Neck Pain


Uncomplicated mechanical neck pain

Mechanical neck pain is pain in the anatomic region of the neck for which it is impossible to identify a specific pathologic cause of pain. It can include neck pain and from time to time, pain in the upper limbs which may or may not interfere with the activities of daily living.

Neck pain can take many forms and there can be a variety of presentations. It can be either localised pain or it can refer into other areas such as the head creating a headache.

Causes of Neck Pain

Neck pain is the second most common presenting complaint to Chiropractic clinics. Due to today’s hectic lifestyle, postural and ergonomic dysfunctions commonly lead to altered spinal function. These include forward head carriage and rounded shoulders. This altered posture puts significant stress on the neck and shoulders, and with the weight of the head (12 pounds – the weight of a bowling ball), aggravates this stress.

Other causes of Neck Pain include:

  • Poor lifting technique
  • Emotional Stress – generally increases muscular tension
  • Trauma
  • Muscular referral

Neck Pain

Due to the complexity of the head and neck, neck pain can arise from several sources. Some people may experience associated headaches (Cervicogenic Headache), shoulder pain or pain referred into the arms or fingers. Neck pain may be referred to as being:

  • Stiff
  • Dull
  • Aching
  • Sharp

X-ray for Neck Pain

Several conditions can affect the neck. Pain generators may include soft tissue components, facet joints or capsules as well as nerve irritation. Depending on the extent of your presenting complaint/s and after performing numerous Orthopaedic and Neurological tests to assess the head and neck, if applicable, with our digital x-ray facility we will be able to assess for:

  • Altered spinal curvature
  • Disc Disease
  • Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease)
  • Arthritis
  • Soft tissue calcifications
  • Congenital anomalies
  • Tumours
  • Fractures
  • Dislocations

Chiropractic Treatment for Neck Pain

Chiropractors treat mechanical neck pain using a package of care that may include manual therapies, exercise, therapeutic advice and postural advice.


There is evidence to support this approach to patient care:

Haldeman S, Carroll L, Cassidy D. Schubert J, Nygren A: The Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders: executive summary. Spine 2008. 33: S5-S7.

Hurwitz EL et al. Treatment of neck pain: non-invasive interventions: results of the bone and joint decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders Spine, Volume 33(4 Supp) 2008, Neck Pain Task Force, ppS123-S52.

Hurwitz EL, Aker PD, Adams AH, Meeker WC, Shekelle PG Manipulation and mobilisation of the cervical spine: a systematic review of the literature. Spine, Volume 21(15) 1996, pp1746-60.

Spitzer WO Scientific monograph of the Quebec task force on whiplash associated disorders: redefining “whiplash” and its management. Spine, Volume 20(8 Supp) 1995, pp1S-73S.

Vasavada AN, Li S, Delp SL Influence of muscle morphometry and moment arms on the moment-generating capacity of human neck muscles .Spine, Volume 23(4) 1998, pp412-22.