Physiotherapy Treatment For Neck Pain

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Neck pain is a very common injury, and it can be one of the more debilitating problems that our physio’s treat at Central Performance because of the effect it has on your daily lifestyle and exercise. Things as simple as washing your hair, reversing the car or sitting at your desk can become very painful. Your movements can be significantly restricted, and you may also feel some headaches associated with some types of neck pain.

Neck pain can be felt anywhere from the upper back, across your trapezius muscles to your shoulders, further up through your neck and sometimes up in to your head. If there is nerve involvement then you may feel sharp pain in your neck that may shoot down your arm, and you may also feel pins-and-needles, numbness, tingling or weakness. Because neck pain can present in so many different ways, it is important that a comprehensive assessment is performed in order to get an accurate diagnosis and plan your best course of physiotherapy treatment.

Your Initial Assessment

In your initial assessment a detailed history and physical assessment is completed in order to rule out any serious pathology, develop a diagnosis, and set out your initial treatment plan. If your physio finds anything during your first assessment that needs further investigation they will explain the situation thoroughly and refer you to your doctor for more assessment that may include an x-ray or MRI. However, it is important to note that the large majority of neck pains do not need any scans or further investigations.

During your physical examination your physiotherapist will take you through a thorough movement assessment to identify any painful or restricted movements. This is followed by a hands-on assessment of your muscles and joints to help to identify the cause of your pain or injury. A thorough strength assessment will also be completed to identify any weakness that may be contributing to your pain. We will also screen your posture for any effects that this may be having on your symptoms.

At the end of your assessment your physio will clearly explain the findings and work with you to build a plan that works towards your specific goals. This can be as simple as eliminating your pain and restoring function, through to more lifestyle or performance goals such as getting you back to sports competition, preventing future problems or working to improve your posture.

Physiotherapy Treatment For Neck Pain

Once your physiotherapist has diagnosed your pain and identified any contributing factors they will explain your treatment plan. This will usually include a progression of physiotherapy treatment techniques including;

  • Education – this is an important part of treatment that is often overlooked. Your physiotherapist will explain your injury to you in easy to understand language to help you fully understand the cause of your pain, why it has happened, and what your rehab process will look like moving forward. This includes advice on activity modification for both work and home life in order to minimise any aggravating factors and help you get moving again quicker.
  • Hands-on treatment (also called manual therapy) – a lot of your early treatment involves hands-on techniques to reduce pain and improve your range of movement. We always give you as much time as we need to achieve good improvements in these areas as fast as possible.
  • Mobility or stretching exercises – muscles attaching to the neck and shoulders are a common site for pain in clients with neck pain, so light stretching exercises are used to improve or maintain the range of movement that has been gained with manual therapy
  • Strengthening exercises – a loss in neck muscle strength is often seen in neck pain patients and can be one of the underlying causes of your pain. Your physiotherapist will tailor an exercise program to rebuild your strength, which not only helps relieve your current pain episode but reduces your risk of suffering another flare-up in the future. Many clients find that progressing to a more functional neck strengthening program by doing our Pilates or exercise physiology programs is very effective, especially if your pain is recurrent or has been there a long time.

As you can see, neck pain is complex and it is important that a thorough assessment is undertaken to establish a diagnosis, identify deficits and then target your treatment. Our physiotherapists at Central Performance have extensive experience and expertise in the effective treatment of neck pain, so please contact us to make an appointment or to speak to one of our team.

To Make An Appointment Please Use Our Online Booking System Or Call Us On 9280 2322

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