Neck pain is a common condition that refers to discomfort or pain in the neck, shoulders, and upper back.
Your neck consists of 7 vertebrae (upper bones of the spine) that extend from the skull to the upper torso. Between each vertebra are discs that absorb shock and allow for small movements.
The bones, ligaments, and muscles of your neck support your head and allow for movement. Any abnormalities, inflammation, or injury can cause pain or stiffness.
Everyone at some point has experienced neck pain or stiffness. In many cases, it’s from poor posture or overuse such as being hunched over a work desk.
But for many, pain is caused whilst sleeping in an awkward position. For others, pain may be caused by injury from a fall, contact sports, or whiplash.
Most of the time, neck pain isn’t a serious condition and can be relieved within a few days.
But in some cases, pain can indicate serious injury or illness and require a doctor’s care.
Neck Pain Symptoms
Neck pain symptoms can vary in severity and duration. Oftentimes, neck pain is acute and lasts for only a couple of days or weeks.
Other times, it may become chronic and last much longer.
Either way, your neck pain probably interferes with your everyday activities… and it’s time to do something about it.
Symptoms Of Neck Pain May Include:
- Stiff neck. People with neck pain often describe their neck as feeling stiff or stuck in one position. This stuck feeling means you lack a range of movement in some way.
- Sharp pain. Pain may feel like a sharp or “stabbing” pain that is localized to one area.
- Pain when moving. Pain is exacerbated by moving. This might be twisting, or extending your neck (cervical spine), either from side to side or up and down.
- Radiating pain or numbness. Your pain may radiate to your head, trunk, shoulders, and arms. This could be a sign that there is compression on a nerve. This creates numbness, tingling, or weakness in either of your arms or hands. Pain that is from a pinched nerve may be a burning or sharp sensation that starts at the neck and travels down the arm.
- Headache. Pain that starts in your neck may also produce a headache called a cervicogenic headache. All pain is unpleasant. But, having both a headache and a stiff neck, can feel 10 times worse.
- Pain when palpated. Pain may increase if your cervical spine is palpated (physically examined), this is called a latent trigger point. This is something that we check during the initial consultation and movement testing.
Will Pain Get Better On Its Own?
In most cases yes.
It’s a self-limiting condition which means a lot of people will get better in a few days or weeks (see the NHS website here). It depends on many factors including the cause, and the symptoms you are experiencing.
If you haven’t noticed an improvement in your symptoms within 4 weeks, that’s where I can help.
What Factors Are Going To Affect My Recovery?
Neck Pain can get better on its own, however, there are several factors that will help to speed up your recovery. These factors include lifestyle and mindset changes.
- Quality of Sleep – Once you’re in pain this is THE biggest predictor of your improvement.
- Stress & Anxiety – Reducing these will help release tension in the muscles, especially around the neck and shoulders.
- Survival value – How important is it for you to be pain-free? You may find having neck pain stresses you more. Or you may find that the neck pain disappears when you are particularly stressed because you require the outcome.
- Catastrophizing – This is an important one that we work on in the clinic. We’ll challenge the thoughts you have surrounding your neck pain. I often see clients that talk about their neck pain as being far worse than it actually is. This affects how they move and act. It is crucial that we see your neck pain for what it is and not any worse.
- Fear Avoidance – Lying in bed and avoiding movement is more detrimental than helpful. Think of it like a phobia, to help you improve your pain we need to get you challenging yourself a bit. This will start by discovering that things ARE ok and you can do the things you want.
- Beliefs – beliefs can make the pain worse or better. If you believe your pain to be long-term, then it will be. Likewise, if you believe your pain can be managed then it can be. I’m not saying that we can “wish away” your pain but being positive will go a long way in your recovery.
Will Soft Tissue Therapy Help My Neck Pain?
Yes! and in a very short period of time.
Soft Tissue therapy is able to help with the mechanical cause of your neck pain, like muscle tension or spasms. I can find ways to stretch muscles without causing irritation. I’ll help mobilise your neck, shoulders & upper back in ways to relieve tension.
Further still, the discussion on and off the massage couch is just as important as the hands-on treatment. By combining physical therapy, lifestyle, and mindset guidance, your nervous system will learn to relax. This makes the pain more tolerable allowing you to move normally and return to the things you love.
Reducing pain is the most important thing when you have neck pain and Soft Tissue Therapy is a great way to help.
What Can I Do To Help My Neck Pain?
If your neck pain has persisted beyond 4 weeks and hasn’t got better on its own, book an appointment with a GP. It’s important to seek medical attention if you have had pain for a while.
Next reach out to me, using the FREE CONSULTATION HERE.
I’ll be able to help assess, and identify the causes of the neck pain
and create a treatment to get you back in action ASAP!
It is vital you continue to keep moving. There is a big difference between debilitating pain and discomfort. It is VERY important that you move as much as possible and continue to live life normally. Aim to keep your pain levels below 4/10. This means it’s going to be uncomfortable at times but should never be painful.
Make a note of all the activities that make symptoms worse. This helps you become aware of your neck pain, and is valuable information during our initial consultation.
It sounds obvious, but where possible eliminate the movements that cause intense pain. Sometimes this isn’t possible, which is why getting help is a must.
It is also important to take time to relax. Again this isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially when life is hectic and pain is at its worse. This can be as simple as lying down in a comfortable position a few times a day, taking deep breaths, or going for a short walk.
The symptoms of Neck Pain are varied, ranging from a mild aching to sharp and debilitating pain.
It can be extremely painful and distressing, in most cases, pain improves in 4-6 weeks it can be longer.
It is a common condition that I see in the clinic daily. I also see significant improvements in pain relief using Soft Tissue therapy in the first session.
With that said I want to give you three things you can do right now to improve your neck pain.
Three Actions To Improve Neck Pain
1. Press play on the short video training below. I’ll go through a couple of home-based exercises you can do right now to help elevate your pain.
2. Book a free consultation here.
We can arrange a short phone call to see how I can help you.
3. Read this blog: When to see a doctor for back pain – READ NOW
Looking forward to getting you pain-free
Soft Tissue Therapy in Newquay