Long-standing neck pain may require a neck stabilising program that consists of an exercise component that concentrates specifically on the neck area being the deep neck flexor and shoulder girdle musculature. This program’s main emphasis is on restoring ‘muscle control’ rather than muscle strength and general fitness. These exercises are easily taught, not time consuming and can be incorporated into everyday life.|

Short-term neck pain requires a thorough evaluation that includes the discs, joints, nerves and muscles to determine the necessary treatment. There are many joints, nerves and muscles in the neck that can cause pain and this pain can also be felt in the shoulder, the shoulder blade and may even go down the arm into the elbow and fingers. Neck restriction, headaches or pain at the back of the head may also be caused by problems with the neck. There are many conditions that affect the cervical spine and the treatment of each varies, depending upon each individual’s thorough assessment.

Coolangatta Physiotherapy patients will receive:

A comprehensive assessment
Identification of the problem
A relevant treatment intervention program

Whiplash:

Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissues of the neck and occurs when the head moves quickly in a back and forth motion causing abnormal movement beyond the neck’s normal range. This may happen because of a car accident but could also be due to contact sporting injuries or a hit on the head from a falling object. Symptoms can occur immediately after the injury or may not present until a few days later.

These common symptoms can be:

Headaches
Neck pain
Neck stiffness
Pins and needles
Shoulder and/or arm pain

Whiplash pain can be confronting but with the correct information and treatment, it does not usually interfere with normal activities. Coolangatta Physiotherapy’s neck program is chosen specifically to assist in re-establishing the normal neck movement and flexibility. These exercises are designed to restore the movement and muscle control around the neck and to reduce unnecessary postural strain and muscle pain. It may take many weeks or months for the discomfort to completely go away and depending on the severity of the injury, some patients may be slower to recover than others. Research indicates that patients who continue with their normal activities within sensible limits recover faster than patients who stay at home and reduce their activities. It is especially important to be aware of posture during daily activities and avoid sitting in one position for prolonged periods. Be sensible and change or modify positions and tasks ‘before’ the symptoms become further aggravated.

Levator Scapulae Syndrome:

A common chronic condition treated at Coolangatta Physiotherapy is Levator Scapulae Syndrome (LSS). The levator scapula muscle extends along the back of the neck, with the function of assisting with various neck, arm and shoulder movements. Levator Scapulae Syndrome can be due to a number of issues and sometimes out of a person’s control that may arise from injury, postural changes, work habits and/or lifestyle issues. When a patient has been using incorrect muscles to control the way the shoulder blades function, this incorrect loading of the muscles causes chronic neck and shoulder blade pain and may cause rotator cuff syndrome. Some occupations may commonly cause these symptoms where the shoulder blade muscles are affected by various repetitive motions. Common symptoms include severe pain in the neck, which may stretch to the head causing a headache. Other symptoms may include pain in the shoulder blade, restricted movement of the neck or pain that radiates down the arm into the hand. The pain is described as aching or burning with the symptoms being intermittent. Insomnia is a frequent complaint, due to the inability to find a comfortable sleeping position. Coolangatta Physiotherapy’s Motor Control Program is designed to re-train the patient to use the correct muscles to ensure the muscles automatically engage with the correct tasks. This program is relatively easy to learn and is performed mostly unsupervised.

Arthritis of the neck or Spondylosis:

Arthritis of the neck or cervical spondylosis is a degenerative process that results from degenerative changes in the cervical spine that leads to changes in the vertebra. Over time, these changes can cause nerve compression or joint inflammation. Symptoms can include neck pain, numbness, weakness, restricted painful movement and headaches. Treatment is usually manual physiotherapy with a gentle exercise program.