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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Is my neck pain normal?

    For the past few years I get treated regularly by a chiro for neck pain that causes migraines. The treatment helps me a lot, however, my neck continues to bother me. Should I get an MRI?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 1




    Edward is a registered Osteopath with clinical experience both in Sydney, Australia and in the U.K. Has has previosly held senior academic positions teaching Osteopathy … View Profile

    The neck pain is not normal, per se. You shouldn't have to suffer ongoing neck pain forever, however there is a subset of people that suffer from a chronic pain syndrome. In those circumstances people have muscular and structural contributions to pain, but there are also nervous system elements that become sensitized and contribute to ongoing pain syndromes. Also, some people have a lot of overlap with stressful situations and ergonomic stresses as well. So if you've had the treatment and it's helped, that's great and it shows that you can do some things for the pain structurally with treatment. If it's been ongoing for a few years, it’s also a good idea to go for further diagnostic imaging and have a look at what you can see in the neck. Again, it depends a lot on the case that you have at hand, what your symptoms are, how intense the pain is, where it is and how long it's been going for. In this case it sounds like it might be time to re-asses and have a second scan and maybe consider some other treatment as well.

  • Located in Armadale and Doncaster, Dr Michael Black has an interest in childrens' health and pregnancy. He is passionate aout sharing the benefits of chiropractic … View Profile

    To answer your question directly, it is never normal to have neck pain that does not resolve and continuing symptoms must always be questioned and assessed.

    However, it is common to see ongoing neck pain and this frequency or lack of response should not be confused with being ‘normal’. When you are attending care that is helpful to some degree, this generally indicates some aggravating factors may not have yet been revealed, as opposed to an incorrect diagnosis.

    Often a consideration of work ergonomics, exercise (or lack of it), posture, body weight and a host of other items need to be examined to see if these are playing a role. Treatment by itself without consideration of surounding lifestyle factors may not be including all aspects of the problem.

    It is true that further imaging may disclose findings important to better understanding the issue and you should ask your current practitioner if this is advised. Since CT/MRI is readily available by GP referral under Medicare, there is no reason not to have comprehensive imaging.

    The result may or may not have an impact on your care. Imaging often reveals findings consistent with your age and posture and the hunt for pathology or abnormal findings is often fruitless.

    I do think referral to a medical specialist should occur if significant imaging or examination findings are revealed but a range of other conservative approaches should have first been tried if this is not the case.

  • Sandra McFaul


    Do you suffer from chronic lower back pain or neck pain? Based in SYDNEY, Sandra is 1 of ONLY 15 Physiotherapists in Australia with ADVANCED … View Profile

    If you have a recurring problem, you should see a McKenzie Method physio.  If your problem recurs, you need to learn how to stop it from coming back.  The McKenzie physio will teach you a few key exercises.  You may also need to change your posture. 

    GOOGLE McKenzie Method physio to find out more.

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