One of the most common reports of pain from our Orleans area clients is a pain in their neck. Pain and discomfort in a person's neck may be caused by injuries, posture issues and health problems. Here, our physiotherapists walk you through some of the most common causes and treatments for neck pain.
Neck pain can widely vary from mildly uncomfortable to debilitating. It's incredibly common and may last from days to weeks or longer. At Motion Works Physiotherapy Orleans, our team of physical therapists are able to help identify the cause of your pain as well as provide treatment and education to you in order to make sure 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:
- Sleeping poorly or in an uncomfortable position.
- Using the computer for longer periods of time.
- Injuring your neck in an accident (such as whiplash from a minor car collision).
- Straining your neck and shoulders after lifting heavy objects (such as at the gym).
- 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?
While it may seem that the symptoms of pain in your neck should be evident—you experience pain in your neck and the area around it—neck pain and the underlying injury or health condition it signifies can manifest themselves in different ways in your body that many not be so obvious.
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 Motion Works Physiotherapy Orleans 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 will start with a conversation with you about how you are feeling. The more we know about your medical history and your current condition, the better we will be able to diagnose and treat the cause of your pain.
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 that 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.
A 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 majority of instances, physical therapy can help you to recover from your neck pain, in certain cases it should actually be avoided.
Particularly, when suffering from severe health conditions that are causing you pain in your neck like tumors or spinal fractures, physiotherapy won't help you recover. It may even, in fact, 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.