Neck pain that is going on for a long time often involves factors that are not just about your neck. It’s one of those areas in your body that can be particularly influenced by tension and stress.
A lot of the time with neck pain you get a fear around moving it, some of that comes from misinformation from health professionals or google. And, it also comes from the actual intense pain that you can experience in your neck. This experience of pain can lead to a fear and avoidance of movements and moving freely. You may walk around a lot more with a lot of tension and end up avoiding using your shoulders and your neck.
Now that going on for a long, long time can reduce the capacity of the tissues around your neck and shoulders which means you get pain more often. Then if there’s a lot of tension around those muscle it can give you headaches sometimes. It can really spiral where you try to go to places and get a fix or get your neck manipulated but none of the actual causes are addressed.
For the most part, we need to start seeing our necks the same way we see our ankles. If your ankle was sore for a long, long time after resting it generally you would start to move it. You’d realise “right I need to get some movement in this”… whereas people with neck pain tend to avoid that quite a bit.
Sometimes the approach in clinics is quite conservative and the exercises prescribed don’t really provide or encourage any free, loose, thoughtless movement. They also avoid loading up your neck and shoulders completely. Now loading done at a low level to build your confidence can actually make you feel a huge great deal better.
Once you experience some relief that often reduces fear and then we leave you with a plan of exercises and activities that you follow in order to help your own neck pain.
Neck pain is quite like back pain in that it’s very individual and the causes can vary between people so your story really needs to be heard and that’s what we value here in the pain and performance clinic
If you have questions or problems or you’re struggling with neck pain just let us know and we’ll be here to help.
Neck pain much like back pain is very individual to you, which is why it is hard to say exactly why your neck is sore without hearing your story. When you start to get neck pain you often stop moving as freely as you once did and the tissues around the neck and shoulders will lose strength. Often neck pain is approached too conservatively and you’re told to stop moving. This can make things worse. Add to this that neck pain is often worsened by stress. Reduced capacity in your neck and shoulders coupled with stress can drive a cycle of pain in your neck and this pain can sometimes then produce headaches. Here at pain and performance clinic we encourage movement and trying to regain control over your own tissues through bespoke exercise plans which allow you to reduce pain and do more.
Good news, no you are not damaging your neck if you have neck pain when you move. Neck pain is often related to the capacity of the tissues around the neck and the shoulders. An initial strain here that causes pain can still cause pain after it has healed. This is common with many injuries not just neck pain. After an injury the body can be completely healed but there can still be ongoing pain. If you have this ongoing neck pain we would recommend getting in touch with a physiotherapist who is confident treating neck pain. If your physio is afraid of neck pain then it’s likely they will be very conservative with your treatment.
It is highly unlikely you will need surgery for your neck pain. Surgery is always the worst case scenario in any injury. If you get a surgery you’ll have to end up working with a physiotherapist to get your movement back anyway so don’t avoid physios in the first place.