Identifying Sources of Neck Pain

Neck pain can be in different forms, ranging anywhere from a dull and irritating pain to a burning sharp pain that may radiate down the shoulder and into the arm. There are also many variations in how the pain started and how long it may last. It is crucial to understand different neck pain types in order to develop and effective low level laser treatment plan and prevent the neck pain from reoccurring.

Basic - Axial neck pain [1]

Axial neck pain is focused on one part of the neck and does not radiate. It typically feels achy or throbbing but can also be sharp and stinging. Pain can get worse with certain movements or posture. Causes include:

  • Muscle strains
  • Ligament sprains
  • Spinal degeneration or trauma

Nerve pain -Radicular pain

neck painRadicular neck pain can occur when a nerve root becomes inflamed, which causes pain to radiate along the nerve to the shoulder and arm. It feels like searing or electric shock-like pain. It is typically experienced on one side of your body. Causes include:

  • Spinal degeneration
  • Herniated disc
  • Bone spurs in the spine

Referred Neck pain

neck painReferred pain is experienced in a location other than its source, it is usually experienced as a deep cramping sensation. The area of distribution is more diffuse and spread out rather than radiating pain, but these two types of pain can feel similar. Causes of neck referred pain include:

  • Heart problems
  • Jaw problems (temporomandibular joint)

Spinal Cord neck pain -Myelopathy

Myelopathy pain develops when the spinal cord in the neck is compressed. Symptoms are often located at a distance below the compression site such as in the legs. This separation of pain may cause misdiagnosis and mismanagement. Myelopathy symptoms may include: Neck, arm, leg or lower back pain. Tingling, numbness or weakness.

Most neck pain is associated with poor posture and repetitive strain/sprain injury. To prevent neck pain, try keep your head centred over your body. Some changes in your daily lift may help, these include:

  • Good posture: Make sure your shoulders are in straight line over your hips and ears when standing and sitting.
  • Avoid carrying heavy bags with straps over your shoulder.
  • Sleep in a good position: Your head and neck should be aligned with your body. Sleeping on your back with thighs elevated on pillows, which can relax your spinal muscles.
neck pain

Here at Lakeside Laser, our lower laser technicians are well equipped to thoroughly assess and conservatively manage different types of neck pain. We utilise a number of different treatment techniques and provide longer appointments to ensure you are receiving the best care possible tailored to your specific low level laser needs. If you have any queries or would like to book an appointment, you can call us on 9300 0095, or book online at


1. Neck pain - ScienceDirect

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