What Causes Neck Pain?
Neck pain is a common complaint that people have these days. Our neck is formed by 7 cervical spines named- c1 to c7. The neck or cervical spine is a coordinated network of nerves, bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. The cervical spine has the important job of providing support as well as mobility for the head.
Causes of your neck pain:
- The most common cause of neck pain occurs when one of the neck structures becomes strained or sprained from overuse or poor posture whether it’s leaning over your computer/mobile or hunching over your workbench.
- There is a number of problems that cause neck pain such as-
- Injury (by Road Traffic Accident/Sports injury),
- osteoporosis/neck osteoarthritis/Rheumatoid arthritis,
- Herniated cervical disc,
- In addition, Spinal stenosis.
- Neck pain also occurred from other causes such as-
- congenital abnormalities,
- Also, Cancer of the Spine.
Seek immediate medical care if your neck pain is accompanied by numbness or loss of strength in your arm or hand or if you have shooting pain in your shoulder or down your arm
Physiotherapy is the best conservative treatment for acute /chronic neck pain, the specific method & exercises used in physiotherapy
The Goals of physiotherapy for neck pain are:
- to reduce pain & stiffness, improve neck range of motion, develop dynamic strength of the neck & its supporting musculature, Develop strategies to prevent pain from recurring, improve neck posture, and teach patients proper ergonomics according to his/her workstation, etc.
- Physiotherapy treatment to reduce pain:
- Electrotherapy (such as TENS, IFT, Ultrasound, or Combo therapy),
- Dry needling,
- Laser therapy,
- Shockwave therapy,
- TR therapy,
- Manual therapy,
- Deep tissue release,
- In addition, Cupping therapy,
- Also, Kinesio taping.
- Physiotherapy to release tight muscles of the neck for example-
- myofascial release (MFR) techniques (for muscles such as-SCM muscle, semispinalis capitis, splenius capitis, levator scapulae, levator scapulae, supraspinatus).
- Also, stretching of muscles (like-Trapezius, rhomboids major and minor, Sterno-cleido-mastoid (SCM) muscle).
- Physiotherapy for cervical joints such as-
- Chiropractic treatment,
- cervical traction.
- To increase cervical Range of motion such as-
- Active/passive ROM exercise,
- Soft tissue mobilization.
- For strengthening the neck muscles for example-
- Strengthening of rhomboid muscle by Prone T/Y/W Exercises,
- Dumbbell lateral raises,
- Side plank shoulder external rotation,
- Prone cervical extension,
- Chin tucks exercises (in supine/prone/supine & resisted with theraband/supine chin tuck with neck flexion/prone chin tuck retraction with theraband/standing chin tuck with small gym ball behind the head),
- Also, Prone is shrugging on an inclined bench, etc.
- Thoracic mobility exercises to reduce pain-
- Wall pushing thoracic extension (keep the elbow straight, push into the wall, push chest toward the ground).
- Wall shoulder CARS(keep both shoulders forward, inside leg forward, palm towards you until you get overhead then rotate away from you and continue around the circle).
- Also, The Mini band serratus slides with a foam roller (band around the wrist, starts with the wrist at eye level, push into the foam roller & pull hands apart as you move overhead, the goal is to keep the hand outside of elbows the entire time).
- In addition, The Alexander technique-
- This is a method of teaching bodily awareness & reducing unwanted muscle tension, a qualified physiotherapist will advise you on your standing & sitting posture & your pattern of movement.