neck

 Neck or Cervical Spine Conditions


Let’s Begin…

The cervical spine or your neck connects the head to the trunk. It is a common source of problems and accounts for pain in 60% of people at some stage of their lives.

Neck pain is often disabling in its nature and results in local pain and sometime refers pain to the head and face area. Neck pain requires a comprehensive assessment and our team are well suited to assist you with this. In the case of the neck both static and dynamic postures are very important. A comprehensive pillow, workplace or driving asssesment is often required to assist in your management.

In the cervical spine the IVD and facet joints are innervated by the same spinal segment, making it difficult to determine whether both structures are implicated as the source of nociception, or, if one structure is sensitised through means of secondary hyperalgesia.

Woman holds a hand on pain neck. Isolated on white background

Signs and Symptoms


 

  • neck pain
  • shoulder blade pain
  • pins and needles and numbness
  • headaches

Conditions


Our team have developed a series of self help exercises and programs to help you fix your own neck

About Physica RX


 

  • gain daily exercises to help you self manage your own condition
  • track pain levels and functional outcomes
  • reduce the need for hands on treatment
  • gain advice from leading Physiotherapists
  • access advice portal for best sleeping positions, pillow assessments, ergonomics and pain management
  • Cost $10.00 annually

Anatomy of the neck


 

The cervical spine or neck is comprised of seven vertebrae from C1-C7, muscles, ligaments and discs that enable movement between the vertebrae. The cervical spine controls head and neck movements. We can divide the cervical spine into three zones: the upper, XRaymid and lower.

The upper zone (c1-c3) controls the head on neck nodding and rotation. Almost 45 degrees of neck rotation occurs at C1/2 level.

The mid zone assists in general range of motion with each segment C4-c6 allowing 5-7 degrees of neck flexion, extension and lateral flexion.

he lower cervical spine (c6-c7) becomes more rigid and starts to resemble the thoracic vertebrae.  In some cases the lower cervical spine vertebrae can have their own ribs. These are called cervical ribs and can sometimes contribute to vascular or neurological issues to the braxial plexus. We have covered one of these conditions, thoracic outlet syndrome.    Want to learn more? Please watch our Masterclass on the Anatony of the cervical spine.

General Advice


 

POSTURAL STRESS: Poor posture stresses your neck. Ligaments are overstretched, muscles tire and joints and nerves can be put under pressure.

WHIPLASH: Motor vehicle accidents and some sporting incidents can place a sudden  strain on the neck, leading to a wide range of soft-tissue injuries, known as whiplash. Common symptoms include neck pain, upper back pain and headaches.

ARTHRITIS: Over time, the joints and discs in the neck may degenerate, leading to inflammation and pain. Bony spurs may develop on the edges of the vertebrae.

On rare occasions  neck pain can have a more serious underlying cause and if you are worried about any additional or unusual symptoms, discuss this with your physiotherapist or family doctor.

SLEEPING: Your physiotherapist can advise you on the best type of pillow for your neck. Also, avoid sleeping on your front where possible.

AT WORK: Avoid working with your head down or to one side for too long. Frequently stretch and change position.

COMPUTER USE: It is important to have a good posture when using a computer. This will minimise the amount of strain on your neck. Think tall: chest lifted, shoulders relaxed, chin tucked in and head level. Speak to your physiotherapist about proper workstation setup.

RELAXATION: Many people ‘carry’ their stress in their neck and shoulders, leading to hunched shoulders and clenching of the jaw.