Physiotherapy Treatment of Neck Pain
Neck pain is common and. comes in many forms which while they can be painful and debilitating are often not serious. Conditions range from a stiff neck and shoulders through to more complex and painful conditions. Treatment for neck pain is provided by the Chartered Physiotherapists at Heaton Moor Physiotherapy who use a mix of hands-on techniques and education coupled with exercises to increase range of motion as well as stretch and strengthen shoulder and neck muscles. This aim of this programme is to provide early pain relief and long term recovery.
What is Neck Pain
Neck pain has many terms which sound similar (and often sound serious), so to start with, here’s a brief outline of what the terms mean.
This refers to the top 7 vertebrae of the spine. The cervical spine is a wonderful piece of engineering! It is both flexible enough to allow complex movement and strong enough to bear the weight of the head. It can be sensitive, meaning that small stimuli can provoke a large response. For example, a small strain that you might not notice elsewhere can be very painful while not being very serious.
A diagnosis of changes in the neck and a natural part ageing. We use this term often interchangeably with arthritis of the neck. Importantly, while it certainly can be painful, it does not have to be painful. Many people have changes associated with cervical spondylosis and are completely unaware of it. The ageing process is normal and does not have to be painful.
The scapula is the shoulder blade and it plays an important role when it comes to the neck. Dyskinesia is a technical term which just means not moving as expected. It is not something which necessarily causes pain itself.
Posture and its relation to Neck Pain:
Posture is a general term we use to describe how we hold ourselves during our day to day tasks. We at Heaton Moor Physio won’t describe your posture using terms like “poor” or “good”. Instead, we think of posture in terms of its contribution to your pain. The reason for this is that the evidence shows that it is difficult to predict your pain from your postural. What this means is that while posture can be a contributor to pain, it doesn’t have to be. Evidence shows there is a poor correlation between your posture and pain, meaning that we cannot infer that just because you have a particular posture type that you must, therefore, have pain. Instead, we will assess your posture and if we think it might be a contributory factor in your pain then we will be provided with exercises and advice to help address that.
It can be useful to look at neck pain in two ways: Acute or Chronic. There can be some confusion over just what acute and chronic actually mean. Taken at their most simple, acute simply means “has happened recently” while chronic means “has existed for a long time” (usually over 3 months, but often much longer). We feel that the confusion arises as often chronic is used synonymously with “bad” or “painful”. For example, you may have heard someone say they have “chronic neck ache” when they actually meant “severe neck ache”.
We make the distinction between chronic and acute pain as chronic pain is often treated in a very different way from acute pain.
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