Severe Neck Pain

By Sally Ann Quirke, Chartered Physiotherapist | Filed under: Neck Pain


Severe Neck Pain
Severe Neck Pain

Are you suffering with severe neck pain? I have seen many clients walk through my clinic doors absolutely crippled with neck pain. The severity of their symptoms often finds them crying with pain and feeling exhausted after many sleepless nights.

Does this sound familiar to you?

Causes of Severe Neck Pain

In general, there are two causes of severe neck pain. Those that result from whiplash type injuries, or other accidents - for example sports related neck injuries. In such cases, it is really important to seek medical advice immediately and fully investigate the nature of the injury before commencing treatment.

Then there are episodes that often result from a slight movement or for no apparent reason, at least according to the stories most patients have shared with me. Actually in these cases, the truth is that pretty much all severe neck pain patients that I have seen have had a long standing history of poor upper back and neck posture. Many patients either aren’t aware of their poor posture or don’’t want to put the effort into improving their posture until it is too late.

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Beneath the Symptoms of severe neck pain

I don’t need to tell you of what the symptoms of severe neck pain are! But the underlying symptoms are muscle spasms, often known as a “Crick in the neck” and facet joint mal-alignments resulting from whiplash injuries, or other impact injuries on the sporting field.

The symptoms will give a clue to the cause. Consult your physiotherapist for a correct diagnosis. This is absolutely essential, so you can get the correct treatment for your type of neck pain.

If your injury is muscular apply heat 3-4 times a day. A hot water bottle wrapped in a towel is better than any heat pack in my opinion. Try appropriate neck pain exercises to help in the recovery from your pain.

If the pain is very severe, check with a medical professional and if appropriate take anti-inflammatory medication, and move your neck and back in all directions that do not hurt. Never move into pain. If your severe neck pain is not improving within 72 hours then seek medical advice from a doctor.

If not managed well, your neck pain may return in continuing episodes.

Identifying and treating the cause of severe neck pain is the main concern when I treat patients. If the cause is from an injury, a specialist medical professional or team will work on that. If the cause down to posture, then you must understand and seek advice in the correction of your posture.

The good news is that posture correction will help resolve your neck pain greatly and is an absolute necessity for the prevention of further episodes of neck pain.

Severe neck pain will not be severe for long if you manage it well. If in doubt - talk to a qualified healthcare practitioner!

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While the content and materials contained in the articles on this website have been written & researched by Sally Ann Quirke, a professional, practising & fully qualified Chartered Physiotherapist (Physical Therapist) based in Ireland, they are provided for general information and educational purposes only. They do not constitute medical advice on any particular individual situation. Please see your Chartered Physiotherapist or other medical practitioner for full and individual consultation.

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