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Neck Pain

   Is the sensation of discomfort in the neck area. It can result from a disorder of any structure in the neck which includes cervical vertebrae and intervertebral discs, muscles, nerves blood vessels, larynx, esophagus, trachea, thyroid or parathyroid glands or lymphatic organs. Neck pain arises from a number of different conditions and is sometimes also referred as Cervical pain.

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     Acute neck pain occurs suddenly from direct injury or stress. Most of the time neck pain will resolve itself within seven to ten days with rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain relievers. For symptoms that persist longer than a few weeks, conservative therapy can be included anti-inflammatory pain medication, injections, physical therapy, acupuncture, and other care.

    Chronic pain is defined as neck pain lasting longer than three months. People who have not found relief through conservative treatments and suffer from chronic pain may benefit from pain management by physical therapy or surgical intervention.

  However, as a professional physiotherapist, our field of practice in neck pain includes:

  1.  Soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and vessels)

  2. Bones and joints in the neck (discs, intervertebral and facet joints)

Causes

  • Injury or Trauma (whiplash)

  • Anomalies in Bones and Joints

  • Degenerative or Inflammatory Diseases

  • Muscle Strains

  • Poor Posture

  • Stress (psychological or physical)

  • Others (neoplasm or tumor, tuberculosis, meningitis, polymyalgia rheumatica, fibromyalgia, osteomyelitis)

Signs and symptoms of neck pain

  • Tenderness

  • Swelling

  • Muscle spasm or stiffness.

  • Dizziness

  • Arm or leg weakness

  • Burning Pain

  • Headache

  • Tiredness

  • Facial Pain

  • Fever

  • Night Sweats

  • Blurred Vision

Diagnosis

    The physiotherapist will carefully evaluate your medical history by asking you about the current symptoms, occupation, lifestyle and recent or old injuries and will perform a thorough physical examination to help accurately diagnose the specific cause of neck pain. The examination will include observation, palpation checking for tenderness, numbness, muscle weakness, sensation, and range of movement tests on how far you can move your head forward, backward and side to side.

Treatment

   The treatment of neck pain mainly depends on the etiology and onset of condition.
The main treatment is to treat any possible underlying causative factors.

  • Sometimes emergency first aid is necessary for traumatic neck pain.

  • Conservative or non-surgical treatment

 

       -Rest is important for all acute neck pain with other remedies. Duration of rest depends on patient prognosis and causative factors. Rest with proper positioning of the neck that is seen by a therapist or physician.

       -Drug Therapy, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, NSAIDs, Injections. 

       -Physical Therapy will teach correct posture, alignment and neck-strengthening exercises. Physical therapy might also involve the use of heat, ice and other measures to help ease the pain.

       -ADLs modification and posture re-education surgical treatment

Why is Neck Pain a big thing?

  Physical therapy brings a high contribution to treating chronic neck pain. Most physical therapy programs for neck pain involve treatments to reduce pain and stiffness enough to begin will prescribe you simple exercises to build strength and flexibility in your neck. Practice good posture and learn relaxation techniques to keep your neck muscles from straining and to help with recovery. The exercises used in physical therapy, as well as the duration of the treatment plan, can differ from person to person.

       It is the fourth largest contributor to global disability with its prevalence ranging between 30 to 71% of the general population. Two thirds of adults are affected by neck pain at some time in their lives. Not only does it have the potential for a high burden in disability most people with neck pain do not experience a complete resolution of symptoms.

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