Neck symptoms include different types of pain including sharp, shooting, burning, throbbing or stabbing pains and can be constant or intermittent – i.e. come and go. You may also be getting pins and needles, tingling, weakness, numbness, other strange sensations or pain in one or both arms and hands. Neck problems can also cause headaches and migraines along with pain in the upper back and shoulder blade.
Your symptoms can be caused from a series of structures ranging from a simple muscle strain to a facet joint or disc injury. We will assess your neck and advise you on which structures are causing your pain, as well as how to treat the cause of the problem. Please scroll down to learn more about certain types of neck pain and injury.
If you fell, had an accident or the pain came on suddenly then you may have torn a ligament, cartilage, disc or even suffered a fracture, you need to get the neck assessed by a Physiotherapist or Osteopath immediately. Even if you have not had a traumatic injury it is essential that you get pain and other symptoms assessed by a Physiotherapist or Osteopath so that you do not do further damage.
If you have a clicking neck, please click on the link to learn more about what the causes of a clicking neck could be.
The neck is part of the spine and consists of similar structures as lower down in the spine. It is made up of vertebral bones stacked on top of each other like little building blocks with discs in between each of them. In children these discs are gel-like, but as the years go by they lose water and become more solid, which can contribute to stiffening of the neck. The vertebral bones have little prominences that stick out either side that form joints called “facets”. The spinal cord runs through the middle of the vertebrae in the neck, and if damage occurs at this level it can cause paralysis and loss of sensation from the neck down. There is also a network of blood vessels, a complex system of soft tissues, fascia (the body’s inside skin) cartilage and ligaments along with layers of muscles of different shapes and sizes.
These muscles can be divided broadly into the deep stability muscle sand the big movement muscles like sternocleidomastoid and the trapezius.
The nerves exiting through small holes between each vertebra in the neck carry sensory and motor information to the finger tips and the head, and if irritated or damaged can cause pain, reduced sensation, pins and needles or weakness in the arms and head. Therefore migraines and headaches can often be alleviated by treating the neck.
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