What does a physio do for neck pain?

Did you know that the second most common reason people visit a physiotherapist is for headaches? Did you know that a common reason for headaches can be neck pain at its origin? Have you ever had that debilitating feeling after sleeping in a funny position overnight and you can’t turn your neck? These are all common and likely reasons to call a physiotherapist for your neck pain and book in your appointment!

In treating you neck pain, your physiotherapist at Instinct Health will first need to determine the causes for your neck pain. The appointment will start with a conversation with your physio around when and how your neck pain begun.

This will help in determining which things aggravate your neck and give you pain or other symptoms. By working out the exact origin of your pain, your physiotherapist will then know which way to best guide your treatment. Some common questions you may need to answer include how your pain changes throughout the day, which particular movements cause you pain, or even the set up of your desk at work or your pillows on your bed.

Whether this is a new problem for you, or something that you’ve been putting off getting investigated for a while, your physio will work out your story in full!

Once hearing your story in good detail, your physiotherapist will then proceed to take you through a series of tests to look for particular physical impairments or limitations. Some of these may aggravate your pain when completing them, but again, this is important to determine the course of treatment for you.

And then the good stuff starts! The treatment phase is often what people expect when first seeing a physio, but without a thorough and detailed assessment, we wouldn’t know what to do. A common treatment technique that you would likely encounter during the treatment component of your physiotherapy session may include (but not limited to) massage to reduce muscles spasm.

Finally, the most-oft missed step is the strengthening or prevention stage.

As well as pain, you may also not know that the neck can refer other symptoms to the shoulder or down into the arm. If you have experienced pins and needles, numbness, loss of strength or other strange sensations, these could all be referred from neck. 

The origin of these pains in your neck could also come from a range of sources. For example, sometimes pain or altered sensations in the neck can arise from a tight or spasmed muscle, a bulging disc from within the spine, or even a joint that sits adjacent to the spine. Other potential sources for the pain could be referred from nerves within the spine, or even the ribs.

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