Neck pain is extremely common. Pain and stiffness can make it difficult to turn round – for example, when reversing a car.
Symptoms may appear suddenly or gradually over time. The pain may be limited to the neck or may radiate into the arm and may be accompanied by headaches and dizziness, or pins and needles down the arm.
What causes it?
Most neck pain does not have one simple cause, but is a result of a range of factors that affect joints, muscles and tendons in the neck. These factors that can contribute include tension and sustained or repetitive activity, such as sitting at a desk at work, using the telephone a lot, playing a musical instrument, and driving long-distance.
Research has also shown that pain can also be influenced by our own beliefs and feelings, as well as psychological and social factors. This does not mean that physio is not able to be of benefit, you will be assessed thoroughly to determine the causes of your pain and the best approach will be determined.
If the neck has moved suddenly and unexpectedly (as in a car accident), the pain may be due to an injury, commonly known as whiplash. Most of the time, getting the neck moving again after the accident is the best way forwards. Physios are among the healthcare professions that are able to determine when this is best for you to do this.