What Are the Benefits Of Physiotherapy For Neck Pain?
What causes neck pain?
- Posture: Prolonged time in poor postures can change forces going through the joints, muscles and cartilage of the neck and spine. This particularly occurs when in positions for long periods of time (such as sitting at a work desk).
- Age: Older people are more likely to have degeneration of the joints and cartilage of the neck that can contribute to pain and stiffness over time.
- Psychological Stress: High psychological stress levels are known to increase tension around muscles of the neck and can increase the incidence and severity of neck related pain.
- Previous neck/back/musculoskeletal pain: Previous injuries or previous pain in the neck as well as other areas of the body are risk factors for the onset of neck pain.
Symptoms of neck pain may include:
- Shoulder blade pain/tension,
- Mid-lower back pain
- Pain into the shoulders/arms/hands.
*Neck related pins/needles, numbness or weakness in the arms can be problematic if not assessed and left untreated. This is one of the reasons Physiotherapy for neck pain can be so important.
What can Physiotherapy do for Neck Pain?
Depending on the type of symptoms you experience in the neck, a physiotherapy assessment can identify the structures that may be irritated to determine the diagnosis.
Assessments may include checking your posture and how you sit normally throughout the day. This is especially important for those who get neck pain at the work desk or after a long day sitting at the office desk, as poor posture may lead to abnormal loads/forces placed through the joints and muscles of the neck and spine.
Physiotherapist may also feel the muscles and joints of the neck as well as look at specific movements that can help determine where the source of pain is coming from. This may also inform your physio on the most effective ‘hands-on’ treatment techniques for your neck pain. These treatments may include massage, joint mobilisation or other modalities like heat and ultrasound.
More often than not, your physiotherapist will develop a plan to treat your neck pain quite quickly. Additionally, your physiotherapist can identify any predisposing factors contributing to the dysfunction of the neck including your posture & ergonomics. A thorough assessment & treatment will reduce your likelihood of symptoms returning.