One of the most common reports of pain by our Nepean area clients is pain in the neck. Pain and discomfort in a person's neck can be caused by injuries, posture issues or health problems. Here, our Nepean Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy Centre physiotherapists walk you through some of the causes of and treatments for neck pain.
Neck pain can range from mildly uncomfortable to debilitating. It is incredibly common and can last from days to weeks or even longer. At Nepean Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy Centre, our team of physical therapists are able to help identify the cause of your pain as well as providing treatment and education to ensure you can prevent such pain from reappearing in the future.
What Are The Causes of Neck Pain?
Neck pain can be caused by a wide range of causes, some more common than others. Some of these causes of neck pain can include:
- Straining your neck and shoulders after lifting heavy objects (such as at the gym).
- Injuring your neck in an accident (such as whiplash from a minor car collision).
- Using the computer for longer periods of time.
- Sleeping poorly or in an uncomfortable position.
- You have just undergone a surgery on your neck and have been left with some pain and stiffness as you recover.
Neck pain can also be caused by more serious injuries or underlying medical issues, like spinal fractures or tumors located in the neck area.
What Are The Symptoms of Neck Pain?
It may seem like the symptoms of neck pain should be self-evident: your neck and the surrounding area hurts. And neck pain itself is usually a symptom of some underlying condition or slight injury to your neck. However, the pain in your neck can manifest itself in different ways in your body which may not always be obvious to you.
Some of the obvious symptoms of neck pain include stiffness and lack of mobility in your neck as well as noticeable pain in your neck and surrounding area. Some less obvious symptoms which may indicate that you are experiencing issues with the muscles in your neck can include headaches, a numbness, pain, or pins and needles in your arm and weakness in your hands.
If you notice any of the above symptoms in yourself, contact a physiotherapy clinic right away to start treatment.
How Does Physical Therapy Treat Neck Pain
When practicing physiotherapy for neck pain relief, the physical therapists at Nepean Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy Centre use a variety of different techniques and treatments depending both on the severity of your pain and its root cause. The purpose of physiotherapy is to help your body become strong and for you to learn enough to avoid to injury or pain again in the future.
Our physiotherapists with start with a conversation with you about how you are feeling. The more they know about your pain and your recent activities, the easier they will be able to diagnose the cause of your pain and address it with their treatment.
After identifying the cause and severity of your neck pain, physiotherapists use two different broad types of physical therapy to treat neck pain: passive and active physical therapy. Passive physical therapy involves treatments which don't require activity from the patient such as massage therapy, ultrasound, hot and cold packs, and electrotherapy. Active physical therapy for neck pain involves the patient undertaking prescribed exercises and activities designed to strengthen their neck, restore their mobility and ensure that the pain does not arise again.
Some combination of the two is usually used to treat neck pain depending on its severity. Your physiotherapist will work with you to make sure you are feeling as good as new, as quickly as possible.
When Should I Avoid Physiotherapy For Neck Pain?
While in the vast majority of cases, physical therapy can help you to recover from your neck pain, in certain instances it should be avoided. In particular, when you are suffering from a severe health condition which is causing you neck pain such as a tumor around your neck or a fracture in your spine, physiotherapy won't be able to properly help you recover. It may even make the problem worse!
Likewise, some people's bodies aren't up to the demands of physiotherapy and would not tolerate it.
In all of these cases, speak with your physician about ways of alleviating your neck pain, or addressing its root cause, in other ways.
Are your experiencing pain and discomfort in your neck?
Our team of specially trained physiotherapists are here to help you recover.
Welcome to the Nepean Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy Centre blog, where we provide lots of helpful tips, news, information and advice about physiotherapy and massage treatments, as well as general health and wellness, in Nepean and Ottawa.