Acute, Subacute and Chronic Neck Pain
Neck Pain Causes
The cause of neck pain is often multifactoral and these can all contribute to your neck pain:
- Sedentary positions for prolonged periods
- Neck flexion for prolonged periods
- Working in awkward positions
- Inadequate keyboard/ mouse positions
- No chair arm rest
- Overall stress
The Anatomy Part
Your spine is one of the strongest parts of your body. It is made up of bony vertebrae, connected by discs that act as shock absorbers and allow flexibility. Your back is then reinforced by strong ligaments and surrounded by powerful muscles for support. It’s actually surprisingly difficult to damage your spine!
Types of Neck Pain
There are many different types of neck pain. It’s not just one type fits all. The key to getting the right type of treatment is finding out which type you have and seek advice if it isn’t improving.
Most people have what we call “mechanical” neck pain. The pain is not caused by any serious underlying condition and there are no trapped nerves. We don’t always know exactly which structure causes the pain because it can be the muscles or joints. This is the type of neck pain that’s more likely to be caused by poor posture, prolonged sitting (particularly in an uncomfortable position) or muscular tension due to stress.
I am not a fan of this term but as we age, we are more prone to wear and tear that may contribute to neck pain.
Although it can be very painful, neck pain only very rarely has a serious underlying cause. Seeing a qualified Chiropractor, who is experienced in diagnosing conditions of the neck and spine, can help get to the bottom of your neck pain and treat it. A Chiropractor can also identify if you need a referral or specialist investigations.
Neck Pain Symptoms
Neck pain refers to pain anywhere from the shoulder blades, on one or both sides, up to the neck and head and down the arms to the hands. It can range from sharp to a dull ache and can be constant or intermittent with certain activities.
Acute, subacute and chronic refer to the length of time you've had your neck pain.
Acute and subacute neck pain respond well to thoracic spinal manipulation or mobilisation.
Spinal manipulation or mobilisation with exercise is an effective treatment of choice for chronic neck pain as is massage.