Mechanical neck pain is the most common form of neck pain. The pain can be felt locally in the neck, arms, or shoulders. Symptoms are aggravated by keeping the head fixed in one position. Mechanical neck pain is caused by repetitive straining of the neck, which can occur through posture or certain movements. Individuals with jobs which require repeated movements of the neck or keeping the neck in the same position for long periods of time, such as desk bound computer-based jobs, can be typical candidates for neck pain.
Mechanical neck pain is diagnosed when you have the presence of pain and no signs of any structural damage to the vertebrae, disc, ligaments, or tendons.
Symptoms include a dull ache pain in the neck, shoulders or arms, reduce neck range of movement, upper back or neck muscle spasms or tightness, and headaches. Symptoms will usually last for 6 weeks. If the neck pain does not cease over that period, or worsens, you should seek advice from your GP.
Mechanical neck pain will usually go away by itself but physiotherapy can speed this up! Physiotherapy treatment includes ergonomic advice, postural retraining, ultrasound therapy, neck mobilization/manipulation, METs (Muscle Energy Techniques), soft tissue massage, myofascial release, and trigger point release. The foremost goal would be to restore normal active range of movement of the neck and improve pain, then long term preventative measures such as a home exercise program. Short term treatments that you can do at home is using a hot water bottle or warm wheat bag on the neck and taking basic pain relief such as paracetamol.