How does neck pain occur

Neck pain can occur suddenly or slowly. Sometimes you notice that certain movements, such as looking back, no longer go well or are not even possible for a while. The pain is often nagging and gets worse with movement or a certain position. Sometimes the pain radiates to the whole arm or even the hand. But the radiation can also consist of tingling in the arm and a dull feeling in the hand. It is also possible that headaches occur as a result of neck pain.

Anatomy Cervical spine

The neck spine consists of various muscles, nerves and joints. The neck spine consists of 7 vertebrae. These vertebrae are often abbreviated as C1 through C7. When we look at the neck we see a natural curvature. The joints in the neck are called facet joints. The facet joints in the neck make it possible for you to bend, stretch and twist in the neck. Between all these vertebrae are intervertebral discs. Intervertebral discs are of a softer structure and their function is to allow the vertebrae to move among themselves smoothly. Besides movement, the intervertebral discs also play an important role in the stability and shock absorption of the neck. In the neck there are many muscles. The function of these muscles is to move and stabilize the spine during movements. There are muscles that run from vertebra to vertebra, but also muscles that run along the entire spine. Anatomically, a distinction is made between a local muscle system and a global muscle system. From the different vertebrae there are nerves that run from the neck into the arm. Nerves have a directing function towards the muscles in the arm. Here stimuli from the brain go to the muscles. This makes movement possible. In addition, they also have a sensory function. This means that information such as pain, temperature, pressure and movement stimuli go from the arm to the brain. 

Neck pain physiotherapy Tilburg

Manual therapist Ruben Luijkx

Tilburg Fysio

Cause of neck pain

The vast majority of neck pain has no clear cause. This does not mean that there is nothing to treat, but the reason for the pain cannot be indicated by, for example, an X-ray or MRI. The cause of these neck problems is often in the muscles or joints.

Osteoarthritis symptoms of the neck occur more frequently as we age. We see in particular that the intervertebral discs show signs of aging. This may lead to complaints.

Sometimes a neck hernia is the cause of the symptoms. Often these complaints also go away with the help of physiotherapy. With a neck hernia, there is pressure on the nerve that runs from the neck to the arm. Generally speaking, the symptoms in the arm are more prominent than the neck pain itself. So you have more pain in your arm than pain in the neck. Often this involves a sharp clear pain that runs down the arm.

Osteoarthritis symptoms in the neck become more common as we age. In particular, we see that the intervertebral discs show signs of aging. Osteoarthritis of the spinal canal is also possible. This is called a stenosis. Osteoarthritis is not always a reason for pain in the neck. But when the symptoms correspond to the image on an X-ray, the cause of the pain may well be the result of osteoarthritis in the neck. 


Physical therapy and neck pain

During the examination we will look at what possible factors are contributing to your neck pain. Based on the examination and interview, a clear treatment plan is drawn up. Keep moving is very important to maintain the mobility in your neck. We find it very important that you understand how the symptoms arise and what you can take into account to recover as quickly as possible! Besides specific advice, the treatment can consist of increasing the mobility of the neck through manual therapy, various muscle techniques and training the muscles through exercise therapy and physical training.

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