In 2015 I completed a project at Southampton University outlining a care pathway for the management of neck and shoulder pain.
Over my many years specialising in the treatment of neck and shoulder problems, I have seen many patients with chronic pain and stiffness in the shoulder and arm.
These patients have often had lots of treatment, xrays, MRI scans and sometimes even surgery without any real improvement. The longer the shoulder pain continues the more complex and ingrained the problems become. These patients then end up with chronic shoulder and neck pain and often have pins & needles and numbness down the arms.
Neck and shoulder pain is a common and often complex problem. Effective treatment depends on an accurate diagnosis considering all areas.
When I have assessed these patients in detail, I have often found that the root of these problems does not lie in the shoulder but rather in the neck and upper back (thorax) and the nerves that control shoulder/arm movement and sensation.
So in order to help prevent people experiencing unnecessary pain and suffering, I wanted to identify a series of tests that can show whether there is a spinal (neck and upper back) or neural (nerve) component to the problem they are experiencing before attention is too specifically focused on one area.
Combining 20 years of clinical experience and the results of many research papers I identified tests that are both reliable and reproducible.
I have since presented a lecture to over 150 GPs and consultants on this topic. The feedback I have received is that this is addressing a real and increasingly common problem.
I believe that because of the effects of the ever increasing amount of time we are spending looking at screens (what I have termed Information Age Syndrome) we are going to see more of this type of problem.
For more about our amazing bodies, how things can go wrong and how we approach correcting problems, have a look at our articles on the neuro-muscular-skeletal system and muscle imbalance and postural dysfunction.
As a physio who specialises in the treatment of neck and neck-related disorders, as well as being an (amateur) racing driver I obviously have a keen interest in head and neck supports and frontal head restraint (FHR) devices.