Neck pain is a common complaint in people of all ages and can arise from many different factors. Approximately two thirds of the population will experience neck pain at any one time.
Neck pain may be debilitating and persistent, and some people suffer repeated episodes. It can arise from structures in the neck such as: vascular, nerve, airway, digestive, muscles and ligaments. It can also be referred from other areas of the body. The pain can be sharp, dull, or throbbing; it may also cause tightness in the joints and muscles. Occasionally people may report pain travelling into their shoulders and arms, or even upwards to cause a headache.
Neck pain may also develop gradually, perhaps as a result of poor posture, prolonged sitting, ligament injury such as whiplash, poor sleeping habits, stress and anxiety, or a serious symptom of an underlying pathology. Diseases such as arthritis or degeneration of the discs can also cause pain.
Your neck is formed by seven square-shaped bones (cervical vertebrae), which are stacked one on top of another and support the full weight of your head. The vertebrae are named for their position in the neck, beginning at the top with C1, all the way down to C7. Together with the supporting ligaments and the overlying long neck muscles, the cervical vertebras form a strong spinal canal that surrounds and protects the spinal cord. Between each vertebra are the discs, which function as shock absorbers, cushioning one bone from another. Because the neck is so mobile, it may be easily damaged.
The upper cervical vertebrae also play a very important role in communicating sensory information with your eyes and ears, and relaying information back to your central nervous system. Positional information from the neck is used for balance, which basically is the brains understanding of how the body is moving and positioned and allow it to coordinate and produce everyday movements. Neck dysfunction can disrupt this sensory input sending out the wrong signals, leading to dizziness, loss of balance, postural alignment and coordination issues.
There are many causes that contribute to neck pain. It is important to make an accurate diagnosis to ascertain the reason for your neck pain so that appropriate treatment can be directed to target the source of the problem. Our team of highly qualified chiropractors are available to answer any questions you may have, and provide you with the right help for your particular condition. Give us a call on (02) 8095 0393 or book online
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