In most cases this neck pain is mild but about 5% of people experience neck pain that significantly impacts on their daily lives.
Neck pain along with back pain is once of the most commonly treated problems in physiotherapy clinics today. This is thought to be due to the increase in sedentary jobs such as desk jobs.
Neck pain can present with arm pain or headaches and can come on as a result of a trauma e.g. whiplash or more gradually e.g. arthritis or myofascial pain. The priority on your first physiotherapy session is to identify the source of the pain and any factors that are contributing to it e.g. poor posture.
Treatment will then be directed at relieving the pain with manual treatment such as joint mobilisations, Kinesio taping and dry needling. Electrotherapy modalities such as laser may be used. You will also be given a home exercise programme to continue with in between treatment. Appropriate advice will be given in relation to daily activities.
Neck pain can be as a result of something as simple as muscle spasm associated with stress and poor posture. This type of neck pain is usually very easy to treat and reacts very fast to treatment. However, more severe causes of neck pain such as disc prolapse and spondylolythesis but can be quite debilitating and would require a course of regular physiotherapy sessions to help you recovery.
Some neck pain tips :
Current research shows that soft neck collars may impede recovery.
Heat can be helpful when the neck muscles are in spasm.
Avoid looking down at laptops. If you use a laptop for a few hours daily it would be recommended that you ask your physiotherapist for some ergonomic aid which will help put the laptop at the correct level for you. The top of your screen should be at eye level.
Stiffness in the middle back caused from slouching at your desk can cause neck pain so try to sit tall. If you find this difficult a lumbar roll can help. Your physiotherapist can provide this for you.
Gentle stretches can also help. All stretches should be done within pain limits. Consult your physiotherapist on the best stretches for you.