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Neck pain is a very common condition seen in clinical practice, however there are many of us who live with this pain daily when there is no need for this to occur.

Due to it being a continuation of the spinal column, there are similarities between neck pain and back pain and the structures that can cause pain, these include the muscles that help support and move the joints in the neck, the discs, the weight-bearing joints, tendons, ligaments, nerves and bones. 


Neck pain can also be referred from other portions of the body as well which can include from the upper back and shoulders and also from various organs as well. It is very important if you do have neck pain, no matter how severe to get it checked out because it can lead to long term detrimental affects to your health and well-being.

Common Neck Complaints

When is the right time to see someone if I have a neck problem?

The correct time is now!


Common complaints that people have that should be checked out include:

  • Pain that has lasted for a few days without relief

  • Pain that keeps coming back even though it clears up

  • Chronic neck pain

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  • Any swelling, bruising, trauma, and motor vehicle accidents are all grounds for an appointment

  • Pain at night or at rest

  • Pain on activity

  • Pain that refers anywhere especially into the shoulder and down into the arm

  • Any loss of motor strength or any numbness/pins and needles

  • Not being able to turn the neck in one or more than one direction

  • Neck pain with headache

  • Neck pain with fever, swelling,

  • If you have signs and symptoms of sudden neck pain with any of the following – including but not limited to vertigo, dizziness, drop attacks, vomiting, nausea, uncoordination, slurred speech, drowsiness, hearing loss, vision loss, facial weakness and problems walking – require urgent medical attention and require immediate care at your nearest hospital.

If you have any of these complaints or have a question about a complaint that is not a part of this list, this list is in no way, shape or a form a definitive list please feel free in contacting us to make an appointment.

Predisposing factors/Causes

Some of the predisposing factors of neck pain are things that we do everyday and take for granted, that is until it’s too late and we start getting these symptoms.

They can be due:

  • Poor workplace ergonomics

  • Field of employment and occupational risk

  • Previous history of neck and/or shoulder pain

  • Stress

  • Motor vehicle accidents

  • Trauma to the neck region

  • Long periods of sitting and neck flexion

  • History of long periods of vibration in the arms e.g. repetitive use of jackhammers

  • Consistently elevated arms e.g. hairdressing

Common Conditions

Some of the more common conditions that are seen in clinical practice:

  • Osteoarthritis

  • Herniated disc (“slipped” disc)

  • Nerve radiculopathy (“trapped”/”pinched” nerve)

  • Muscle strains

  • Ligament sprains

  • Whiplash

  • Thoracic outlet syndrome

How Can We Help?

If after extensively going through your history and physical examination we have found that this is a musculoskeletal condition we can begin treatment that has been written up in the form of a rehabilitation program that is used to help keep track of your progress. It is imperative to continue with the rehabilitation program due to the fact that each treatment session builds up on the next, with the constant improvements being made, especially in the initial stage of treatment. 

Our first aim of treatment is to help aid remove the pain. As we go forward and improve our next step is to help strengthen the muscles to restore proper healthy tissue, and then finally help to restore proper joint biomechanics. There are various factors that determine the progression on to each step of the rehabilitation protocol, some of these factors include tissue damage acquired, chronicity of the injury, age of patient, previous injuries, response to treatment and s ticking with the treatment protocol.

A general overview of treatment for neck is a specific, localised adjustment to help restore proper joint motion, joint mobilisation, myofascial trigger point therapy to ease muscles that are in spasm which helps increase our ranges of motion, various stretches to once again help in increasing our range of motion. Finally we then give specific rehabilitation exercises that help to promote proper joint stability and finally whole body correction of improper joint biomechanics to help keep you out of pain for long term relief.

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