sprain refers to a stretched or torn ligament. A spasm refers to an involuntary contraction of the muscle.
While it may not be possible to prevent all neck injuries, these are common injuries that can be treated to decrease the likelihood of future occurrence.
What causes Neck Pain?
1. Sudden Unexpected Movements
Whiplash from a car accident or a sudden jolt while playing sports can exert a force that can injure the neck muscles and/or ligaments.
2. Postural Imbalance
Poor posture leads to overuse and can create muscle dysfunction and imbalances around the neck, which will cause discomfort over a long period of time.
3. Repetitive Motions
Repetitive movements and maintaining asymmetrical head position over a long period of time can create tension in the neck, which can lead to pain and discomfort. For example, having a work from home computer set up with dual monitors can cause excessive rotation to one side.
4. Maintaining Head Uncomfortable Positions
Keeping the head in an awkward angle for extended periods of time, such as sleeping in an uncomfortable position, can irritate muscles, ligaments, and nerves in the neck.
How does physiotherapy Treat Neck Pain
resolves the root cause
During the assessment, your therapist will determine the contributing factors of your neck pain. Your therapist will then provide treatments, prescribe exercises, and/or educate you on how to reverse your symptoms.
1. Manual Therapy
Myofascial release: to reduce pain, tightness, and inflammation of the muscles, joints, nerves, and fascia of the head, neck, shoulders, and back.
Joint mobilization: to promote smooth joint movement and mobility of the neck, spine, shoulders and other affected areas.
2. Biomechanical Optimization
Postural conditioning: corrects resting, sitting, and standing posture to ensure proper alignment and stability of the neck, shoulders, and back.
Movement pattern conditioning: optimizing movement mechanics by properly recruiting the neck, shoulder, back and any other relevant muscle groups.
3. Exercise Therapy
Stretching: to improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension in the neck, shoulder, and back.
Strengthening: to improve the activation and stability of the muscles in the neck, shoulder, and back which can restore optimal function and help reduce the risk of future injuries.
Home exercise program: individualized exercise prescription to restore optimal and balanced movement.
Acupuncture: use of thin needles to improve local and systemic function, regulate the nervous system, and promote the body’s natural healing processes.
Heat and cold therapy: to manage reduce pain and tension or control inflammation.
Electrostimulation: use of electrical currents to stimulate muscles and reduce pain.
Ultrasound: use of high-frequency sound waves to produce deep tissue heating to reduce muscle tension, fascial tension, and inflammation.
Laser therapy: to improve blood flow, reduce pain and inflammation, and promote tissue healing.
Recommendations regarding lifestyle and activity modifications, posture, sleeping position, and shoe wear to help reduce load, risk of recurrence, and further injury.