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Neck pain – cervicalgia

What is cervicalgia?

A cervicalgia¹ is a pain located in the neck. Neck pain varies depending on the affected area, which can include vertebrae, tendons, ligaments, muscles and nerves.

Neck anatomy

There are two parts of the neck we can distinguish: the anterior part, the throat, and the posterior part, the nape. It is in the back of the neck that is located the neck skeleton composed of 7 vertebrae, known as cervical vertebrae. They are separated by intervertebral discs and connected by several ligaments.

These vertebrae movements are possible due the intervention of several muscles and ligaments. This set of muscles and vertebrae ensure the mobility and support of the head, which has a relatively high weight. The neck is the most mobile spine segment, which makes it very vulnerable to traumas and aging effects.

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Type of neck pains

Torticollis

Torticollis is a muscular contracture caused by a false move, a hyperextension position, a bad working posture or a cold snap. Neck pain can be sharp and muscle contraction can restrict mobility, even forcing the inclination of the head.

Cervical sprain

The cervical sprain injury is a pathology caused by trauma, often as a result of a car accident or a strong impact during a contact sport. Known as “whiplash”, this injury causes neck pain and stiffness, as well as, in severe cases, headaches, dizziness, decreased concentration and visual impairment.

Cervicobracalgia

Cervicobracalgia is a compression located at the nerve roots that irrigate the arm. The pain then moves from the neck to the arm, forearm and hand and produces finger numbness. The compression may be due to muscle tension, a bad posture or stress.

Arnold’s neuralgia

Arnold’s neuralgia is a brachial nerve pain located in the neck’s deep muscle and is responsible for the motor and sensitive innervation of the scalp. The pain is diffused and rises behind the head and toward the eyes. Arnold’s neuroglia can result from a displaced vertebra, cervical muscle tension, inflammation following an accident, a sprain, a herniated disk or from high stress.

Cervical spondylosis

Cervical spondylosis is a degenerative disease that affects elderly people. It causes painful friction between vertebrae due to the cartilage decay (arthrosis) and decreases mobility.

Therapeutic approach

The therapist is a muscle and joint specialist. His solid training allows him to efficiently act on several neck affections. Following the interview, the therapist will use, in appropriate cases, a massage to warm up tissues, reduce contractures and increase blood flow; essential oils and rubefiants (products with a muscular effect)  as well as kinesitherapy techniques to restore the neck’s full amplitude and mobility.

To complete the session, the therapist will also recommend rehabilitation exercices.

 

Home advice

  • In acute phase, apply ice for 15 to 20 minutes every hour for the first 48 hours.
  • To relax the muscles, apply a hot slated water compress for 20 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day.
  • Every morning and eveninig, rub your neck with a rubefiant (product with a muscular effect).
  • Adopt a good posture: your head should be in the axis and follow the body’s prolongation.
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
  • Make amelioration to your workplace if requiered.
  • Avoid exposing the neck to fresh air.

The term therapist is used to signify a massage therapist, a kinesitherapist or an orthotherapist.

1.It is important to take note that your therapist cannot perform pathology diagnostics since only doctors have the competence to make a medical diagnosis. However, your therapist may act effectively to relieve your neck pain.

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