Neck pain is common with 2 out of 3 people being affected at some point in their lives. It can be caused by a number of things, but most often neck pain is the result of staying too long with your neck in one position or a strain or sprain. Other things can sometimes cause or contribute to neck pain such as worry or stress, sleeping awkwardly, an accident (whiplash), or a flare-up of spondylosis which can happen as the discs and joints in the spine age.
You can often manage short spells of neck pain yourself using over the counter painkillers and gentle stretches however if the pain persists or significantly affects your everyday activities then seeking medical advice is important.
Common Symptoms of Neck Pain:
- Pain and Stiffness
- Numbness or tingling that can travel down your arm
- Clicking or grating noises
- Dizziness or blackouts
- Muscle spasms
Common Conditions Associated with Neck Pain:
Spondylosis happens when the discs and the facet joints in your spine age. It’s caused by everyday use over many years and is quite normal as you get older. The discs between the vertebrae become thinner and as a result the spaces between the bones become narrower.
In spondylosis, spurs of bone called osteophytes sometimes form on the edges of the vertebrae and facet joints. These changes can be seen on xray and are very similar to the changes that occur in osteoarthritis, but in the neck they’re known as cervical spondylosis.
Occasionally when people have spondylosis the nerve roots may be irritated or pinched by the bulging discs or osteophytes, which can case pain or numbness. If the vertebral artery is pinched, it can affect the blood supply to your brain, causing dizziness or blackouts.
Whiplash is caused by your body being carried forward, causing your head to flip back. As you stop your head is thrown forwards. This happens most commonly in car accidents and sports injuries. This incident often causes ligaments to stretch and muscles to spasm up to try to protect your neck. There is often a delay before you feel whiplash.
Although whiplash can badly strain your neck, seat belts and properly adjusted headrests in cars help greatly to prevent serious injuries. Most whiplash improves within a few weeks or months. Gentle exercises to keep your neck moving will help to prevent long-term problems and get you back to normal as soon as possible.
We are Here to Help You
All our Physiotherapists at Tracey Miles Physiotherapy are trained in the assessment and management of neck pain and its associated injuries. Please be assured that a comprehensive subjective and objective assessment will be completed during your session in order to determine the appropriate treatment and management plan for you.