Neck Pain (syndrome)

Neck pain is commonly used to describe more of a group of symptoms like pain, stiffness, tenderness, referred pain, neural pain, with or without associated dizziness and headache, usually situated at the region between the base of the cranium and the beginning of the thoracic spine. The most common causes of neck pain are poor head posture, arthritis and strain of the soft tissues (e.g. disc bulging) and the joints of the cervical spine.

Therapeutic Approach

The clinician will concentrate on finding the cause of the complaint (medical history and clinical evaluation) so as to proceed to the treatment. Initially the clinician will apply manipulative techniques at the neck area and later on adjacent regions like the thorax and the thoracic spine, arms and shoulder blades*. The techniques vary from simple stretching, mobilization of joints, application of pressure on specific muscles, spinal manipulation to acupuncture. Also, the clinician will address other possible factors (e.g. stress, intolerance, poor circulation) with relaxation techniques, nutritional advice and hydrotherapy. Simple exercises are always suggested. No machinery or any other apparatus is used for treatment. The clinician’s main aim is to bring the body in such a balance so as to deal with the cause(s) of the pathology (if reversible), and at the same time to educate the patient e.g. ergonomic advice, life activities etc., in order to avoid any likely remission.

* Note: techniques on neck are avoided in an acute episode of pain; they are only applied in adjacent regions. In the suspicion of bone fracture or metastasis the patient is immediately referred.

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