This category essentially means stiff neck pain or being unable to move well through the full range of motion. Patients often report that moving their neck a specific direction reproduces their pain. This category also includes computer posture-related conditions that present with neck and shoulder pain and back and neck muscle pain.
As stiffness is the primary issue, treatment initially focuses on regaining movement in your neck, shoulders, and back. Once the stiffness is improved, the next step is strengthening all the muscles so they can best support the neck, back, and shoulders to maintain better posture.
Also known as whiplash or neck strain. This category of neck pain largely occurs after traumas such as falls or motor vehicle accidents.
During the trauma, the neck undergoes a significant amount of mechanical stress and normally stable structures like joints often become looser. The muscles are also disrupted and respond by becoming tight and weak.
Initially, treatment focuses on managing the pain post-injury, then progresses to a gradual strengthening program. Not only do the muscles have to become stronger, but they also have to re-learn how to contract smoothly.
Both of these categories are less common and require a more in-depth assessment.
While there are many types of headaches, if the headache is unilateral, non-pulsating, and associated with neck pain then it may be due to dysfunction in the upper segments of the neck. Treatment focuses on ensuring proper movement and strength through the involved segments.
For neck pain with radiating arm pain, these patients often have tingling and numbness that runs down the arm past the elbow. In this category, the arm pain is actually due to nerve dysfunction occurring in the neck and the arm pain can typically be increased or decreased depending on neck movements and postures. Treatment focuses on reducing the irritability of the nerve and addressing the underlying cause of the nerve dysfunction.