The neck is the most flexible part of the spine. However, neck pain affects up to 10% of the general population. The pain can be a sharp or a dull muscular ache, and can often severely limit the mobility of the head and neck. In more moderate to severe cases, headaches may occur. Fortunately, most neck pain can be combated with time and with non-surgical interventions, such as physiotherapy.
What causes neck pain?
Causes of neck pain include wear and tear with age, injuries such as whiplash often associated with motor vehicle accidents, muscle strain due to poor sleeping positions or from sitting in front of a computer too long, nerve compression such as that associated with herniated discs, and certain diseases such as arthritis or cancer.
Over 50% of adults over the age of 50 show signs of osteoarthritis in the neck region. Degenerative disc disease can occur with age and is often linked to the appearance of osteoarthritis in the neck. As we age, the discs between the vertebrae lose their cushioning as they become worn down over time. This degeneration can lead to stress in other parts of the spine. Osteoarthritis can result, and the cartilage between bones breaks down leading to painful bone-on-bone contact. Further, as with any other part of the spine, the discs can bulge and compress on neural pathways causing radiating pain down the shoulders and arms.
These conditions can be further aggravated or worsened by poor posture. Bad posture in association texting is emerging as a predominant cause of neck pain. Often referred to as ‘text neck,’ physiotherapists are beginning to see a trend in the younger population of premature neck degeneration.
How can physiotherapy help?
Physiotherapy in relation to neck pain can address postural deficiencies, reduce pain, and increase mobility. At Aquafit Physiotherapy, our therapists aim to get you back to normal functioning via hands-on manual therapy treatment, modalities, such as ultrasound and laser, and prescribed exercises.
An assessment is initially done to determine a treatment plan. Manual therapy used in treatment may include massage and spinal decompression techniques. Massage elicits blood flood to the area reducing inflammation and increasing mobility. Spinal decompression creates space between the joints lessening the pressure and stress on the spine.
Prescribed exercises focus on postural correction and stretching to increase mobility. Correct alignment reduces stressors on the spinal and muscular system that may be contributing to neck pain or injury. At Aquafit Physiotherapy, our innovative hydrotherapy pools offer a safe and weightless environment to facilitate pain-free movements. Further, if postural deficiencies are the cause of neck pain, our therapists may provide education related to ergonomic set-ups and posture to help prevent re-occurrence.
Contact Aquafit Physiotherapy to address your neck pain issues. Our dedicated team of therapists can help you get on the road to recovery, starting today!