What exactly is neck pain?

Your neck holds together your upper body and your head through a strong connection between the cervical vertebra, muscles and other ligaments. This specific connection also provides enough room for movement. However, the complicated alignments can cause neck pain as well. This often manifests itself through a dull aching pain on one or both sides of your neck or the upper part of your shoulders. You might have trouble rotating your head. Your neck muscles will often feel tense and stiff.

Complaints and symptoms associated with neck pain

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Tinnitus
  • Loss of concentration
  • Pain radiating down to arms
  • Tingling in hands or fingers

Risk factors

Neck pain usually develops slowly over time. Several work-related circumstances are known to be risk factors of neck pain, such as a stressful job, spending long working hours in the same position or poor or uncomfortable posture. Work that requires you to drive long hours, or to constantly make quick or, conversely, slow arm movements, or work that takes place in a draughty environment can also lead to stiff joints and tense muscles; which is exactly what causes neck pain.

Whiplash

Neck injury can also occur suddenly, after a road traffic accident for example. This could potentially result in whiplash: the head unexpectedly jerks backwards and forwards again causing the tendons and ligaments of the neck to overstretch. A whiplash can mean long-term discomfort, but rehabilitation is often successful.

Self-help for neck pain

Neck pain usually improves if you keep moving, albeit sensibly. Your rehabilitation is most likely to be successful if you avoid risk factors and make sure you exercise your neck sufficiently and diversely. If needed, you can take painkillers. In most cases bedrest won’t be necessary.

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Physiotherapy treatment for neck pain

A physiotherapist will help you rehabilitate and resume your daily routine. Treatment mainly focuses on providing information, advice and exercises that address your posture and movements during your daily activities. Exercises won’t make your discomfort disappear immediately if you suffer from sharp intense pain, but they will at least alleviate your complaints. Chronic and long-term neck pain are often successfully treated with a specific set of exercises; FysioCity is happy to help in case you suffer from these complaints.

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