The neck is made up of 7 vertebrae and 44 muscles and it is the most versatile and mobile part of the spine. The average human head weighs 4-5kg, and it is the neck’s job to provide a stable base and connection point between the head and the body. Each neck muscle has a unique role, thus, co-ordination between its 44 individual muscles is essential to allow us to perform simple tasks such as driving, eating and catching a ball. The modern lifestyle and its advents (such as the mobile phone and computers) have increased the strain placed on our necks.
Neck pain can be divided into four main categories: Restriction issues, when a blockage occurs in the muscles or joints resulting in a decreased range of motion. Co-ordination impairment, when the muscles of the neck are not working in harmony. Neck pain with headaches, when the restriction occurs between the head and the neck. Neck pain with radiation, usually a result of a pathology such as a disc bulge or nerve impingement.
How can physiotherapy help?
- Physiotherapists are highly trained in diagnosing muscle and joint injuries including those associated with the neck.
- Physiotherapists have a wide range of tools to help the different types of neck issues, such as dry needling, mobilisations, soft tissue therapy, manipulations/adjustments, guided meditation and muscle-energy techniques.
- Physiotherapist can prescribe correct exercises and educate the patient to prevent further pain.
What can you do to help?
- Have a regular exercise routine throughout the week to maintain strength and flexibility.
- Avoid too much time looking down at your phone or bent over your work computer.
- When at work make sure to get up at least once an hour to move around and stretch.
- Incorporate stress-management techniques into your daily routine.
If you have any questions or would like to book an appointment call now on 052 608 5262