On my Facebook page I conducted a poll as to whether you wanted the clinic to write about neck pain or headaches. Neck pain came out on top. But did you know that muscular spasm in the neck can be a cause of headaches, so the two are quite often linked.
What I’m going to cover over the next few weeks is “General Neck Pain and headaches” rather than neck pain that has been caused by trauma or by long standing issues e.g. Arthritis. Although I will come aspects of neck pain caused by whiplash.
The neck is a very important part of your anatomy and as you’re aware the neck holds up the head which is really quite heavy. The head is heavy and will weigh approx. 4.5 to 5kg however it does vary from person to person and has nothing to do with how intelligent a person is.
Neck Pain Causes
One of the most common causes of pain in the neck and upper shoulders is poor posture. More often than not this caused by incorrect seating position. Huddled over a computer or looking at a tablet or a phone can lead to a forward head position. If the neck is in a neutral position the head is balanced quite nicely. However, if you’ve a forward head posture than can lead to neck pain as all the weight is on the front of the neck and puts pressure on the occiput where the neck meets the back of the skull.
The occiput is a critical area and is an attachment for a number of muscles e.g. Upper Traps.
Also considering where the occiput is you can see why tightness in the muscles around that area can lead to headaches. These headaches often travell over the back of the head to provide a forehead headache and quite often behind the eye.
Another big cause of neck pain is stress. When people get stressed quite often you that their shoulders rising contracting the upper traps and other muscles around the neck. When stressed these muscles stay in a contracted position and you get that well known neck pain and quite often headaches. The best way to avoid this type of pain is to avoid stress but in today’s fast pace world that is easier said than done but certain things like meditation, breathing exercises, yoga etc.. can all help. I will spend a bit of time looking at these areas.
Finally, we will look at whiplash injuries and the associated neck pain. The main issue is around the point of impact, the head shoots forward and then rapidly backwards. This sometimes can result in injury in the cervical spine, discs between the vertebrae or to the ligaments but mostly it causes muscular spasm however it does depend on the severity of the impact.
People normally associate whiplash injuries with car accidents but they can occur in some contact sports e.g. Rugby, American Football. They can also occur in normal life but normally due to falls.
Any questions about neck pain?
You will see posts from Andy and Kate over the next few weeks, if you have any questions please contact us HERE
Do see our Facebook Live video below for more information.