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Neck Pain

Most people will experience neck pain from time to time. Frequently this will resolve with in a few days with out any specific treatment. Our advice is to keep your neck moving gently use heat if you're able.

If you have been suffering with neck pain for a few weeks and it is not improving then physiotherapy can help to ease your symptoms of pain and stiffness and get you back to your normal self.

At Mlh we are keen to enable you to manage your pain yourself quickly with exercise but we also value the hands on approach using manual therapy soft tissue techniques and IASTM.

What causes neck pain?
Spine Physio Various factors that can cause neck pain are commonly postural problems; your natural standing or sitting posture may have an effect on overloading one area of your neck causing inflammation leading to pain. This also links closely Work place ergonomics is your work place affecting your neck be it desk based, a repetitive action or a job that involves heavy lifting this could have an effect.

Sport obviously there are a high number of neck problems associated with contact sports such as Rugby but the repetitive movement sports using the upper limb can also lead to neck pain. It may seem like an old wives tale and sleeping in a draft is unlikely but sleeping positions can all be a trigger for neck pain you need to consider how many pillows you sleep with and if this is forcing you neck into a poor position, is your mattress or pillow past its best and now unsupportive and affecting your sleep?

Common conditions

Cervical Spondylitis
Cervical Spondylitis is the term for osteoarthritis (ware and tear) of the neck. Over time the natural process of aging causes wearing of the joints and loss disc height due to loss of fluid (disc dehydration) your body will try to compensate for the wearing by making the joint wider adding more bone to the affected area this can be detrimental with the formation of boney bumps on the edge of the joint called osteophytes these can affect the smooth movement of the joint and depending on the position they can irritate nerves causing sharp pain and nerve pain that passes down the arm. Typically with this condition you suffer from continuous dull ache with stiffness that is worse in the morning and pain with movement.

Disc prolapse
This is more frequently referred to as a "slipped Disc" which is misleading. The disc over time or through a large trauma can split the outer casing causing the internal gel-like substance to push through either causing a hernia or lump on the side of the disc or for a small amount to leave the disc and press on the adjacent nerve causing pain, muscle spasm and on occasion nerve tingling and even arm or hand weakness. In less than 1% of cases this requires surgery but the vast majority of disc prolapse pain can resolve with a combination of medication, relative rest, physiotherapy and specific exercises. Depending on the severity of the condition the treatment can take a few months to fully resolve.

Whiplash
Commonly associated with car accidents this neck injury is caused by the head being thrown into hyper extension (head backwards) then a hyper flexion (head forward) there are a wide variety of symptoms that can occur with whiplash such as headaches neck pain and stiffness and tingling and altered sensation. Our treatment goals are to restore function as quickly as possible with a mixture of hands on treatment and graduated exercises the key with whiplash is to treat each case as an individual and treat what you find.

How is neck pain treated?
Your physiotherapist will fully assess your neck to rule out any conditions that may be worsened by treatment. We look at your posture, your range of movement, and your muscle strength. We also use specific tests to fully diagnose the problem. With the diagnosis we will discuss with you the best treatment options for you individually depending on your specific occupational and sporting needs we come up with the best management plan tailored to your individual needs. The treatment plan will involve manual therapy, soft tissue massage and IASTM to improve your pain and movement. This will work along side a tailored specific home exercise plan that will gradually increase bringing you back to your normal self and hopefully mean you wont need treatment long term.

Neck Physio
 
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