Neck pain is one of the most common causes of neck pain and affects about 20% of the general population. However, among those working in office workers with figure is as high as 50-60%. Neck pain can effect a person’s ability to carry-out normal daily tasks and is responsible for substantial treatment costs and loss of work.
Neck Pain causes
Neck pain is caused for a number of reasons, from simple things like incorrect sitting and standing postures or positioning while sleeping. Working long hours over a computer or driving long distances in addition to stress and fatigue also cause muscles of the neck, shoulders and upper back to become stiff and as such either contribute to or maintain ongoing neck pain.
Neck pain also develops after injuries due to heavy lifting and traffic and sporting accidents. Such injuries to the neck, especially those resulting from sudden movement is referred to as “whiplash”. These sudden movements cause not only strains or tears in the muscles and ligaments supporting the neck but may also irritate discs and nerves. Common symptoms of whiplash are pain, stiffness, dizziness and headaches.
Osteoarthritis is due to excessive or altered use of joints over long periods of time and is very common in the joints of the neck. While older people are particularly prone, it is also common in people who have had previous accidents involving sudden or excessive movements of the neck as described above. Symptoms include pain, stiffness and muscle weakness.
Assessment and diagnosis
Information given by the patient during the case history about the duration of their symptoms, their irritating and relieving factors, possible causes such as sport, repetitive work and work-station position. Based on this information an examination is carried out where the osteopath will assess active (patient moves neck) and passive (osteopath moves neck) movements to determine which parts of the neck are injured or inflamed and to what extent.
Neck Pain Treatment and Rehabilitation
We use a wide range of gentle mobilisation techniques to work on joint mobility, muscle tension and inflammation to improve movement in the joints of the neck. Osteopathic techniques are also applied to adjacent body areas such as the shoulder and the upper back in order to restore normal function between these areas during everyday activities.
As an adjunct to neck pain treatment, we also suggest how to prevent posture-related neck pain by advising:
- Correct postures for standing and sitting and to ensure their work place position is set up correctly.
- Regular movement and stretches at work and exercise relevant to the individual patient.
- Suitable neck and shoulder positioning while sleeping
- Relaxation techniques to address muscle-tightening effects of stress
- Regular exercise to increase muscle tone and posture suited to the individual.
Contact our Osteopaths or Physiotherapists for individual neck pain treatment programs
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