Physiotherapy

Stretching your neck not working anymore?

Post by
Brian Tran

Stretching your neck not working anymore?

With many of us working from home, we are seeing a spike in people coming in with neck and shoulder pain. In fact, neck pain is one of the most common reasons people seek care from our Physiotherapists and Chiropractors.

Causes of neck pain

Most people with neck pain don’t have any significant damage to their spine. The pain they’re experiencing is often coming from the soft tissues such as muscles and ligaments.

Common causes of neck pain include:

Muscle strain – this may be caused by things such as poor posture (e.g. while using a computer or smartphone, slouching), poor neck support while sleeping, watching TV, sports or work activities, anxiety and stress.

Cervical spondylosis – this arthritis of the neck is related to ageing. As you age, your intervertebral discs lose moisture and some of their cushioning effect. The space between your vertebrae becomes narrower and your vertebrae may begin to rub together. Your body tries to repair this damage by creating bony growths (bone spurs). Most people with this condition don’t have any symptoms however when they do occur, the most common symptoms are neck pain and stiffness. Some people may experience other symptoms such as tingling or numbness in their arms and legs if bone spurs press against nerves. There can also be a narrowing of the spinal canal (stenosis).

Slipped disc – also called a herniated or bulging disc. This occurs when the tough outside layer of a disc tears or ruptures and the soft jelly-like inside bulges out and presses on the nerves in your spine.

Whiplash – this is a form of neck sprain caused when the neck is suddenly whipped backwards and then forwards. This stretches the neck muscles and ligaments more than normal, causing a sprain. Whiplash most commonly occurs following a car accident, and may occur days after the accident.

Symptoms

The symptoms you experience will depend on what’s causing your neck pain but may include:

- Pain in the neck, shoulders and/or upper chest
- Stiff neck
- Difficulty turning your head

What should I do?

Whilst stretching the neck can help temporarily, many people are unaware that strengthening the muscles of the neck and shoulder (with bands, weights, and even head stands) can actually help reduce neck pain and stop it from coming back.

If you're ready to try something different for your neck pain, make an appointment with one of our Physiotherapists or Chiropractors at Milsons Point today to get you started on an individualised neck strengthening program.

To book an appointment, visit our Online Bookings or call us on 02 9023 9999.

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