What Is Mechanical Neck Pain?

Mechanical neck pain is a general term that refers to any type of back and neck pain caused by stress and strain on muscles and joints in that area. Mechanical neck pain often results from poor posture, heavy lifting, incorrect balance and slouching when sitting. Regardless of what is causing the mechanical neck pain, there are ways to treat it.

Symptoms of Mechanical Neck Pain

If a joint, muscle or ligament in the neck or back is not working properly a range of symptoms can appear. The most common symptoms of mechanical neck pain include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness, which can lead to inability to turn your head. Often people put this down to ‘sleeping funny’, but is a sign of an underlying dysfunctionin the joints of the neck.
  • Headaches can be caused by tension in the neck and locking up of joints in the neck. These are called Cervicogenic Headaches and often respond well to chiropractic treatment.
  • Sometimes joints in the neck can trap or pinch nerves, which may lead to pain in one arm. This pain is usually felt in the form of shooting pain, aching, numbness or tingling in arm, shoulder blade, hands and fingers.
  • There are unlikely symptoms of neck pain, those that you would assume are in no way related. For example, dizziness and migraines can be caused by neck joints failing to work and how this affects the nervous system.
  • Tension and pain across the shoulders is often thought of as a sign of stress, though it can be caused by the added strain from the joints in the neck not working properly.

Causes of Mechanical Neck Pain

There are lots of different causes of mechanical neck pain and the severity varies significantly. Some of the most common include:

  • Repetitive movements or sitting still a lot at work.
  • Poor posture, both when awake and asleep.
  • Neck injuries that happened some time ago but only manifested recently, such as those suffered in falls or car accidents.
  • Whiplash from a car accident; the jerking of the head can cause strain on the neck. Though the initial symptoms are usually minor, it can lead to much more serious neck pain later in life.
  • Prolonged sitting.
  • Regular use of smartphones and tablets; this can cause strain on the neck from looking down a lot.
  • Osteoarthritis.

Ways to Treat Mechanical Neck Pain

There are some techniques that can help with pain and long term damage, all of which can be tried at home.

  • Proactively working to improve posture.
  • Using ice on painful areas to reduce inflammation.
  • Holding books, tablets and smartphones up instead of looking down to reduce neck strain.
  • Regularly doing the chin tucking exercise and similar movements to stretch and strengthen the muscles in the neck.

At the Aceso Family Chiropractic in Buckingham we may be able to help resolve your neck pain.