Today’s modern living often entails hours of driving and hunching over workstations, which can play havoc with our necks. So it is not surprising that neck pain is the second most common condition that chiropractors and physiotherapists manage.
Whilst neck pain is less common than low back pain, millions of people experience these symptoms and related arm pain at some stage in their lives. Therefore having to seek chiropractic and physiotherapy care.
Issues results from abnormalities in the soft tissues – muscles, ligaments, and nerves, as well as in the bone and the joints of the spine. As a result the most common causes that our practitioners identify and care for are soft tissue or joint abnormalities from injury or prolonged wear and tear.
In many people it is also the source of pain in the upper back, shoulders and arms. When neck pain is caused by muscle strain, you may have aches and stiffness that spread to the upper arm and forearm.
Types of Neck pain Open Close
There are many different types of neck related pain, with different causes. The key to getting the right treatment is to correctly identify which type of pain you may be suffering from.
The majority of people with neck related pain are suffering from what is known as ‘simple’ or ‘mechanical’ neck pain.
This means that the pain is not related to any serious underlying condition and there are no trapped or compressed nerves. Simple neck pain can be caused by poor posture or tension in the neck or shoulders. Poor sleeping patterns or an awkward sitting position can cause strains and sprains in the soft tissue of the neck.
As we get older, wear and tear may contribute to neck pain. The shock-absorbing pads between the bones of the neck (known as intervertebral discs) can narrow with age and this can cause stiffness, pain and make it difficult to move.
Sports injuries, minor falls and bumps may give rise to pain. Road traffic collisions may result in injuries to the soft tissues of the neck, and are often referred to as whiplash-associated disorders.
Simple neck pain is relatively common. Less frequently, the nerves in the neck can become trapped, compressed or irritated. There can be many reasons why this happens but damaged discs or wear and tear can lead to pain spreading to the shoulder and arm. This can be accompanied by pins and needles, tingling, numbness and weakness in all or part of the arm or hand.
Symptoms of neck pain Open Close
Neck pain can be very uncomfortable as the tissues and structures of the neck are very susceptible to pain.
The pain can be felt in one or both sides of the neck, in the base of the skull and into the shoulders. It can be a sharp or dull pain, and can spread as far as the arm and hand, even as far as the fingers.
If there is nerve compression, the pain may be accompanied by numbness or pins and needles.
If the pain does not go after a few days, or starts to get worse, it is worth seeking professional advice.
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