Neck pain is a common disabling impairment in all age groups affecting 10% of the population at any one time. There are a number of structures in the neck that are likely to cause neck pain including the cervical discs, cervical joints, ligaments, muscles and nerve structures. Problems within the neck can cause headaches, shoulder blade pain, TMJ or jaw pain, pins & needles in the hands, carpal tunnel syndrome and upper back pain.
Sport & Spinal Physiotherapy has helped many clients from Gungahlin and the wider Canberra community with all types of neck pain syndromes.
Cervical Postural Syndrome
Your head weighs about 5kgs and in normal alignment it is very carefully balanced on top of your seven neck bones (cervical spine). Your muscles work hard to maintain this position and easily withstand short periods of variation. The problem arises when we assume awkward positions for prolonged periods. The fine balance is disturbed and the nerves, muscles, joints, ligaments and discs of your neck become strained and irritated. In fact, the tension in your neck and shoulder muscles doubles for every 2-3cms that your head is poked forward! Over time, the neck strain and pressure accumulates to a point where it becomes chronic and even the smallest changes in posture cause significant effects. Coupled with the stresses and demands of modern life, it is no surprise why neck pain is so common. Posture related neck pain is predominate amongst occupations with prolonged computer use and driving.
Nerve Root Compression Syndrome
Nerve root compression syndrome (trapped nerve) is a medical condition caused by direct pressure, usually by a disc injury, on a single nerve at the point where it exits the spine. Its symptoms include pain, tingling, numbness, loss of muscle power and reflex changes. The symptoms usually affect just one particular part of the body, depending which nerve is affected.
Acute Wry Neck
Wry neck (torticollis) refers to a stiff neck associated with muscle spasm, classically causing lateral flexion contracture of the cervical spine musculature (condition in which the head is tilted to one side). A wry neck usually occurs from a facet joint sprain either upon waking in the morning or due to a specific activity often involving a sudden, quick movement of the neck or heavy lifting. Symptoms include sharp one-sided neck pain usually at the lower neck region and difficulty moving the neck to the painful side. The pain is often worsened with sustained postures such as reading, driving, sitting at a computer or watching television.
Other common causes of neck pain include whiplash, arthritis and sporting injuries.
How can we help your neck pain?
In most cases, physiotherapy alone offers an effective solution for most neck injuries. On your first visit, our physios will establish a correct diagnosis to direct the most effective care to your neck injury. Establishing the correct diagnosis early is imperative as several injuries mimic symptoms yet have different treatment protocols. We use our unique ‘phase-based rehab system’ to ensure all aspects of a full and lasting recovery are delivered. We will tailor a treatment plan to suit your needs, with you involved in the decision making. Our physios will use hands on therapy techniques to improve joint mobility and muscle flexibility. We will nearly always at each session provide home exercises of stretches and strength work so that you keep improving between sessions. Early treatment will be focused on reducing pain and swelling and regaining range of motion. The physiotherapist will then prescribe an exercise program to improve the strength and coordination of your neck and upper back, which are important for preventing re-injury. Massage, hydrotherapy, dry needling and our gym may also be used for best outcome. We will correct your posture, advise you on an optimal workstation set-up and provide a cervical pillow assessment to ensure your neck is in an optimal position when sitting and sleeping. Towards the end of the treatment program you will be given prevention strategies to keep the pain away. The sooner we begin your neck rehabilitation the faster your recovery and back to the things you love doing.
Why choose us for your neck pain?
- We listen, we care and we get results
- We provide physiotherapy to fix the cause of your neck injury and not just the symptoms
- Our physios have extensive experience in dealing with all types of neck pain problems
- We can advise you of the ideal workstation set-up to help your pain
- We can correct your posture in sitting, standing and lying.
- Our therapists have completed further education on best practice neck injury management
- We can prescribe practitioner only natural supplements for pain and inflammation
- Our gym helps with late stage strength rehabilitation
- Our massage therapists can help sort out any tight muscles
- Hydrotherapy can help restore joint range particularly in the early stages of rehab
- We can provide dry needling for pain management and accelerated healing
- Our physios can prescribe a home exercise program of stretches and strength exercises
- We can refer you for further investigations such as x-ray or MRI if required
- Our therapists have been recognised for their expertise having been national sporting team consultants
- We provide you with the tools to look after your health long after you leave our care
- We give you cross training activities so you can maintain your fitness whilst injured
- We provide you with a guided return to work and sport
- We have lumbar supports and posture support braces to help improve your sitting posture
- We have cervical pillows to help improve neck pain associated with a poor sleeping position.
- We can recommend referral to a medical specialist if we feel your neck pain may need surgery