Most people can expect to experience some neck pain in their lifetime. It is not always possible to identify the exact cause of neck pain but 99% of the time it is not serious and for the majority of people it should not interfere with normal activities. However, if you have suffered serious injury, or the pain is very severe or going down the arm you should seek advice from a health professional.
These injuries arise due to a sporting or road traffic accident as the soft tissues of the neck can be overstretched or strained. It is normal to have pain as the tissues heal, but in most cases people recover in 4-6 weeks. To aid recovery it is important to remain active and try to carry out your normal activities. Research suggests that wearing a neck brace will not be of benefit. Physiotherapy including exercises and mobilisation/manipulation techniques has been shown to be effective in reducing pain and disability caused by whiplash.
Non – Specific Neck Pain
People often report an onset of neck pain, which is not related to a specific injury. This is very common and a specific diagnosis is not required for effective treatment. Remaining active will help aid recovery and physiotherapy including exercises and mobilisation/manipulation techniques has been shown to be effective.
Arthritic changes in the neck are commonly observed on x-ray. However, there is no evidence that these are a risk factor for neck pain. Rather they are a relatively normal occurrence with age.
The neck can at times give rise to headaches. This form of headache has been found to respond well to physiotherapy involving manual therapy and exercise.
1. Avoid sitting for prolonged periods.
2. Sit with your lower back supported, and take regular breaks where you get up and move around.
3. If you spend a lot of time working at a computer, it is a good idea to get your work station assessed to ensure it suits you.
4. If you frequently use a phone throughout the day, it may be helpful to use a head set.
5. Avoid cupping the phone between your ear and shoulder.
1. Avoid slouching in your seat.
2. Make sure your back is well supported and that your seat is positioned correctly so you do not need to lean forward.
3. Take regular breaks if you have to drive for long periods.
1. It is best not to sleep on your stomach.
2. Ensure the nape of the neck is fully supported by the pillows, and that the head does not sag lower than the neck, or is bent forward with too many pillows. If you are comfortable with just one pillow, then use just one.
If you have neck pain, pop into us at Motion Physio Clinic, Prosperous, Tel: 045 841010. I can perform an assessment, give you a diagnosis and treat you as required.
Taken from the www.iscp.ie leaflet, Physiotherapy and care of your neck.