Do you have any of the following symptoms?
- Pins and needles in your arm, upper back or face
- Numbness in your arm, upper back or face
- Weakness in your arm/shoulder
- Pain in your arm or upper back
- Neck stiffness
- Muscle spasm
All of the above symptoms can come from the cervical spine (neck). There are nerves, muscles and joints in the neck that all contribute to dysfunction in this area.
The technology in our lives today puts a lot of strain on the structures in the neck region. Understanding the link between your posture and your neck symptoms can go along way in managing your problem. Better ergonomics in your day to day activities at work and at home will help prevent neck problems.
The younger generations who have grown up with technology from day one need to develop good postural habits early on to prevent problems as they grow older.
Whiplash injuries from accidents or falls can produce any of the above symptoms and need to be managed well to prevent complications. The cervical muscles, joints, nerves and ligaments are all effected by the forces involved in this injury, which makes a whiplash injury more complicated than most people think.
There is increasing evidence that the neck can be an extremely common source of headaches. A structure called the Trigeminocervical Nucleus provides a neural connection between the 1st - 3rd cervical vertebra and the face/head. This helps to explain why the upper neck can cause pain in the face or head.
Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis can also cause significant discomfort in the neck area. Strategies to protect the compromised joints can help manage the associated symptoms.
The movement patterns in your shoulder and upper back (thorax) are often a factor in neck dysfunction. There are many muscles in the shoulder and thorax that also attach to the cervical spine. Restoring the correct length and strength to these muscles can help off load the neck.
Early management of any symptoms from the neck area is important. Physiotherapy can help you understand your neck injury and plan a treatment and rehabilitation program to help you manage the problem.