Neck pain

Sep 14, 2018


Health Info


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Onset of neck pain

Ms. Chan is a 30-year-old office worker who uses computer for 5-6 hours every day.
Ms. Chan lives a healthy lifestyle. She goes to gym three days a week. Her neck pain has been present for some time, but the condition was not serious. However the pain increased mildly after doing exercise in the gym last week. Ms. Chan took it as normal muscle soreness, but pain increased gradually and by the night, she was not able to rotate the neck. Ms. Chan went to the emergency department at the hospital. X-Ray findings were normal. She was referred for physiotherapy.

Get to know neck pain

Neck is the most mobile part of the spine, therefore more prone to damage with prolonged use or injury. Common causes of neck pain include prolonged overuse, degeneration, poor posture and trauma. Among all the painful conditions of the musculoskeletal system, neck pain is the second most common right after lower back pain. Neck care is crucial in pain relief and the prevention of recurrence or deterioration.

Poor neck posture
The most common poor posture is round shoulder. When the shoulder is round, the head is brought forward, exerting extra stress on the spine and the muscles of the neck.

Physiotherapy for neck pain

  • Pain relief
  • Exercise therapy
  • Manual therapy
  • Postural education

On examination, the physiotherapist found Ms. Chan’s neck muscles were tensed up, and the joints were very stiff. Manual therapy was used to relieve the muscle tension and increase the joint mobility. Exercises were taught to maintain the treatment effect.
With further investigation into the daily routine of Ms. Chan, the poor positioning of the computer at the office was found to be the cause of her neck pain. The monitor was put at an angled position therefore Ms. Chan has to rotate the neck to look at the monitor, leading to joint stiffness and muscle tightness. The monitor is now repositioned according to the advice of the therapist.

Tips for dealing with neck pain

  • Adequate rest and sleep can decrease discomfort and assist recovery
  • Neck position needs to be frequently changed
  • Hot pack helps torelax the muscles and decrease pain
  • Avoid jerky movements of the neck
  • Keep regular exercise to maintain normal range of neck movement

If your neck pain persists, consult a doctor or physiotherapist!

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