Picture Conor McCabe Photography.

Current research suggests that the most effective treatment for neck pain is an approach that combines manual therapy (joint mobilisation, manipulation or soft tissue massage) and exercise. On their own, manual therapy or exercise do not have as good an effect as when they are combined so you can expect your treatment session at IONA Physiotherapy to include both elements.

Manual therapy leads to short to medium term improvements in pain and disability i.e. helping you to get back to doing your daily activities comfortably and exercise seems to lead to longer term improvements. Each exercise programme is based on individualised assessment and will vary for each patient. For example, some people with neck pain are tight in certain muscles and weak in others around the neck and shoulder, so their programme will feature a range of exercises to correct this muscle imbalance.

Advice is also important for treating neck pain, for example if your neck pain is postural in nature, your work station may need to be analysed to ensure it is set up correctly so that better work posture can be achieved.

The most important advice to someone who has Whiplash is to manage your pain well, so that you can go about your everyday activities without disruption. This may mean taking prescribed medication to keep pain levels down, to enable you to go to work, do your exercises etc. We now know from research that if you rest for too long after a whiplash injury, your recovery can be slowed down so the focus to your treatment will be towards active recovery.