A Physiotherapist’s Guide to Neck Injuries

With our world becoming more and more tech-driven and everyone spending more time on screens, we see lots of people with neck injuries in our Oakville clinic.

Muscle Strains

Strains of the muscles of the neck can be caused simply by overuse of the neck muscles – like sitting at a computer for several hours a day – or through an injury such as whiplash that happens during a car accident. When the muscles around the neck are strained or tight, you might have difficulty moving the head in either or both directions. Sometimes pain also radiates up and causes a headache. If you are someone who works at a desk for most of the day, it is important to remember to take frequent breaks to avoid overuse of your neck muscles.

Postural Dysfunction

Posture is also a major component with neck pain. Oftentimes, the muscles in our neck that are responsible for postural stability can be weak. This leads to bigger ‘mover’ muscles doing the job of the smaller muscles and causing pain in the neck. One way to help prevent this is to work on small postural exercises to help build up the smaller stability muscles along the spine. 

Other times, patients might have a muscular imbalance within the muscles of the neck and upper back – meaning one muscle group is significantly stronger than another, causing pain along the spine or in the neck. 

Disc-Related Pain

Between the bones of our spine (the vertebrae) there are discs which are filled with a jelly-like substance. The discs act as shock absorbers for the spine. If you’ve had trauma to the neck, the material of the disc might move away from the space between the vertebrae of the spine. In these cases, they can often push on the nerves in the spinal canal. Pain associated with disc issues might feel more like a burning sensation and you might have pain radiating into and down your arms. Sometimes this is also associated with numbness and tingling in the upper extremities. You might also experience restrictions in the range of motion of your neck.

Any type of neck pain can create issues in your day-to-day life as well as participation in your recreational activities. Our physiotherapists will be able to assess the cause of your neck pain and create a treatment plan to help you get back to the activities you enjoy!

Contact us to book an appointment with us or to learn more about our services.