Head and neck pain

HEADACHE

Headaches can be related to many things including posture, whiplash, stress, tension or referred pain from stiff joints in your upper neck, joints in your upper thoracic spine or tight neck muscles. Responds well to physiotherapy including various treatments from mobilisation and stretching to acupuncture.

MUSCLE SPASM

This is a protective mechanism against further injury most commonly found in the back or neck, often a response to an underlying joint or disc problem. The muscle spasm can be treated, but the underlying cause also needs to be identified and treated to prevent future problems.

NECK PAIN

Due to the many structures in a small space this is an area that physiotherapists treat on a daily basis. Some of the causes can be nerves, discs, joints, muscles and ligaments. These problems can also result in nerve pain.

NERVE PAIN

Pain from nerves often present as weakness, numbness, pain or pins and needles, most commonly felt in your arms or legs.

OSTEOARTHRITIS (OA)

This occurs when the protective cartilage at the end of the bone starts to break down and causes pain, stiffness and swelling of the joint and leads to difficulty moving. It can effect most of your joints, most commonly being knees, hips, back, neck, shoulders and fingers. Physiotherapy can be very helpful with OA using treatments such as mobilisation, exercises, acupuncture etc.

PINCHED NERVE

See nerve pain.

REFERRED PAIN

The origin of the pain is in one are for example the lower back, but the pain is felt in another area for example the leg. This is usually due to nerve compression (sciatica) or trigger points in muscles.

SLIPPED DISC

The shock absorbing disc between the vertebra can bulge in varying degrees from a slight bulge with minimal pain to a large bulge that can give symptoms down the leg all the way to the toes. Symptoms including, pain, weakness, numbness and pins and needles. It is important to treat these quickly to stop the bulge getting stuck in that position.

THORACIC OUTLET SYNDROME

This is a group or disorders that can occur when the nerves or blood vessels in the space between the ribs and collar bone become compressed. This can lead to pain, weakness, numbness or pins and needles often in the shoulder, but can occur anywhere between your neck and fingers. It is important to get this assessed and treated as soon as possible as there are many structures that can be affected.

THORACIC PAIN

This is the middle portion of your spine and due to our lifestyle and posture often becomes very stiff which can leads to pain, muscle spasm and sometimes referred pain to other parts of the body.

TRIGGER POINTS

These can be treated very successfully with massage, trigger point release, acupuncture and stretches. They are due to parts of muscles becoming very tight and that can refer pain to other body parts.

WHIPLASH

This ca occur after sudden movement of the head forwards, backwards or sideways, often after a road traffic accident (RTA). The joints that have been jarred (in the neck especially) cause the muscles to go into spasm to protect against any further damage It can result in headaches, pain, numbness, pins and needles in the arm, neck or back. Physio can help to reduce the muscle spasm and pain, and slowly encourage your joints to start moving with mobilisation and stretches. Sometimes acupuncture can be very helpful with this type of injury.

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