Your neck is highly complex. It’s made up of seven vertebrae and the discs between them, many joints, many muscles and ligaments, and several layers of fascia and skin holding it all together. Any one or more of these structures can be injured. Straining or spraining muscles and ligaments in the neck can occur with sudden or repetitive movements and activities. In more severe cases, a disc prolapse may occur causing irritation of the nerves.
These injuries can result in days to weeks of acute pain and swelling in the injured tissues, followed by steady healing and a gradual reduction in pain. The pain may be felt in the neck, head, face, shoulder, or down the arm. It may even be felt in these other areas with very little pain in the neck itself.
For more info on cervical disc injuries, check out our page on Disc Bulge or Prolapse.
Who it affects
Neck pain is common and occurs right across age groups. We see it most commonly in desk workers, the elderly and those involved in accidents and trauma.
Some of the common causes of neck pain or dysfunction include:
- Postural strain (improper or prolonged position when sitting, reading or working at a computer)
- Trauma such as a blow or fall during sporting events
- High impact events like car accidents
- Sleeping with poor neck support or sleeping on your stomach
- Irritated, degenerated or bulging discs
What we do about it
To ensure you get the right treatment it is critical these signs & symptoms are differentiated from shoulder, arm or hand pathology. A thorough assessment by one of our Osteopaths, Physiotherapists or Exercise Physiologists sooner rather than later is always your best option.
It’s generally accepted from the available evidence that a multi-modal approach provides the best results, so you can expect a combination of hands on treatment, tailored rehabilitative exercise, education and activity and ergonomic advice from us.