Neck pain is often associated with poor posture and weakness.
The neck is made up of joints, discs, ligaments and muscles. Any of these structures can be a source of pain, stiffness and loss of function.
Common features of neck pain include loss of range of motion, loss of strength, inability to sit for prolonged periods of time and headaches.
Neck pain can also cause dizziness, double vision, speech difficulties and tingling or numbness into one or both arms. You should consult a doctor if you have any of these symptoms.
- Mechanical neck pain – often termed nonspecific pain, likely as a result of a muscle strain. Poor posture may contribute to the pain, placing more load through the spine.
- Whiplash – sudden forward and backward motion / acceleration and deceleration of the neck causing damage to the surrounding ligaments and muscles. Commonly after a road traffic accident or a fall. Pain usually develops over 24 – 48 hours.
- Degenerative cervical spine / degenerative disc disease / cervical spondylosis – wear and tear at the joints formed between the vertebrae in the neck.
- Cervical radiculopathy – pressure on a nerve originating in the neck, causing tingling or numbness into one or both arms or hands.
When to see a specialist?
- If pain persists longer than two weeks of performing these exercises
- Increase in pain level
- Persisting restriction with activities of daily living
- Increase in intensity and area of numbness down the arm
- Worsening or persisting headaches
Aims of treatments recommended
- Reduce pain and symptoms
- Increase strength
- Increase range of motion
- Improve posture
- Prevent further deterioration