There are many causes of neck pain, and not all are obvious or easy to work out. They are often due to an injury, but an increasingly common cause is poor sitting posture, especially while sitting in front of a computer, at work or in the car.
If we consider sitting at a desk we should first remember that the average head weighs approximately 5kg. Now if you were holding a weight in your hand with your arm out straight for a few minutes (even a light one) your arm will begin to ache. If we sit at a desk with poor posture and the head positioned “poking” forwards or to the side, this creates a slow mild strain on the muscles that are responsible for good neck posture, a lot like the pain felt when we hold that weight in our hand with the arm out. If we then sit at that same desk 5 days a week for 8-10 hours at a time it is no wonder that poor desk posture can lead to pain.
Other causes of neck pain include (but are not limited to) whiplash, arthritis, poor sleeping posture, and direct injury through sport, work or social life.
The good news is that even without knowing the exact cause of neck pain it is usually treatable and will settle with physiotherapy and exercise.
Over the years I have found that early treatment is vital, especially in whiplash cases. I would recommend seeing a physiotherapist as soon as possible after a car accident if you are experiencing neck pain. Sometimes whiplash pain may come on some time after a car accident. If this is the case it is still vital to see a physiotherapist as soon as possible after the pain starts.
Treatment of neck pain generally consists of joint mobilisations, massage, posture advice, and exercises to stretch tight muscles and strengthen weak muscles. The vast majority of patients with neck pain will improve with physiotherapy and at Burwood Road Physiotherapy we will try our hardest to achieve the best result possible for you.