Some Common Problems
Pain in the neck
Neck pain is often due to poor movement patterns or presents after a whiplash-type injury. Both of these can speed up the normal wear-and-tear that happens in all our joints as we age and can be a cause if pain.
Poor movement patterns can lead to:
- certain neck muscles (stabilisers) becoming weak while other muscles become over-active/'in spasm'
- increased load of the cervical (neck) spinal joints, causing excessive shear of the joints
- narrowing of the foramina (spaces) where the nerves exit between vertebra, which can hamper the nerve's normal movement or can increase pressure on the nerves, leading to symptoms such as pain , numbness of pins and needles in the arm
The shoulder, a ball and socket joint, is an unstable joint in the sense that the 'socket'-part is very shallow. This means that the muscles of the shoulder girdle are absolutely essential in maintaining stability of the joint.
Pain often arises when there are muscle imbalances which can be a contributing factor to rotator cuff syndromes (although not necessarily always the case) and impingement at the shoulder.
Impingement around the shoulder area can also be due to a excessively curved acromion or an osteophyte (bony growth) on the underside of the AC (acromio-clavicular) joint impinging the rotator cuff.
Knee problems are common in runners, soccer players etc, but you don't have to be an elite athlete to suffer with a painful knee.
Things to consider:
- Have I increased my running distance lately?
- Has the surface I usually run on changed?
- Have I changed my foot gear?
Research shows that weakness of the muscles around the hips and/or pelvis can contribute to the developement of knee pain. Weakness of the hip muscles influence the position of the knee during movement (which is exaspirated with high impact exercises).
Your physiotherapist will also assess for possible tightness of the ITB, check the position and movement of your patella, as well as the general symmetry of the legs.