Neck pain or wry neck can affect many areas of your life, presenting suddenly, or gradually. There can be many reasons for your neck pain due to the numerous and complicated structures of the neck. The source of the pain can arise from structures such as the joints, nerves, discs, muscles or ligaments. Other symptoms can also be associated with neck pain such as numbness, pins and needles, headaches and arm pain.
What are some of the common causes of neck pain?
Neck and shoulder pain can be caused by a number of different factors. It is important to have a qualified Physio to diagnose the source of your pain. The majority of the time, neck pain isn’t due to any serious damage but is often caused by tightness, irritation and sensitivity of the muscles, joints and ligaments. Some common causes of neck pain include:
- Whiplash: an injury to the neck caused by a sudden acceleration-deceleration event, for example, a car accident. Whiplash can cause neck pain, muscle spasms, headaches, pins and needles and numbness.
- Muscle strain: this is a common cause of neck pain and is usually due to abnormal posture, poor neck support, poor neck control or weakness of the neck, work activities, stress, anxiety and sports injuries.
- ‘Slipped disc’: the spinal discs are made up of a jelly-like inside covered by a tough outer layer. Disc injuries happen when a disc tears or ruptures, the inside can bulge out and irritate the nerves in your spine. A ‘slipped disc’ is also called a herniated or bulging disc.
- Osteoarthritis: this common type of arthritis increases in incidence as we age. Osteoarthritis in the neck joints sometimes causes pain and headaches. It may also cause irritation of the nerves that exit the neck which can lead to arm numbness, pain and weakness.
Diagnosis and treatment
Physio is a common treatment option for long term pain relief of many types of neck pain and injuries. Neck physical therapy in Perth will assist with diagnosing and treating your neck problems, focusing on:
- Any pressure on the neck structures
- Tight and painful joints and muscles
- Posture or neck muscle control problems
- The range of motion of the neck joints
- The strength of the surrounding muscles
Your local physiotherapy clinics in Como will ensure the correct diagnosis of your injury so that the most effective course of pain treatment can begin. Physical therapists use a combination of techniques to treat neck pain such as manual therapy through massage, facet joint manipulation, joint mobilisation, muscle strengthening and dry needling therapy. You may also need to perform specific exercises as part of your neck health care and treatment plan to improve and restore neck function and strength.
Preventing neck pain and injury is always best if possible, however, if you already have a medical history of suffering from neck pain, you can take measures to reduce the risk of another injury such as:
- Improving posture and neck control
- Avoiding overuse of the neck structures
- Taking regular breaks
- Strengthening the neck muscles
- Creating an ergonomic work environment
- Reducing stress
Neck Pain is a common complaint which is often treatable with high quality neck physiotherapist clinic in Perth. For more information, contact Integrity Physio for advice and treatment options.
Common Causes of Headaches
Headaches are extremely common and can range from mild to severe with varying causes and effects. Some causes are easily diagnosable – like a stressful day at work or poor sleep, others may be more subtle and less obvious like high blood pressure and fluctuating hormones. Episodic headaches can vary in intensity and are caused by a range of stimuli. Chronic headaches present more frequently and can last for days and even weeks. Physio for headaches is an important approach to minimise pain and effectively treat underlying conditions that may be causing stress to the head and neck. There are many areas of muscle and joint dysfucntion around the jaw, head and neck that can cause people to experience headaches.
The most common causes of headaches include:
- Tension headache: Stress is the main cause of tension headaches. This type of headache is known for a dull aching sensation throughout your head and sometimes into your neck. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache and whilst they can be improved by reducing stress levels manual treatment is often needed to get them under control.
- Migraines: Migraines are the result of several factors including lack of sleep, poor diet, hormone imbalances, dehydration, and constant stress. They can even be triggered by tightness in your neck. Symptoms include a heavy throbbing or pulsing and can severely impact daily life. Migraines typically last longer than tension headaches and can be present for anywhere up to a month.
- Caffeine Headaches: Caffeine abuse can trigger a headache, as can suddenly stopping caffeine intake. Having one too many coffees or not giving your brain the same stimulation regularly can result in a caffeine-induced headache.
- Cluster Headaches: These headaches occur in groups and affect the area behind the eyes. Usually characterised by sharp pain and spasms, cluster headaches can cause rashes, swelling, and increased sweating.
- Exertion Headaches: These occur during and intense periods of exercise, sport, and any physical activity involving extra blood flow to the head. These usually don’t last long but shouldn’t be left unresolved as they may indicate a more serious problem.
- Hypertension Headaches: People with high blood pressure are prone to hypertension headaches. These occur as a result of higher intensity activity and should be treated as an emergency – hypertension can result in stroke. Symptoms include a gradual increase in pain within the head and should be monitored closely. Maintaining healthy blood pressure will reduce the chances of hypertension headaches.