Neck Pain Got you Down?!

   

Most people are unaware of the wide variety of causes of neck pain. These can include poor posture and ergonomics, strains from falling or sleeping in an awkward position, general neck weakness, chronic pain patterning, overall neural conditioning, and in most cases a combination of the above.

Decreasing activity level, sitting at work and in the car, crouching over our laptops and phones, are all habits and traits common of the twenty-first century. This in combination with our decreasing physical fitness and coping strategies, help to a cycle of pain and discomfort that many may feel trapped in.  

This may then sensation of chest and neck tightness that we frequently experience, but despite all the stretching we may try it still feels tight. 

Our body and mind are amazing, in that they will try to become better and more efficient at anything we do, this holds true for pain and posture. As we spend more time in a certain position they try to allow us to be more comfortable in that position. This only becomes an issue when we want to move or operate in positions vastly different from this position.

Fear not, as despite we think we are all to become rounded and stooped automatons, are bodies are flexible and highly adaptable. With consistency, a good outlook, and a thorough plan, every issue can be improved.   We only need to think of 91-year-old gymnast Johana Quaas to see the possibilities.

Research emphasizes the use of a comprehensive program to help establish new habits and improve resiliency. We tend to use a three-pronged approach.

Exercise and strengthening helps increase resiliency, better support the body, and improve control. Deconditioning pain through the use of daily exercise and soft tissue work to decrease the feeling of discomfort. This as well as empowering the individual with the ability to improve their current situation, can help break this cycle. Finally, the last step. Educating the individual of the mechanics of pain, understanding what may be triggers, creating awareness of what they can improve, and ultimately creating a plan that they can use to manage and take control of their body!

                 If this has peaked your curiosity or you have any questions feel free to send me a message at justin@honsbergerphysio.com.

JUSTIN LOUIE, MScPT, CSCS

Citations

Binder A. I. (2008). Neck pain. BMJ clinical evidence, 2008, 1103.

Borenstein D.G. (2007). Chronic neck pain: how to approach treatment. Current Pain Headache Rep. 2007 Dec;11(6):436-9.

Cohen, S., Hooten, M. (2017). Advances in the diagnosis and management of neck pain. BMJ. 2017 Aug; 358:j3221.

Lehman G. Recovery Strategies: Pain Guidebook. 

Page P. (2011). Cervicogenic headaches: an evidence-led approach to clinical management. International journal of sports physical therapy, 6(3), 254-66.

Weatherall M. W. (2015). The diagnosis and treatment of chronic migraine. Therapeutic advances in chronic disease, 6(3), 115-23.

Yaseen, K., Hendrick, P., Ismail, A., Felemban, M., & Alshehri, M. A. (2018). The effectiveness of manual therapy in treating cervicogenic dizziness: a systematic review. Journal of physical therapy science, 30(1), 96-102.

 

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