Neck pain and “trapped nerve”
This may be described as “trapped nerve”, “slipped disc” or “crick in the neck”. Most neck pain develops gradually and is primarily caused by poor sitting posture which allows the head to “drift” forward. Over time further problems can arise such as headaches, difficulty turning your head while driving and pain developing in the shoulder blade, arm or hand. ”Pins and needles” and numbness can sometimes occur in the hand or arm. Similar symptoms can occur following a traumatic injury such as “whiplash” or a fall or due simply to getting older. Alternatively you may wake up with neck pain and blame your pillow but this is rarely the main cause. There are many different reasons for neck pain but whatever the cause, for the vast majority of people these symptoms can be alleviated with simple treatments, appropriate exercises and adjustments to posture.
Sinead had been in a low- speed car accident a year before attending Stranmillis Physiotherapy which had caused minor neck pain. She was given pain-killers and expected the pain to settle down within a few weeks. As time went on her neck became very stiff so that driving was difficult. Her neck pain continued as a dull ache and she developed a headache. Sinead works in an office and finds that by the end of the day she can’t concentrate on her work because of her neck symptoms. On assessment the muscles deep in Sinead’s neck were weak and her head poked forward. Sitting badly at her desk only made the problem worse. Sinead was treated with a variety of soft-tissue techniques including myofascial release which over 6 sessions relieved her symptoms completely. Her sitting posture was improved and she was taught some exercises to improve the function of her deep neck muscles.