Acute neck pain
Acute neck pain is extremely common. In fact, two out of three of us will experience neck pain at some point in out lives. The good new is, in the vast majority of cases this acute neck pain will not be from anything serious. A chiropractor or physiotherapist will diagnose or classify your acute neck pain. Acute neck pain can be causes by sprains and strains, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, muscles, nerves or joint structures such as intervertebral discs. Most acute neck pain is due to minor sprains or sustained poor postures irritating neck structures. Most people will make a full recovery from minor neck pain even if they do nothing at all. Medication may help acute pain but is not typically effective for chronic pain.
Symptoms of acute neck pain
In acute neck pain the symptoms can be quite variable. Generally speaking pain usually develops in the back of the neck and may spread down to the shoulders or up to the skull. Movement of the neck may become limited and when nerves become affected there may be pain that extends down the arm and into the hands and fingers. Acute neck pain severity depends on the source of the pain, when muscles are affected the pain is usually not as intense as when a neck intervertebral disc or nerve is involved. A chiropractor or physiotherapist will ask you a great deal about the cause of you pain and if any trauma was involved.
Treatments of acute neck pain
The treatment of acute neck pain depends on what is causing the pain and how the pain is categorised. For example, if the pain is neuropathic, meaning it comes from a nerve the treatment is different then if the neck pain comes from a muscle (somatic pain). The mechanism of the neck pain will also determine the treatments that your chiropractor or physiotherapist gives you, for example in whiplash (WAD – whiplash associated disorders) treatments are much lighter and limited (no) manipulation given, however with discogenic pain more active overpressure treatments may be used such as McKenzie Method techniques. In all cases one thing that is consistent as Sydney Spine & Sports Centre (S3C), all the treatments delivered by our chiropractors and physiotherapists are based on the very latest research and what is known as evidence based medicine – the gold standard on physiotherapy and chiropractic treatments for acute neck pain.