Neck pain or cervical spine pain has been reported to affect as many as 70% of all people living in the USA. Neck pain is now rivaling low back pain for the costs of management and economic loss. Moreover, teenagers are now visiting doctors more than ever with complaints of neck pain. Some doctors have even given a new medical diagnoses of “Text Neck” to overactive users of their cell phones.
Your neck is made up of seven vertebrae that extend from the skull to the upper back. Cervical discs absorb shock between the bones. The bones, ligaments, and muscles of your neck support your head and allow for motion against gravity. Any abnormalities, inflammation, or injury can cause neck pain or stiffness.
Many people experience neck pain or stiffness occasionally. In many cases, it’s due to poor posture or overuse. Sometimes, neck pain is caused by injury from a fall, contact sports, or whiplash.
Most of the time, neck pain isn’t a serious condition and can be relieved within a few days. In some cases, neck pain can indicate serious injury or illness and require a doctor’s care. If you have neck pain that continues for more than a week, is severe, or is accompanied by other symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Common Causes of Neck Pain Include:
- poor posture
- working at a desk for too long without changing position
- sleeping with your neck in a bad position
- jerking the neck during exercise
The neck is particularly vulnerable to injury, especially in falls, car accidents, and sports, where the muscles and ligaments of the neck are forced to move outside of their normal range. If the neck bones, or cervical vertebrae, are fractured, the spinal cord may also be damaged. Neck injury due to sudden acceleration and deceleration of the head is commonly called “whiplash”.
Side effects of Whiplash include:
- Severe spinal weakness of the deep neck muscles seen above.
- Overactive tightness of the large muscle of the neck.
- Imbalance and dizziness.
- Altered posture and awareness of proper head positioning.
- Headaches and nausea.
- Possible pain radiating down one or more arms.
Other causes of Neck Pain:
- Rheumatoid arthritis causes pain, swelling of the joints, and bone spurs. When these occur in the neck area, neck pain can result.
- Osteoporosis weakens bones and can lead to small fractures. This condition often happens in hands or knees, but it can also occur in the neck.
- Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes muscle pain throughout the body, especially in the neck and shoulder region.
- As you age, the cervical discs can degenerate. This is known as spondylosis or osteoarthritis of the neck. This can narrow the space between the vertebrae and adds stress to your joints.
- When a disc protrudes, as from a trauma or injury, it may add pressure to the spinal cord or nerve roots. This is called a herniated cervical disc, also known as a ruptured or slipped disc.
- Spinal stenosis occurs when the spinal column narrows and causes pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots as it exits the vertebrae. This can be due to long-term inflammation caused by arthritis or other conditions.
In rare instances, neck stiffness or pain occurs due to:
- congenital abnormalities
- cancer of the spine
Conservative care utilizing our unique physical therapy approach is often the first choice of treatment. We specialize in the treatment of Neck Pain and work closely with many top doctors in Jacksonville, Florida, who lead the industry in these disorders. Mr. Burnette has over 15 years of experience successfully treating neck pain and has helped countless patients decrease their pain and maintain their results.
We combine our unique, pain relieving, manual therapy techniques with the latest research proven exercise science. Our exercise program is based on research from the world renowned spine expert, Dr. Gwen Jull from the University of Queensland, Australia. Dr. Jull has spent 20+ years as a leading researcher and educator of spine stability and the treatment of whiplash and cervical spine pain. Dr. Jull currently serves as the Director of the Cervical Spine and Whiplash Research Unit, at the University of Queensland, Australia. She has published over 200 peer reviewed research articles and multiple text books and book chapters on the physical therapy treatment of whiplash, headache, and neck pain.
Mr. Burnette has had the privilege to study directly with Dr. Jull and learn her new research proven treatment for Neck Pain.
In Jacksonville/Northeast Florida, this new approach to the treatment of neck pain is now being offered at Australian Physiotherapy Specialists. Most patients will begin to see pain relief within the first three visits!
Neck Pain Information on Youtube