Although neck pain is common, most cases aren’t caused by a serious problem. Typical causes include…
Whiplash injuries are most often seen as a result of car accidents. They’re caused by the body being carried forward, causing the head to flip back. Then, as the body stops, the head is thrown forwards. There’s often a delay before you feel any pain or stiffness. It’s thought that the pain is caused by the stretching of the ligaments and the capsule around the facet joints, along with muscle spasm as the body tries to splint the injury.
Although whiplash can badly strain your neck, most cases improve within a few weeks or months. Seat belts and properly adjusted headrests in cars greatly reduce the damage from whiplash injuries. Gentle exercises to keep the neck mobile will help to prevent longer term problems and get you back to normal as soon as possible.
Muscles at the back of the neck must always be tensed in order to keep your body upright. When we’re stressed we often tense these muscles even more, which can cause neck pain and tension headaches. Relaxation and exercise can help ease tension.
Spondylosis occurs due to everyday use over many years. This is where discs become thinner, the facet joints become worn and the spaces between the bones become narrower. Spurs of bone, known as osteophytes, form at the edges of the vertebrae and the facet joints. These changes are very similar to those seen in osteoarthritis. You can take painkillers to ease pain, and exercise will help you to stretch and strengthen your muscles.
Most cases of neck pain get better on their own within a few weeks, but to aid the healing process it’s important to stay active. Bed rest for more than a couple of days makes it harder to get going. Gradually increase your normal activities and do regular exercise.
Exercise is the most important way that you can ease stiffness and pain, build up muscle strength and stamina and improve your flexibility and general fitness. If your neck pain lasts a while, lack of movement can cause the muscles to become weak – meaning you’re more likely to strain them in future.
If your neck pain is persistent and affecting your activity, physiotherapy will help you to manage pain and improve your strength and flexibility. At PhysioMatters, we provide a can variety of treatments and can help you understand your problem and get you back to your normal activities in the quickest possible time!