Neck Pain

Neck pain can be caused by a range of conditions, including:

  1. Muscle Strain or Tension: Often related to activities like prolonged computer use, reading in bed, or poor posture.
  2. Cervical Spondylosis: Age-related bone change affecting the spinal vertebrae 
  3. Cervical Herniated Disc: The inner gel-like substance of a spinal disc protrudes through the disc’s outer layer, potentially irritating nearby nerves.
  4. Whiplash: A neck injury caused by a sudden jerking motion, often as a result of a car accident.
  5. Cervical Stenosis: Narrowing of the spinal canal in the cervical spine, which can press on the spinal cord.
  6. Cervical Radiculopathy: Irritation or compression of a nerve root in the cervical spine, leading to pain that radiates down the arm.
  7. Rheumatoid Arthritis: Inflammatory joint disorder that can affect the neck.
  8. Meningitis: Inflammation of the thin tissue that surrounds the brain and spinal cord; neck stiffness is a common symptom.
  9. Infections: Abscesses, spine infections, or tuberculosis can affect the cervical spine.
  10. Tumors: Rarely, neck pain can be caused by tumors in the spine.
  11. Fibromyalgia: A chronic condition causing muscle pain throughout the body, including the neck.
  12. Torticollis (Wry Neck): A condition where the head becomes twisted to one side.
  13. TMJ Disorders: Problems with the temporomandibular joint can cause referred neck pain.
  14. Heart Attack: Although more commonly associated with chest pain, pain can radiate to the neck during a heart attack. This is more of an atypical symptom and would usually be accompanied by other symptoms like shortness of breath, sweating, and arm pain.

This is not an exhaustive list, and the cause of neck pain can sometimes be multifactorial. Persistent or severe neck pain should be evaluated by a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and appropriate treatment.

Symptoms associated with neck pain can vary depending on the underlying cause. Common symptoms and associated manifestations include:

  1. Localised Pain: Pain concentrated in the neck region, which can be sharp, dull, burning, or aching.
  2. Radiating Pain: Pain can radiate from the neck to the shoulders, arms, or upper back. 
  3. Stiffness: Limited range of motion, difficulty turning the head side to side or looking up or down.
  4. Muscle Tightness or Spasms: Involuntary muscle contractions in the neck area.
  5. Headaches: Often stemming from tension or cervicogenic causes, which originate from the neck.
  6. Numbness or Tingling: Can occur in the neck, shoulders, arms, or hands, often due to nerve compression.
  7. Weakness: Muscular weakness in the arms or hands if a nerve root in the neck is affected.
  8. Difficulty Swallowing: Rare, but can be associated with certain neck conditions.
  9. Dizziness or Vertigo: Can be related to neck issues, especially when neck pain originates from the upper cervical spine.
  10. Swelling or Tenderness: Over the affected area of the neck.
  11. Clicking or Grinding Noises: When moving the neck, especially associated with osteoarthritis.
  12. Additional Symptoms: If the neck pain is due to conditions like meningitis, symptoms may include fever, headache, photophobia (sensitivity to light), and a rash.

It’s important to note that the presence and intensity of these symptoms can vary based on the individual and the underlying cause of the neck pain. If someone experiences sudden, severe neck pain, pain following an injury, or if the neck pain is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, they should seek medical attention promptly.

Neck pain can be caused by a variety of factors and conditions:

  1. Muscle Strains: Overuse, or as a result of injuries the muscles around the neck can cause pain.  
  2. Facet Joint changes: Neck joints, like other joints in your body, can change with age. Osteoarthritis can cause the cushions (cartilage) between your bones (vertebrae) to deteriorate. Your body then forms bone spurs that affect joint motion and can in some people, cause pain.
  3. Nerve Compression: Herniated discs or bone spurs in the vertebrae of your neck can press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord.
  4. Injuries: Car accidents can result in a whiplash injury, which occurs when the head is jerked backward and then forward, straining the soft tissues of the neck.
  5. Stress: Emotional stress and anxiety can lead to muscle tension, contributing to neck pain.
  6. Spinal Stenosis: The narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck can compress the spinal cord leading to pain.
  7. Infections: Rare infections like osteomyelitis, discitis, or epidural abscess can affect the neck area.
  8. Tumors: Spinal tumors, although rare, can cause neck pain.

Not all instances of neck pain require medical intervention. However, if neck pain is severe, persists for several days without relief, is accompanied by other symptoms (like headache, numbness, weakness, or pain radiating to the arms), or if it follows an injury, it’s important to seek medical evaluation. 

The best treatment for neck pain largely depends on the underlying cause. Here are common treatments for neck pain:

  1. Modified activity: Limit aggravating activities briefly.
  2. Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
  3. Physiotherapy: Targeted exercises and stretches.
  4. Ice and Heat: For inflammation and muscle relaxation.
  5. Alternative Therapies: Acupuncture, massage.
  6. Surgery: In severe cases with nerve compression.

Always consult a professional for personalised advice.

For neck pain, consider seeing:

  1. GP: Initial assessment and general guidance.
  2. Physiotherapist: Rehabilitation, exercises, and stretches.
  3. Rheumatologist: If arthritis or autoimmune disorders are suspected.
  4. Neurologist: For nerve-related issues.
  5. Pain Management Specialist: Chronic pain treatment.

Yes, exercise can be beneficial for neck pain. Proper exercises can strengthen neck muscles, improve posture, restore range of motion, and alleviate tension. However, it’s essential to perform exercises correctly and avoid overexertion to prevent further injury. Consulting with a physical therapist for tailored exercises is advisable.

Not all neck pain requires surgery. Surgery is typically reserved for cases where there is nerve or spinal cord compression, severe instability, tumours, or certain types of fractures. Most neck pain can be treated with non-surgical methods. Always consult with a medical professional for a thorough evaluation and recommendation.

Chews Health top tip for neck pain

Regularly stretch and strengthen neck muscles to support a healthy cervical spine. If pain persists, seek professional evaluation.

Our Specialists

Melanie Clarke
Melanie Clarke
We’ll be forever grateful to Chews, the guys are the absolute BEST IN CLASS when it comes to a fully tailored recovery plan. Our son is a young elite competitive acrobatic gymnast who sadly had a high impact fall at gymnastics dislocating and fracturing his elbow and needed surgery, for a gymnast that trains many hours over 4 days week it was devastating blow, especially with GB competitions coming up. Once out of cast (wk 4 post opp) we started 2 x weekly physio sessions with Richard Saxton (who specialises in child’s physio), he was thorough, diligent and his amazing assessments fully supported the coaches at our sons gym to help build a safe recovery plan. The sessions with Richard and Sanford were fun, engaging and they took great care to help improve full mobility and strength. At week 7 post op our son was doing skills we thought would have taken 4mths to achieve, by week 10 he was back to full impact training, even our hospital follow up with the senior elbow consultant was blown away by the physio support we’d had and the rapid recovery. If it wasn’t for Chews we 100% would not be back training this quickly and not have had the reassurances it was safe to do so…..we’ve definitely found a physio for life. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts Team Chews. From Mel & JJ x x
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Have waited a few months post-treatment to write a review - just to be certain! Quite simply, I can't recommend these guys highly enough. I went to them with two badly damaged knees (miniscus tears). Having had three arthroscopes over the years, I was completely resigned to needing surgical intervention again. The Chews team had different ideas. After showing me the latest research findings, they assured me my knees could be rehabilitated without a scalpel. I had just a handful of sessions with them and am delighted to report that, six months on, my knees are great! I'm running 5k twice a week (don't laugh, I loathe running and am no spring chicken) without any pain and have taken up tennis. Everyone at Chews is passionate about their subject, knowledgeable, reassuring and friendly. I wouldn't go anywhere else.
Dave Stuart
Dave Stuart
I have had a chronic back condition to varying degrees for many years which more recently has forced me to have weeks off work at a time. I was recommended Chews Health by a colleague having tried other physios in the past. However, I always felt that something was missing from the plan. My back muscles would on occasion go into spasm, or my disk to impinge on my nerve, affecting my mobility and effectively setting me back to square one. I came to Chews health a bit wary and was considering surgery due to how much my back was affecting my quality of life and mental health. It has not been a straight forward recovery, but i have made significant progress through having a thorough history taken, my ongoing concerns listened to, and being provided with a clear explanation of not only the exercise plan but additionally explaining why my body was responding in varying ways. This has educated about my condition and provided me with the tools to self manage my condition more effectively should it deteriorate again.. It has not been plain sailing, but I have absolute faith in Jack and his team.
I had to attend Chews Health for help with pain in my elbow and they have been a fantastic help. I am now back to 100%.
The S
The S
I can thoroughly recommend Chews Health physio. Sessions from diagnosis to rehabilitation are stimulating as well as therapeutic. Jack’s holistic, insightful approach goes beyond fixing the initial problem - he builds the confidence and self-knowledge to help maintain fitness and avoid strains and niggling injuries in the future. His message that the body needs exposure to regular challenges has inspired my journey towards optimum health.
Sam Butler
Sam Butler
Excellent physiotherapy. After ACL and meniscus surgery I contacted Chews Health to find out about how they could help me feel more confident about returning to more intense sport after my injury. I felt listened to and we worked on a series of different of exercises that tested my knee. Very helpful and I now feel much more confident in my abilities.
feralie Bennett
feralie Bennett
I saw Richard Saxton for a chronic pain in my achillies. 2 visits, with massage and exercises: clear concise instruction, both written and verbal to do at home were realistic & adapted for my ability - I now no longer require pain relief & can walk the dogs pain free & even manage a few hills. A follow up call to review my progress was also appreciated. The clinic was clean & well equipped. Would highly recommend.
Philip Conroy
Philip Conroy
When I had severe back pain I was seen within 24 hours. The problem was resolved after 3 weeks of physiotherapy and exercises. I subsequently took up the annual gym membership package which includes regular reviews by the Physiotherapists. I feel this has benefitted me greatly as I had no previous experience of gyms and ensured I was using the equipment in the correct manner. At all times the staff have been very friendly and professional.
Maureen Morris
Maureen Morris
Helped me tremendously. Lovely people - everyone very very supportive.
Cecilia Wright
Cecilia Wright
I had been suffering from plantar fasciitis for some months and went Chews Health in the summer for shockwave treatment, after my podiatrist said she had heard good reports about it. Until then I had been resting, exercising it, icing it, using insoles etc., none of which had made much difference. I booked six treatments at the start (recommended) and by the time of the last treatment It was hardly noticeable, so much better! I’ve had two further treatments over the last month, just to be on the safe side, and I’m doing some exercises now to build up the strength in my calf and foot. Chews Health comes with heartfelt recommendations from me, they are friendly, very knowledgeable and best of all - they have fixed my sore foot!