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Dealing with Neck Pain

Royal City Physio's physical focus for the month of October is the neck! We want to make sure that you can #KeepMoving even though you might be struggling with neck pain.

One of our awesome physiotherapists, Jayme Gordon has recommended an article focused on neck pain for the month of October: Muscle Dysfunction in Cervical Spine Pain: Implications for Assessment and Management by Shaun O’Leary, James M. Elliott, Deborah Falla, & Gwendolen Jull.

Here are the Coles notes for you, taken from the article above:

Neck pain is a very common issue that many people deal with. Some common causes are: work station set up, overuse, or a traumatic injury such as a contact sport or motor vehicle accident. This article outlines the prevalence of neck pain, muscular changes, and guidelines for recovery.

Prevalence of Neck Pain

Neck pain can be a disabling and recurrent disorder characterized by periods of remission and exacerbation. It has been estimated that in any 6-month period 54% of adults will experience neck pain, with approximately 5% having substantial activity limitations due to their neck disorder. Alarmingly, a cross-sectional study has suggested that only 6.3% of individuals who suffered from neck pain in the previous year were free of recurrence.

This tendency for chronicity of some mechanical neck pain (MNP) disorders may at least in part be attributed to inadequate recovery of cervical muscle function post injury, especially considering the heavy dependency of the cervical vertebral column on its muscles for its physical support. Similar to findings in low back pain, cervical muscle dysfunction does not appear to spontaneously recover following the alleviation of symptoms. There is an ever growing number of mechanistic studies identifying muscle dysfunction in individuals with MNP. Pertinent to clinical practice, programs to retrain muscle function have shown favorable responses in terms of improvements in neck pain, disability, and function. A recent systematic review suggests that the combination of exercise and manual therapy are the most efficacious of all conservative managements for subacute or chronic MNP.

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