Acute Neck Pain Treatment

This page deals with acute neck pain. Acute simply means “has happened recently” while chronic means “has existed for a long time” (usually over 3 months, but often much longer). So this is the page for you if your neck pain has recently flared up. If you have had pain for longer, please go here.

The good news!

Most neck pain resolves (relatively) quickly, approximately within 6 weeks or so and is often not an indication of something more serious.

Understanding acute neck pain?

As is often the case with the body, neck pain can arise from many different sources, such as:

  • Irritable soft tissue. For example, muscles and ligaments.
  • Irritation or inflammation of joints in the neck.
  • Irritation of neural structures such as nerves (the well known “trapped” or “pinched” nerve).

Modern physiotherapy places less emphasis on which structure might actually be sore. In the past, you might have been given a diagnosis of a disc bulge or facet joint irritation. While sometimes accurate, this type of diagnosis can lead to a misleading picture of why your neck is sore. Advances in research have shown that while, for example, a disk problem might be the cause of pain in some people, many others can have the same “problem” and be completely symptom-free. This means that in modern physiotherapy we concentrate on what works best to reduce your pain.

What you can expect from Heaton Moor Physiotherapy?

During your assessment we will carefully assess the following:

  • Your muscles and ligaments.
  • The range of your movement.
  • The condition of your nervous system (through a thorough neurological exam).
  • Any symptoms which might indicate a serious neck injury or the need to seek further investigations such as a CT or MRI scan.

We will then run through a series of tests to help identify what style of treatment will work best for you and your neck. With this information we will provide you with an understanding of your condition and from there will provide you with a variety of treatment options.

Acute neck pain treatment

You will then decide on a treatment pathway with your physio, and embark on a programme which will draw from multiple areas of physiotherapy such as short term relief form manual therapy (sometimes called hands-on) and longer-term exercise and a pain modification plan. You may even get advice on sleeping, diet and stress management as they can often form a large part of the pain presentation and help with pain relief.

Don’t panic

People often worry about their whether their posture is good or poor or about structures in the neck such as the spinal cord, nerves and disks. We would encourage you not to worry as this can sometimes make you feel worse. Pain is often inconsistent with severity in that you can have pain which is disproportionate to the underlying problem. Often these do not need a scan and may simply be due to a less problematic (but no less painful) issue such as a muscle spasm or strain. Even these alarming symptoms below can often resolve with a course of physiotherapy:

  • Pins and needles,
  • Numbness,
  • Weakness or
  • Radicular pain (this is pain which radiates down the arm)

We would always encourage you to visit for an assessment if you are ever in doubt.

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Book your appointment for an acute neck pain treatment online now!

We are ideally placed for people in Stockport and South Manchester. Book now and start your recovery today.

You can cancel with a full refund up to 24 hours prior to the appointment. Unfortunately, after that, we are only able to refund 50% of the cost.