Physiotherapy and Neck Pain




Physiotherapy and Neck Pain

Neck Pain

Neck Pain is a severe sensation of discomfort in the region of the neck and around the shoulders. Neck pain can range from being mild to acute and severe.

Characteristics of Neck Pain

Neck pain can result from a series of factors ranging from inappropriate posture to muscle overuse. Read on for some of the most typical characteristics of neck pain.




Main causes of neck pain can include injury, a mechanical or muscular problem, a trapped nerve caused by a bulge in one of the discs between the vertebrae, arthritis of the neck and the like.



The pain can be felt as a mild discomfort to a severe, burning pain.



Pain that is acute .i.e. sudden or intense, is called a crick in the neck, facet syndrome or muscular rheumatism.



Neck pain is termed as chronic after it has lasted for more than three months.



Neck pain is seen more frequently in women than in men.



Wearing a neck collar might not help neck pain in all the cases.



Common causes of neck pain include:




Injury or trauma Stress, anxiety and worry Sleeping in an awkward position Prolonged sitting hours at a computer work desk Whiplash injuries



Physiotherapy and Neck Pain

Physiotherapy is a health profession concerned with the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of disease and disability through physical means.

As a medical practice, physiotherapy is used to manage conditions in three broad categories including musculoskeletal, cardiopulmonary and neurological.

Physiotherapy is one of the most effective treatment options for neck pain. To begin with, your physiotherapist will be able to determine the source of your pain and devise a suitable exercise plan.

Generally, one or more of the following techniques will be used:




Mobilisation, to stretch tight muscles and ligaments Functional and Rehabilitative Exercises Taping, to stabilise the shoulder joint Encouraging normal activity Postural assessment, correction and advice Relaxation therapy Hydrotherapy, exercise in water Laser, ultrasound, electrotherapy and heat treatment Soft tissue massage



Before the physiotherapists begin treatments, they work together with the patient to diagnose the cause of the neck pain. This might involve a general overview of the patient’s medical history and general lifestyle trends.

Neck Exercises

Neck exercises are the chief part of a physiotherapist’s approach for the treatment of neck pain. The aim of these exercises is to keep the neck moving as normally as possible.

The best method is to keep on exercising the neck gently after the initial pain has subsided. The range of exercises and movement should also be gradually increased. It is also important to continue with your normal activities, as far as possible, along with the following exercises.

Here we list some of the most effective physiotherapy techniques for relief from neck pain.



Neck Flexion


This movement involves bringing the head forward so that the chin hits the chest and the face stares straight down at the floor. For best results, repeat slowly for five times.


Neck Extension


In this exercise, you are required to allow the movement of your head to let it go back until the face is looking directly at the ceiling.




Slowly turn your head around to one side until it can’t go further with ease. Do five to one side and then do the other. Be careful not to roll your neck about or go from one side to the other in the individual movements.


Side Flexions


Keeping the head facing straight forward, try and tip your ear down towards the same shoulder. Do this exercise in soft and slow movements, doing only till the point you can do these comfortably.


Other Movements

Other movements that might be useful include:



Shoulder shrugs


Shrug up your shoulders as far up as you can easily do. Once done, extend downwards beyond the normal time.


Shoulder bracing (retraction)


In this movement, you are required to bring your shoulders to the front as if trying to get them to meet at the middle. Once done, brace them right back, pulling your shoulder blades together. Make these in the form of large, slow and repeated movements.







Further Links for Whiplash