How to treat Neck Pain

Most people experience neck pain and it does not overly affect their day to day life. It could be caused from stress or sleeping patterns. However, if you are suffering from pain that is severe or going down your arm it is recommended that you would talk to a physiotherapist to discuss your how to treat this to give you a better quality of life.

What are the most common pains we see in the clinic?

  • Restricted range of neck movement
  • Pain around the neck region that may spread to the shoulder or shoulder blade area or towards the base of the skull
  • Associated muscle stiffness or spasm
  • Pain aggravated by particular movements, postures and activities and relieved by others
  • Associated headaches

What can be done to treat it?

There are three types of treatments or techniques that would be typically administered for neck pain.

  • Manual techniques – manipulation, traction or mobilisation of the joints in the spine.
  • Soft tissue techniques – massage, frictions, trigger point therapy, acupressure and stretching.
  • Stretching, strengthening and postural exercises – a specifically tailored exercise programme targeting your problems.
  • Group exercise interventions may be appropriate such as Pilates
  • Electrotherapy – ultrasound, interferential, TENS, laser or electrical stimulation may help speed up healing and reduce pain.
  • Hydrotherapy.
  • Biomechanical assessment and prescription of orthotics (customised insoles).
  • Prescription and fitting – of collars, pillows, spinal supports, lumbar rolls and corrective seating
  • Assess and give advice – on ergonomics (working postures) to reduce unnecessary load on your spine.

How do you decide what treatment to use?

As a Chartered Physiotherapist we would do a detailed assessment and do a physical examination. We figure out what are the source of the symptoms and plan a treatment programme that fits your diagnosis and life.

Useful links and resources

Below are links to some useful resources on tips and exercises that you can do to support your neck.

ISCP Leaflet: Physiotherapy and care of your neck

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