Mechanical Neck Pain

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Introduction

Individuals with neck pain that lack an identifiable pathoanatomic cause for their symptoms are usually classified as having mechanical neck pain. Direct pathoanatomic cause of mechanical neck pain is rarely identifiable[1]. Although the cause of neck pain may be associated with degenerative processes or pathology identified during diagnostic imaging, the tissue that is causing a patient’s neck pain is most often unknown[1]

Mechanical neck pain commonly arises insidiously and is generally multifactorial in origin, including one or more of the following: poor posture, anxiety, depression, neck strain, and sporting or occupational activities[2].

Management

Despite the prevalence, less-than optimal prognosis, associated risk of disability, and economic consequences of individuals suffering from mechanical neck pain, there remains a significant gap in the literature, which fails to provide sufficient, high-quality evidence to effectively guide the conservative treatment of this patient population[2]. Heintz et al[2] suggest that this lack of quality evidence largely stems from the poorly understood clinical course of neck pain in conjunction with the inconclusive results related to the efficacy of commonly used interventions.

Physiotherapy approach the management of mechanical neck pain is with a plethora of interventions such as manual therapy, therapeutic exercises, modalities, massage, and functional training.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Childs, J.D., Cleland, J.A., Elliott, J.M., Teyhen, D.S., Wainner, R.S., Whitman, J.M., Sopky, B.J., Godges, J.J., Flynn, T.W., Delitto, A. and Dyriw, G.M., 2008. Neck pain: clinical practice guidelines linked to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health from the Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy AssociationJournal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy38(9), pp.A1-A34.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Heintz MM, Hegedus EJ. Multimodal management of mechanical neck pain using a treatment based classification system. Journal of Manual & Manipulative Therapy. 2008 Oct 1;16(4):217-24.