One of the most common problems that we treat in our practice is neck pain. Neck pain can be a debilitating issue and can arise as a result of injury, bad posture, poor mechanics and many other factors. It is estimated that two out of three people in the world suffer from neck pain at some point in their life. Neck (or cervical spine) is a very complex structure: dense with fragile muscle-skeletal structures, nerves and blood vessels. Accordingly, treatment of neck pain should be approached systematically. Detailed diagnosis is necessary in order to determine which structures are responsible for the pain. At South Barrie Health Group, our team of trained and experienced rehabilitation professionals is well equipped to diagnose and resolve your problem quickly and effectively.
Neck problems may come in many shapes and sizes. They often manifest as limited mobility, difficulty turning your neck to one or both sides, tension in the shoulders, headache, pressure as well as more serious symptoms, such as numbness, pins and needles or weakness in the arm and hand. Pain and other symptoms may come on quickly as a result of an injury or accumulate over months or years of overuse and poor posture.
Where does my neck pain come from?
Neck problems related to poor posture can take a while to accumulate and become noticeable. Such situations often arise as a result of postural imbalances (anterior head carriage, upper cross syndrome, etc.). In turn, such imbalances are usually a result of repetitive strain (overworking your neck), such as spending your day behind a computer, as many of us do nowadays. In such situations, the muscles of the neck and upper shoulder are overused by prolonged sitting in the same position and overtime become progressively tighter putting more and more pressure through the joints of the neck. As time goes on, both the muscles in question and the joints will become painful.
Trauma is another major cause of acute (fresh) and chronic neck pain and headaches. Car accidents are the most common cause of traumatic neck pain onset. Neck pain or Whiplash is the most common type of injury in an automobile accident. Whiplash is actually not a diagnosis, but rather what happens to your spine in time of a collision. Whiplash is the jerking of the head which happens when a blow is delivered to the body. This sudden jerking motion may strain or tear muscles, tendons, ligaments, damage joints, compress nerves. In extreme cases it may result in fractured vertebrae or damage blood vessels. Whiplash can also be a result of spots injuries. For example, Football players have the highest incidence of whiplash associated neck pain and headaches.
Factors that Effect Recovery
Depending on the severity of impact recovery may take weeks to years. In more difficult cases full recovery may not be reached, and some degree of chronicity remains. These are some of the factors that may effect speed and outcome of recovery.
- Previous injury history
- History of neck pain or headaches
- Severity of impact
- Position of your neck during impact
- Type of work, daily activities one is involved in
- Frequency of treatment
- Type of neck pain treatment
- Adherence to exercise and home treatment recommendations
- How early was treatment started
- Other anatomical and physiological factors
As one can see, the outcome of the recovery is a result of a complex equation. Care should be thought at the earliest opportunity, as delaying commencement of rehabilitation by even as little as a week may result in prolongation of the problem by months. If you have been involved in a car accident, sport injury or other call us for a free consultation and get assessed to ensure the best possible outcome.
At South Barrie Health Group we utilize a wide variety of evidence based approaches for the treatment of back pain and other injuries and conditions. We use a variety of soft tissue therapies, such as massage, muscle release techniques to address muscle tone. A variety of electro therapeutic modalities and LASER are an effective way to control pain, inflammation and muscle tightness. Joint manipulation can be used to address problems with range of motion and joint related pain. Our health practitioners also utilize such advanced techniques as acupuncture, electro-acupuncture, instrument assisted tissue mobilization, cupping etc. to help you with recovery. In vast majority of cases, wether traumatic or postural, we utilize patient tailored supervised exercise in order to loosen tight muscles, strengthen weak and injured ones and restore function of the injured area. Call us to discuss neck pain treatment options today!