One of the most commonly reported areas of pain seen by our Manotick clients is pain in their necks. Discomfort and pain in someone's neck may be caused by a number of different things, from injuries and issues with your posture to other, more subtle, health issues. Here, our physiotherapists walk you through some of the causes of and treatments for neck pain.
Neck pain can widely vary from debilitating to mildly uncomfortable. It's very common for it to last from hours to days, weeks or even longer. At Manotick PhysioWorks, our team of physiotherapists are here to help identify the root cause of your pain as well as provide treatment and education to make sure that your pain won't arise again in the future.
What Are The Causes of Neck Pain?
Neck pain can be caused by a wide range of causes, some more common than others. Some of these causes of neck pain can include:
- Sleeping poorly or in an uncomfortable position.
- Using the computer for longer periods of time.
- Injuring your neck in an accident (such as whiplash from a minor car collision).
- Straining your neck and shoulders after lifting heavy objects (such as at the gym).
- You have just undergone surgery on your neck and have been left with some pain and stiffness as you recover.
Neck pain can also be caused by more serious injuries or underlying medical issues, like spinal fractures or tumors located in the neck area.
What Are The Symptoms of Neck Pain?
It may seem like the symptoms of neck pain should be self-evident: your neck and the surrounding area hurts. And neck pain itself is usually a symptom of some underlying condition or slight injury to your neck. However, the pain in your neck can manifest itself in different ways in your body which may not always be obvious to you.
Some of the most obvious symptoms of neck pain can include stiffness and a lack of mobility in your neck, alongside noticeable pain in your neck and the surrounding areas of your body. Some of the less obvious symptoms that can indicate you are experiencing issues with the muscles in your neck can include numbness or pain in the neck or arms, weakness in your hands and arms, and pins and needles.
If you notice any of the above symptoms in yourself, contact a physiotherapy clinic right away to start treatment.
How Does Physical Therapy Treat Neck Pain
When we practice physiotherapy for the relief of neck pain, our team of Manotick physical therapists can use a wide array of different techniques and treatments that will depend on the severity of your pain and its root cause. The purpose of physiotherapy treatment is to help your body to become strong and for you to learn how to best avoid reinjuring your neck in the future.
Our physiotherapists with start with a conversation with you about how you are feeling. The more they know about your pain and your recent activities, the easier they will be able to diagnose the cause of your pain and address it with their treatment.
After identifying the cause and severity of your neck pain, physiotherapists use two different broad types of physical therapy to treat neck pain: passive and active physical therapy. Passive physical therapy involves treatments that don't require activity from the patient such as massage therapy, ultrasound, hot and cold packs, and electrotherapy. Active physical therapy for neck pain involves the patient undertaking prescribed exercises and activities designed to strengthen their neck, restore their mobility and ensure that the pain does not arise again.
A combination of the two is usually used to treat neck pain depending on its severity. Your physiotherapist will work with you to make sure you are feeling as good as new, as quickly as possible.
When Should I Avoid Physiotherapy For Neck Pain?
While in most cases, physiotherapy can help you to recover from pain affecting your neck, there are certain cases where it should be avoided. In particular, when suffering from severe health issues that are causing you neck pain like tumors or fractures in your spine, physiotherapy won't be able to help you recover (and may even make the issue worse!).
Likewise, some people's bodies aren't up to the demands of physiotherapy and would not tolerate it. In all of these cases, speak with your physician about ways of alleviating your neck pain, or addressing its root cause, in other ways.