Neck Pain & Headaches
Physio Penrith Recommended Treatments
Neck Pain and Headache
Conditions Treated at Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith
Neck pain, neck stiffness, headaches and discomfort when moving are extremely common presentations to any chiropractor, physiotherapist or massage therapist. Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith is an evidence based physio, exercise physiologist and chiropractor clinic in Penrith, which means we use techniques proven to work. This means an expert assessment, diagnosis and multi-modal management.
Generally, neck pain and stiffness is categorised as mechanical neck pain after a serious pathology and any nerve root irritation has been ruled. This means techniques directed at the joints, intervertebral discs and muscles will have a fast and effective outcome. Together with specific exercises and movements you can expect your neck pain, neck stiffness and headaches to reduce after the first appointment.
Learn more about some neck pain truths with "10 reasons why your neck pain isn't getting better".
Acute neck pain
Acute neck pain can be described as real or perceived damage of the neck joints, intervertebral discs, muscles, nerves tendons or ligaments, that has been present for less than 3 months. There can be many causes of acute neck pain including facet joint sprain, damage to the damage (bulge or protrusion), ligamentous damage a whiplash, radicular pain (nerve irritation) and generalised muscle strains.
Acute neck pain presents in the back of the neck and may spread down to the shoulders or up to the top of the neck and into the skull. Pain may be exacerbated by neck movements if the nerves become affected there may be symptoms (pain, burning, tingling) that extend down the arm and into the hands and fingers.
The treatment of acute neck pain can be highly variable depending on who you see. Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith is an evidence based practice whereby the physiotherapists use techniques proven to work. This means they follows best practice guidelines and is guided by the latest physiotherapy research. This includes an impairments based management approach, which means treating you and your symptoms rather than a diagnosis. The treatment of pain, joint stiffness and muscular tightness associated with acute neck pain needs to multi-modal- meaning the use of a variety of techniques.
Chronic neck pain
Chronic neck pain is described as neck pain that has lasted for more than 3 months and is still associated with real or perceived damage of the neck joints, intervertebral discs, muscles, nerves tendons or ligaments. Often there may be a greater involvement from the joints and discs and requires additional treatment techniques such as McKenzie Method, joint mobilisations and specific exercises.
The treatment of pain, joint stiffness, muscular tightness and weakness associated with chronic neck pain needs to incorporate a variety of techniques, especially with repeated movements and exercises to reduce the chronicity of symptoms. Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith is an evidence based physiotherapy practice in Penrith where they pride themselves on utilising best practice guidelines and techniques supported by research to reduce pain and improve pain free movement.
At Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith we see a number of headaches that can be treated by a physiotherapist. It is important that your neck pain and headache is ruled to be a mechanical cause, meaning irritation of the joints, discs, muscles and ligaments, which result in a headache. Common symptoms include non-continuous, unilateral neck pain and associated (referred) headache, the headache is precipitated or aggravated by neck movements or sustained positions/postures.
An accurate diagnosis is the foundation of the Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith approach and for neck pain with headache expected exam findings include positive cervical flexion-rotation test, headache reproduced with provocation of the involved upper cervical segments, limited cervical ROM, restricted upper cervical segmental mobility and strength, endurance, and coordination deficits of the neck muscles. Read more.
At Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith a very common neck presentation is neck pain with restriction of movement and this represents a common mechanical neck pain complaint and one that responds well to physiotherapy. Common symptoms include central and/or unilateral neck pain, limitation in neck motion that consistently reproduces symptoms, associated (referred) shoulder girdle or upper extremity pain may be present.
An accurate diagnosis is the foundation of the Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith approach and for neck pain with mobility deficits expected exam findings include limited cervical ROM, neck pain reproduced at end ranges of active and passive motions, restricted cervical and thoracic segmental mobility, intersegmental mobility testing reveals characteristic restriction, neck and referred pain reproduced with provocation of the involved cervical or upper thoracic segments or cervical musculature and deficits in cervicoscapulothoracic strength and motor control may be present in individuals with subacute or chronic neck pain. Read more.
At Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith neck pain with nerve related symptoms often present when there is irritation or compression of the nerve as it exits the neck joints. Common symptoms include neck pain with radiating (narrow band of lancinating) pain in the involved extremity, upper extremity dermatomal paresthesia or numbness and and myotomal muscle weakness.
At Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith we pride ourselves on an accurate diagnosis and expected exam findings may include neck and neck-related radiating pain reproduced or relieved with radiculopathy testing: positive test cluster includes upper-limb nerve mobility, Spurling’s test, cervical distraction, cervical ROM . On further testing patients may have upper extremity sensory, strength, or reflex deficits associated with the involved nerve roots and this constitutes the diagnostic criteria for a radiculopathy. Read more.
Cervical radiculopathy can be the result of an acute disc protrusion or degenerative (spondylosis). Patients with radiculopathy typically present with neck pain, arm pain, or both as well as reduced reflexes and some muscle weakness. In chronic cervical radiculopathy, epidural steroid injections, medications with physical therapy and the combination of both decreases arm and neck pain by 1-3 points on an 11 point scale in the first month. Read more.
At Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith whiplash related neck pain can present with common symptoms that are linked to trauma or whiplash, associated (referred) shoulder girdle or upper extremity pain, associated varied nonspecific concussive signs and symptoms, dizziness/nausea, headache, concentration, or memory difficulties; confusion; hypersensitivity to mechanical, thermal, acoustic, odour, or light stimuli.
The physiotherapists at Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith perform a detailed assessment and expected exam findings include positive cranial cervical flexion test, positive neck flexor muscle endurance test, strength and endurance deficits of the neck muscles, neck pain with mid-range motion that worsens with end-range positions, point tenderness may include myofascial trigger points and neck and referred pain reproduced by provocation of the involved cervical segments. Further sensorimotor impairments may include altered muscle activation patterns, proprioceptive deficit, postural balance or control. Read more.
A painful & stiff neck
When neck stiffness is the primary complaint (together with pain), we often see that it is the articular or joints that are the main source of reducing movement in neck movements. Often we can get scared of results on images such as degenerative disc disease, facet joint arthropathy, central canal stenosis, lateral foraminal stenosis and osteophyte formations. It is important to remember that the person and their symptoms must be the primary driver of treatment selection.
The physiotherapists at Sydney Muscle & Joint Physio Penrith utilise techniques that are proven to work for painful and stiff necks, these include joint manipulation, joint mobilisations, McKenzie Method, muscle release techniques, nerve stretching and exercise and movement prescription.sting: positive test cluster includes upper-limb nerve mobility, Spurling’s test, cervical distraction, cervical ROM . On further testing patients may have upper extremity sensory, strength, or reflex deficits associated with the involved nerve roots and this constitutes the diagnostic criteria for a radiculopathy.