Have you ever woken up after ‘sleeping funny’ and noticed some stiffness and pain in the neck?
Maybe you’ve done a quick head check in the car and ‘tweaked’ your neck?
Or perhaps you’ve had long term issues with having a ‘crook’ neck because of work, and you’re starting to think it’s not just work causing your headaches?
Let us assure you, you are not alone!
“Worldwide, neck pain is estimated to be the fourth leading cause of disability, with almost 50% of the population experiencing neck pain in their lifetime!”
Rest assured, the usual outcome of an acute episode of neck pain is usually positive, but wouldn’t it be good to prevent it from happening again?
Earlier this year, a systematic review (a big study of multiple studies) looked at what strategies are effective in reducing the likelihood of a new episode of neck pain occurring. The review included studies that looked at both exercise programs and ergonomic programs (workplace set up and posture). It was found that exercise interventions could as much as half the risk of a new episode of neck pain. Interestingly, there was little evidence to find that ergonomic changes had any effect on the chance of neck pain occurring.
As is common with most reviews, we need to take caution when it comes to interpreting the results. Firstly, there was only 5 studies all up included in the review, with most of them only including office workers in the results. Secondly, it seems most of the trials only included people who didn’t have neck pain before starting the particular exercise or ergonomic program. And lastly, the studies that looked at exercise used different exercise programs/methods, and these programs also went for a long time.
So does that mean we shouldn’t exercise or think about our work set-up to reduce the chance of neck pain? In our opinion and from experience- both can be beneficial and therefore we commonly incorporate them when it comes to treating neck pain.
“When it comes to neck-specific exercise, this is based around building up the endurance and control of the smaller, ‘fine-tuning’ muscles around the head and upper body, as well as incorporating range of motion and mobility exercises.”
When it comes to determining what is causing your neck pain, it’s essential to seek professional help, from someone such as a physiotherapist. Once the diagnosis is made, that’s when the path to recovery can start!
SIMPLY CONTACT THE CLINIC ON 5174 7250 or BOOK ONLINE with myself or one of our expert Physio's below. We can't wait to help get you back to your best!
AUTHOR: JARRYD CROXFORD - Physiotherapist
Ganz, R., Parvizi, J., Beck, M., Leunig, M., Nötzli, H., & Siebenrock, K. (2003). Femoroacetabular impingement: a cause for osteoarthritis of the hip. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, 417, 112-120.