Patients with neck pain problems are often experiencing headaches too. At their initial assessment appointment at Your Health Hub, our patients tell us about tender areas in the neck and under the base of the skull and often in the face, affecting the jaw and forehead.
There are many causes of neck pain:
- Stress, poor posture, lifting heavy weights, trauma, and even sinus problems are the most common triggers, leading to tension in the neck that causes restriction of the nerves and blood flow. Poor circulation restricts the flow of blood and vital oxygen to the brain leading to more pain and discomfort.
- Abnormalities in the bone or joints, some degenerative diseases and (very rarely), tumours can also be a cause of neck pain.
Our Osteopathy and Physiotherapy team can get to the root cause of your neck pain. Research has shown that a combination of treatment to the joints and muscles of the neck with strengthening exercises tailored to the individual patient’s needs are effective in eliminating neck pain and the associated restriction of mobility and headaches. If rare cases where the cause of neck pain is not suitable for treatment by our team, we can arrange a referral to an appropriate healthcare specialist.
Research points to the fact that neck pain symptoms that persist for more than three months are likely to become chronic and harder to treat – so the sooner you take action, the better. Call Your Health Hub today on 03 6122 0150 to arrange an initial appointment, we can advise you on the best course of action in your case and on the other therapies available, including massage, acupuncture and clinical Pilates, that will complement your Osteopathic and/or Physiotherapist treatments.
Who Is Most at Risk From Neck Pain?
Office workers are more likely to suffer from neck pain because of poor workstation ergonomics. If the seat and the computer screen are not at the right height, the tendency is for the upper back to become rounded and cause excessive forward head posture.
Forward head posture is often referred to as ‘texter’s neck’ because so many of us are using mobile devices throughout the day. The average human head weighs about 12 pounds and this is the force on the neck when the head is in the correct, upright position. However, depending on the extent of the forward head posture, this weight may be magnified, to around 60 pounds with the consequent extra strain and stress on the structures of the neck.
Parents of young children are also at risk for this rounded neck and back posture. Carrying small children, lifting them in and out of the car and carrying heavy groceries coupled with the stresses and strains of modern living are all contributory factors.
Patients who also have stiffness in their upper back often experience more neck pain. Because the human body is very good at compensating for any deficit, it adjusts so that the more flexible neck works harder than it should. This might not be too much of a problem in the short-term, but long-term, it can result in chronic neck pain and stiffness, headaches and tension-type migraines. In more serious cases neck problems can lead to nerve compression and irritation causing symptoms of pins and needles, tingling and numbness, even weakness in the arms.
How Can Osteopathy and Physiotherapy Help?
Osteopaths are skilled in making a correct diagnosis of the cause of neck pain and can help in the stretching of tight muscles and mobilisation of stiff joints, bringing relief from associated headaches. Mobilising the spinal joints of the upper back can also help to improve neck pain.
Physiotherapists are also highly skilled in diagnosing and treating the causes of mechanical neck pain and in helping patients to learn self-help strategies that should help prevent neck pain from recurring.
At Your Health Hub, we can also advise on workplace ergonomics and posture in order to prevent the stiffness and pain in the neck and on posture and stretching exercises that you can do at home. Many patients choose to participate in Clinical Pilates at the Hub in order to maximise flexibility, mobility and strength.