The neck includes the bones and joints of the cervical spine; shock absorbing discs that separate the bones of the cervical vertebrae; the muscles and ligaments that hold the cervical spine together. Neck pain may be felt at the base of the skull and spread across the shoulder on one side and even down the arm. It may also lead to headaches. The pain may feel like a kink or stiffness in the neck or severe pain. Range of motion may be limited, usually more to one side than the other, making it difficult to drive or look over the shoulder. Neck pain may be caused by bad posture, normal wear and tear, overuse or injury.
Physiotherapy researchers have proved that long standing neck pain is related to stiff joints, improper co-ordination of muscles around the neck and a loss of ‘neck position sense’. All of these responded to physiotherapy treatment by the researchers.
Cause of Neck Pain Headaches
Other causes of neck pain and headaches are:
- arthritis resulting from wear and tear to the discs in the neck, which can cause a pinched nerve
- meningitis – a serious viral or bacterial illness that causes headaches, fever, stiff neck (serious enough to make it difficult to touch the chin to the chest) and sometimes vomiting.
- The flu. This can cause headaches and neck pain without the stiffness.
- Stress and tension can also give rise to what is sometimes called ‘tension’ headaches and neck pain.
- Torticollis – severe contraction of the neck muscles causing the head to be tilted to one side of the body and the chin to be turned toward the opposite side of the neck.
Treatment for neck pain requires careful diagnosis and physiotherapy treatment depending on the condition. The goal of physiotherapy is to help you return to your prior level of functioning and assist you in living a pain-free life. If you’re a sufferer of neck pain headaches, contact Jayce Gilbert of Peak MSK Physiotherapy in Hampton, on 9533 5305 to make an appointment to discuss treatment.