Causes of Neck Pain
The most common causes of neck pain seen in my Physio clinic are related to posture!
Poor posture, weak abdominal muscles and heavier body weight can affect your spine's alignment and contribute to neck pain. For example, straining your neck to view a computer screen for long periods can cause neck pain.
Sleeping in a an awkward and poor positions without adequate support from pillows can also cause your neck to stiffen, sometimes lock and become uncomfortable.
As we get older our bodies suffer more natural wear and tear and can cause parts of your upper spine to deteriorate, or degenerate, causing pain. Degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis (the wearing down of joint cartilage) and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spaces in your spine) can lead to neck pain. Over time, stress and repeated movements can cause the disks in your spine to weaken, causing a herniated disk or pinched nerve.
Mental stress can have a huge impact on your body and is a common cause of pain. Tightening your neck muscles because you're stressed can lead to neck pain and stiffness. Many people who feel stressed or agitated tend to tense their muscles and hold their bodies stiffly without even realising until their neck starts hurting.
Whiplash is an injury that happens when sudden force or movement strains your neck and spine, damaging bone, muscle, ligaments and nerves. It’s most common in motor vehicle accidents, but can also happen for other reasons. It's usually treatable and short-lived.
All about Neck Pain
Symptoms of Neck Pain
Usually people notice reduced range of movement and pain on moving the neck but problems in your neck can refer pain to your shoulder blade or upper outer arm. If you're feeling a tingling sensation in your arm or hand it could be coming from your neck!
Neck Pain Relief
Medication - seek appropriate pain relief to reduce discomfort and allow for more mobility exercises.
Neck Pain Exercises
Watch the PBG information class on Neck pain then try the QuickFix exercise class to learn how to mobilise and improve your posture.
Relieving Neck Pain
HEAT - a warm pack placed around the neck and shoulder muscles for 20min a few times a day can ease stiffness, tension and soreness and help to relax the muscles increasing ability to stretch and mobilise the neck.
Free Class: Quick Fix for Neck Pain
Pillows! Improving the support your pillows offer in bed for your neck can drastically improve your neck pain; however there is no 'best' pillow as we are all individualls and when it comes to pillows its important to pick one to support your style of sleep posture.
Side sleepers are encouraged to choose a thicker pillow. This will allow your neck and head to align right over your shoulders.
Back sleepers are recommended to use a fairly flat pillow that the neck and head can rest on (not the shoulders).
Some ‘Orthopaedic’ pillows combine both of these elements by including a roll-shaped area for the neck and a lower area to cushion the head; great for people who roll side to back during the night.
If you suffer with neck pain we would not encourage you to sleep on your front.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- Neck pain or stiffness persists and does not improve in a few weeks
- Over the counter painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen have not worked and you're worried about the pain
- You have other symptoms, like pins and needles or a cold arm – this could be something more serious.