Mechanical Neck pain what is it?
Patients with neck pain that lack an identifiable pathoanatomic cause for their symptoms are usually classified as having mechanical neck pain. There are clinical features such as motion limitations, headaches, referred pain. The patient can be classified in these categories: cervicalgia, pain in the thoracic spine, headaches, cervical-cranial syndrome, sprain and strain of the cervical spine, spondylosis with radiculopathy, and cervical disc disorder with radiculopathy.
What are its causes
Direct pathoanatomic cause of mechanical neck pain is rarely identifiable. The cause of neck pain can be related to degenerative processes or pathology identified during diagnostic imaging. Mechanical neck pain has an insidious beginning and is generally multifactorial. Some of the factors related to neck pain are poor posture, anxiety, depression, neck strain, and sporting or occupational activities.
There are some risk factors that can predispose a patient to chronic neck pain such us:
- Age > 40 yrs.
- Coexisting LBP (Low Back Pain)
- History of neck pain
- Frequent cyclin
- Loss of strength in hands
- Worrisome attitude
- Poor quality of life
- Decreased vitality
How can physiotherapy help?
If the patient is presenting with cervical pain the application of physiotherapist techniques can be useful with the aim to relieve the spasticity and muscle contraction frequently associated. Also, the education and reassurance are important throughout treatment. Especially following a traumatic event, patients should be encouraged to return to pre-accident function levels as quickly and as safely as possible. They should also evaluate that patients with neck pain normally they have a good prognosis and regaining normal function is highly likely.
– What Physiotherapy treatments assist (that Physiotherapy offers mostly and Cortisone/Corticosteroid injections otherwise if applicable)
Physiotherapy approach the management of mechanical neck pain is with a plethora of interventions such as manual therapy, acupuncture, therapeutic exercises, modalities, massage, and functional training. The corticosteroid injections are not useful in this pathology due to the mechanical components being the main contributors to the pain.
– The best exercises for it if applicable
The management of the patient should be integral and complete. There are some techniques that can be allocated for patients with mechanical neck pain.
- Cervical Manipulation/Mobilisations
- Coordination, strengthening, & endurance exercises.
- The use of the upper quarter and nerve mobilization procedures and the use of traction can be useful. These interventions are very important and have been shown beneficial and are even more effective when paired with manual therapy and exercise.
- Thoracic Mobilisation/Manipulation. The use of thrust manipulations and mobilizations may reduce symptoms in patients with neck and neck pain with radiation to the arm.
- Stretching and centralisation techniques. Stretching involved musculature can be beneficial for patients with neck pain. Movements that promote centralisation of pain have also shown results in reducing symptoms in patients affected by this pathology.
- Activity Limitations The patient should be limited to functional activity that does not cause an increase in symptoms throughout the treatment period. This element is going to help the clinician to assess changes in the patient’s level of function during an episode of care.