|Neck Pain |
Injury and postural
problems are the main causes of neck pain.
identify the reasons for your neck pain and provide effective
|What Causes Neck
Your head is heavy and balanced on a narrow support made up
of seven bones called vertebrae. The vertebrae are separated from
each other by discs, stabilised by joints and ligaments and moved by
muscles. Because the neck is so mobile, it is easily damaged. Injury
and postural problems are the most common causes of neck pain.
Diseases such as arthritis or degeneration of the discs can also
A disorder of the neck joints or muscles can cause
referred pain to your head, shoulders, arms and upper
Neck injuries most often result from motor vehicle accidents,
sports or occupational accidents. Damage may occur to vertebrae,
joints and nerves, discs, ligaments and muscles. A common neck
injury is the acceleration/deceleration injury or 'whiplash' where
the head is thrown forward or back.
Bad posture can cause neck pain. Ligaments are
over-stretched, muscles become tired and the neck joints and nerves
are put under pressure.
Slouching your shoulders with your
head pushed forward, sleeping with your head in an awkward position,
or working with your head down for long periods, will all tend to
cause neck pain.
|PREVENTING NECK PAIN
Here is some useful advice to help you prevent neck pain:
tall: chest lifted, shoulders relaxed, chin tucked in and head
level. Your neck should feel strong, straight and relaxed.
A down pillow or urethane pillow is best for
most people. Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
Recognise when your are tense. You may be hunching your
shoulders or clenching your teeth without realising it.
working with your head down or to one side for long periods. Stretch
and change position frequently.
your neck joints and muscles flexible and strong with correct neck
exercises. Your physiotherapist can show you how.
Physiotherapists will be able to determine the
source of your neck pain and treat it. They may use:
||postural assessment, correction and advice
||laser, ultrasound, electrotherapy and heat
Manipulation can be an effective treatment for neck
problems. In some situations, it may do more harm than good. Your
physiotherapist will carefully check your neck before manipulating
it to see if other methods, such as mobilisation would be
Your physiotherapist can also offer you self-help advice
on ways to correct the cause of neck pain, such as practical tips
for work and in the home, adjusting furniture, relaxation and
|Finding a Physiotherapist
doctor's referral is not required to see a physiotherapist in
private practice. Physiotherapists in private practice are listed in
the Yellow Pages under 'Physiotherapists'. Physiotherapists also
work in public hospitals and community health centres.
proportion of treatment costs is rebatable under all higher table
health insurance schemes.
|By courtesy of the Australian Physiotherapy Association