Neck and back pain are very common and will affect most of the population at some time in their lives. It can occur at any age.
Neck and back pain can develop following an accident or fall (whiplash-type injury) or can start for no apparent reason (arthritic degenerative changes to the spine). It can also occur due to postural dysfunction or from spending long periods in poor alignment. This comes as no surprise when we consider the activities of modern-day life such as sitting at a computer, watching prolonged periods of television or looking down at your phone. These positions lead to an increasing incidence of poor posture particularly forward head posture.
Symptoms can range from an uncomfortable ache to intense pain, stiffness and restriction. Pain can often radiate to the arms or legs. Problems within the neck can also cause headache, shoulder pain, jaw pain, pins and needles in the hands, carpal tunnel syndrome and upper back pain.
A Physiotherapist will provide a detailed assessment of the structures in the neck and back to establish the cause of the pain. You do not need a referral from your doctor to see a Chartered Physiotherapist.
Clients will often report daily symptoms such as persistent neck ache first thing in the morning, neck stiffness while reversing the car, a constant aching neck muscle, a clicking neck noise when looking over each shoulder and headache.
- Once the source of the problem has been identified, a variety of treatment techniques will be used to alleviate your symptoms. Treatment can consist of
- Exercise to involve range of movement and strength
- Postural advice and how to avoid further strain. Such as advising on an appropriate pillow for sleeping. Ergonomic assessment to ensure your work station is appropriate.
- Manual therapy to include massage, deep dry needling and joint mobilization.
- An individualized treatment programme will be provided to each patient depending on their presentation.
- A long-term management plan will be discussed with each patient to prevent the reoccurrence of the issue. Evidence has shown that compliance with a strengthening programme from your Physiotherapist greatly reduces the recurrence of neck and back pain.