Neck Pain is a common problem affecting many people these days. Neck and back pain is the second biggest reason for people to be off work. Neck pain can involve only Neck or may include shoulder, or you may have a radiating pain till your fingers of upper limb.
What are the causes of neck pain?
1) Sprain and Strain: These are the two most common causes of neck pain. Sprain is caused due to the overstretch, twist or tearing of ligaments. Strain is caused due to the overstretch or tear of muscle fibres. Some of the causes of sprain and strains are:
a) Poor Posture: This can be poor posture during work or poor posture during sleep.
b) Improper Pillows and mattress
c) Repetitive movements of neck
d) Sudden jerk
e) Sports Injury
f) Whiplash Injury
g) Continuous use of laptop or mobile phones
2) Cervical Spondylosis/ Cervical Osteoarthritis/ Neck Arthritis. This is caused due to aging and more common in older ages. Cervical Spondylosis also called
3) Cervical Degenerative Disease
4) Cervical Radiculopathy
5) Cervical spinal stenosis
6) Cervical herniated disc
7) Ankylosing spondylitis
10) Myofascial pain
What are the symptoms of neck Pain?
3) Stiffness in the Neck
4) Difficulty in moving the neck
5) Radiating Pain
6) Numbness, Tingling and weakness in the arms
7) Severe problems may include loss of bowel and bladder control and Loss of co-ordinated movements and balance.
How is Neck Pain Diagnosed?
Your doctor or physiotherapist will carry out a physical examination to understand your pain. This may involve
1) Range of motion Test: To understand the degree of restricted range of Neck
2) Palpitation: To find our if the muscles are sore.
3) Reflex action test: This is to rule out if there is any nerve compression.
4) Muscle strength test: This test is to find out if there is any muscle weakness in your Upper limbs
5) Sensory Test: If there is any tingling sensation.
1) X-RAY: In most of the cases x-ray will help to diagnose the cause of the pain
2) MRI: These are advised in more sever cases and if the pain has been there from long time.
3) CT SCAN: These are also advised in more sever cases to rule out the cause of the pain.
What is the treatment of Neck Pain?
1) Physiotherapy: Your physiotherapist will design your treatment plan to help decrease the pain and increase range of motion. Physiotherapy will include:
a) Exercise Therapy: Range of motion exercise, Strengthening, flexibility, conditioning, Mobilisations
b) Electrotherapy: electrical modalities also used such as Ultrasound and T.E.N.S to ease the pain and faster recovery.
2) Postural Correction: Your Physio will advise you if you need to modify your posture and will give you postural training.
3) Good Pillow: Use a thin pillow and a good orthopaedic mattress, a firm mattress is generally a better one as compared to soft mattress.
4) Good Mattress: While using laptop make sure your eye level and the top of your laptop screen are at the same level, hence avoiding bending of neck while using laptop.
5) Breaks: If you have a desk job start taking frequent breaks
1) Neck Flexion: Sit upright in a chair, with your neck in neutral position. Now slowly bend your neck forwards and try to touch your chin to the chest. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then come back to the neutral position
2) Neck extension: Sit upright in a chair, with your neck in neutral position. Now slowly bend your neck backwards and try to look at the ceiling. Hold this position for 5 seconds and then come back to the neutral position
3) Neck Side flexion: Sit upright in a chair, with your neck in neutral position. Now slowly bend your neck on one side as if you are trying to touch your ears with the shoulder but u doesn’t have to touch it. Bend only up to the point where you feel stretch on the opposite side of the neck. Hold for 5 seconds and then release.
4) Repeat exercise 3 on opposite side
5) Neck Rotation: Sit upright in a chair, with your neck in neutral position. Now slowly move your neck sideways as if you are trying to look something at the back. Hold in this position for 5 seconds and then release.
6) Repeat exercise 5 on opposite side
1) Stand against the wall, facing towards the wall. Place a soft big ball between your forehead and the wall. Now press the ball with your head thus creating tension in your neck muscles. Hold it for 5 seconds and release. Repeat for 5 times
2) Stand against the wall, facing opposite the wall. Place a soft big ball between your back of the head and the wall. Now press the ball by pushing the ball from the back of your head. Hold it for 5 seconds and release.
3) Stand sideways on the wall, with your right ears facing the wall. Place a soft ball between side of your head and wall. Now press the ball by pushing the ball from the side of your head. Hold it for 5 seconds and release.
4) Repeat exercise 3 on the left side