At a glance:
The problem: Neck pain which increased to limb pain affecting daily life
Pain rating: 4/10
Patient profile: 49-year-old woman
Diagnosis: Neck pain with left sided nerve root irritation
Treatment: 4 sessions of physiotherapy
Results: No limb pain, no headaches, daily activities resumed.
Pain rating – 8/10.
For several years, our patient, a 49-year-old woman had pain all down the left side of her neck plus pins and needles in her arm and for a long time, it was just what she lived with – but when it stopped her from sleeping and riding her horse, she came to KTB for help.
Our advice is always that if pain, a lowered range of movement or inconvenience starts to affect your daily life, this is the red flag to seek help.
Over the last few months, our patient had more headaches, pain around the neck, down the arm, with cramping, pins and needles into the palm and fingers.
Unable to lie on her left side, sleep was affected plus she couldn’t turn her head to the left without pain and discomfort.
Work was also a problem and she also wasn’t able to ride her horse because of the pain.
Ali Cann was her physiotherapist, who diagnosed neck pain with left-sided nerve root irritation – this is what was causing the pain and discomfort.
Our patient was seen once a week over four weeks, with treatment involving massage and spinal mobilisation. Ali also looked at any lifestyle factors that could be contributing or affect the progress of treatment and she was advised on desk set-up too – often a huge contributing part of modern day musculoskeletal problems.
In-between physio sessions, she was given a home exercise programme – simple neck stretching and nerve gliding, plus told about using heat on the neck too.
The patient, although not entirely out of pain, reports an 85% improvement so far with a pain rating of 4/10. Pain is only in the shoulder at times – headaches, limb pain and hand cramping have ceased.
She’s continuing with the home exercises and has got back to horse riding, is able to work easier and is much happier than before treatment started.
Ali said: “This patient came to us at the right time – when mobility or pain affects your daily life. Many of us compensate for it at first which is OK because sometimes you don’t need any intervention but if the pain goes on over a long time or you really are doing things very differently or avoiding things because of it, that’s the time to see us.”