Is neck pain serious?

Many people who experience neck pain for the first time worry that there is a more serious or sinister cause to their pain. More often than not, there is no serious underlying cause to your neck pain however it is important to have your pain assessed by a trained and qualified health professional.

Neck pain can occur after sleep, following a gym workout, following  a car accident or simply from a change in your pillow. Sometimes the neck pain can be at the base of the skull or it can be lower down or just on one side. It can be associated with other symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, pain down the arm or simply feeling a bit vague or tired. If you suffer with other more neurological type symptoms such as vomiting, visual disturbances or loss of balance, you must attend an assessment with your GP or Medical Practitioner prior to seeing a Chiropractor or Physiotherapist. These symptoms may be a typical migraine but it is important to rule out any other sinister causes first.

What causes neck pain?

There are a number of causes to your neck pain but most commonly related to irritation in the facet joints. This can result in dysfunctional movement, swelling in the joint and often spasm in the muscles surrounding the joint. This can be caused by a previous insult such as a car accident (or WAD), prolonged poor posture or just plain old genetics can also play a role.

Neck pain and headaches?

Many patients will also experience a headache with their neck pain but this is not always the case. Sometimes patients will suffer with headaches without neck pain or they may just feel tension in the neck prior to developing the headache. If you suffer with neck related headache, especially if it’s a new onset headache, it is crucial that your have your headache assessed thoroughly and comprehensively.

What pillow shall I use?

This is often a question I am  asked by  patients and choosing the right pillow when you suffer with neck pain is important. I usually advise patients  the following:

  • If you’re a side sleeper, ensure your nose is in alignment with your belly button when you lie on your side. Use a pillow between your knees also to keep your spine straight
  • If you’re a back sleeper, try putting a pillow under your knees, again to keep your spine supported
  • Never put your arm under your pillow. If you need to do this, your pillow is insufficient in height and you need to find a higher pillow to support your head
  • Don’t use soft or flimsy pillows such as bamboo or feather pillows. The best proven pillows are those engineered for support such as memory foam
  • I usually recommend the Dentons Medirest Therapeutic pillow for all my neck pain patients

What neck exercises can I do?

I often start a new patient presenting with chronic neck pain with three simple stretches. Following their first appointment I will then introduce isolated muscle strengthening  programs to compliment this. For start I recommend:

  • Supine diaphragmatic breathing
  • Pectoral Major and minor stretching
  • Brugger relief thoracic opening positioning

If you would like some assistance or advice for your neck pain please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always happy to help and advise the best course of treatment for you.

Bulimba Chiropractic services the local residents of Bulimba. It is close proximity to Hawthorne, Morningside, Balmoral and Murarrie and it offers plenty of rear parking and is only minutes from the Bulimba Ferry terminal for those who work across the river. Just book onine via the online booking link.