Physiotherapy can be particularly helpful in the management of both acute and chronic neck pain (cervical spine).
Whether it be an acute sports injury, a ‘cricked’ neck, a whiplash injury or some arthritic wear and tear, physiotherapy may be able to help.
Following your assessment the physiotherapist will determine and discuss the cause of the your neck pain, whether it is a disc or vertebral joint problem, a trapped nerve or a muscular issue. Treatment options will also be discussed, and these may consist of manual therapy or mobilisations to the vertebra to help the joints move more efficiently, soft tissue work to relieve muscular issues and then an ongoing management or rehabilitation plan to help prevent recurrence of the issue.
The underlying cause of the neck pain also needs to be determined and addressed, any postural issues or stiffness into the thoracic vertebra can be targeted to ensure improved spinal fitness overall. Contrary to popular belief people can change and improve their posture, but unfortunately it involves some hard work. The good news however is that these types of exercises can frequently be incorporated into regular gym or exercise regimes to go along with the good old hamstring stretches and abdominal crunches and it shouldn’t take too long to see and feel the benefit!
Occasionally cervical spine problems can become recurrent. Often this is due to incomplete rehabilitation and a lack of ‘re-conditioning’ of the neck muscles post injury, particularly if you are involved in sport. People are aware of strengthening areas post injury, particularly when it comes to the low back or knee, but the same need is also there for the cervical spine. Being thorough in the approach to your neck pain/problem should lead to a better long term outcome and a reduced chance of, or less severe recurrence.