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How to fix head, neck and shoulder pain?

Many people that suffer from neck and shoulder pain also complain about headaches. These can be related.

Neck pain and headaches can result from different factors and the onset of pain may be sudden or gradual.  The intensity and nature of your symptoms may also vary from pain and minor stiffness through to more significant symptoms that can restrict your work and everyday life.

Headaches and neck pain can be related to the following:

    1. Physical factors like poor posture, abrupt changes to your lifestyle, daily routine, or physical activities.
    2. Underlying contributing factors like decreased mobility and stability to the spine or reduced muscle strength that does not commensurate with the performed activities
    3. Reachtions to certain types of food
    4. Chemical changes within your brain
    5. Persistent pain
    6. Poor sleep
    7. Physiological factors like arthritis, infections or other injuries

Some of these factors can cause severe headaches and may lead to the diagnosis of migraine.

Our therapists can provide neck pain treatment for the following presentations:

      • Severe, lasting pain in or around the neck
      • Inability to complete your normal physical activities due to neck and shoulder pain
      • Commonly recurring sharp or shooting pains around the neck and shoulder
      • Any headache or migraine symptoms
      • Disc injuries
      • Vertebral and facet joint sprains
      • Whiplash or traffic accident injuries
      • Vertigo or dizziness
      • Postural presentations & Ergonomics
      • Sports or gym-related head and neck injuries
      • Osteoarthritis
      • Post-operative spinal rehabilitation
      • Referred pain in the arms that may be originating from the head or neck
      • Tingling across the face, head, or down the shoulder or arm.
      • Numbness, stinging or burning pain down the arm or radiating into the upper back region
      • Spasms into the upper back or shoulder girdle region
      • A sensation of weakness or altered dexterity

Neck pain and tenderness are often associated with migraine, tension-type and cervicogenic headache. There are differences in where the pain originates.

In migraine and tension-type headaches, the headaches originate from pain in the head and often spread into the neck. In this case, the headache is primary and leads to uncomfort in the neck.

Opposed to a cervicogenic headache, where the pain is caused by problems in the neck (= cervical spine) and is then spread into the head. In this case, the headache is ‘secondary’ as it originates from the neck. Neck movements are stiff and painful and often lead to a chronic headache.

Physiotherapists conduct a comprehensive assessment using the so called ‘biopsychosocial model’ to identify causative factors by taking biological, psychological and socio-environmental factors into account. Our therapists can determine the right treatment for you by categorising your pain into the following brackets:

      • Neck pain with mobility deficits
      • Chronic neck pain with movement coordination impairments
      • Chronic neck pain with headache
      • Chronic neck pain with radiating pain
      • Posture-related head and neck pain

Our therapists will individualise your treatment to suit your presentation. Treatment can include:

      • Education on your condition
      • Cognitive behavioural therapy
      • Tailored Exercises
      • Stretching and strengthening programs
      • Ergonomics
      • Joint mobilisation techniques
      • Massages
      • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) – For pain relief using electrical current to stimulate nerves through the skin

If you suffer from neck and shoulder pain or experience neck pain causing headaches, please contact us and one of our friendly staff members can help you with your enquiry.



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