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Covid-19 Update

Face Coverings

From 15 June 2020, visitors and outpatients coming into our hospitals will be asked to wear a face covering at all times, to help us reduce the spread of Covid-19.
A face covering can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind the head. It should cover your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably.

New measures to increase services
Our staff have been working hard to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and ensure the safety and quality of our services for all patients.
Just like the rest of the NHS, our number one priority for the last few months has been ensuring that all those who need urgent care - not just those with coronavirus - have been able to get it when they need it.  Combined with the need to avoid unnecessary contact to reduce the spread of the virus, this has meant that some non-urgent appointments may have been postponed, and others delivered differently using technology.
We are now preparing to gradually increase some important face-to-face services, but only where this can be done safely - the virus is still circulating and we don’t want to put our patients, the public or our staff at greater risk.  Thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times.



Condition directory

Neck Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis is a term used to describe changes that occur at a joint that affect it’s health.

The first thing people usually think of when thet think of arthritis is 'wear and tear'. These two simple words paint a picture of a process of gradual decline of an affected joint. Recent research into the arthritis process shows that actually this view of arthritis is not correct!

Versus arthritis UK propose that instead we should think of arthritis as ‘tear, flare and repair’. This means that when the joint becomes inflammed and flares up it does it’s best to settle the inflammation and repair itself. The repair process leads to some of the symptoms associated with arthritis including tightness of the joint and a reduction in how far it can move.

Symptoms include:

  • Neck and shoulder/shoulder blade pain – that comes and goes
  • Problems getting comfortable in bed at night with discomfort or pain usually described as a dull ache
  • Morning stiffness which takes around 10 minutes to ‘get going’
  • Some people have headaches – often starting at the back of the neck
  • Difficulty doing tasks for long periods such as gardening or hobbies

You could be more likely to get neck OA at any age, although it is rare under the age of 40. Risk factors for neck osteoarthritis are:

  • a job that involves repetitive neck movements or a lot of overhead work – like painting and decorating
  • previously had a neck injury
  • a family history of the condition
  • are overweight (this is associated with higher levels of inflammation in the body)
  • are a smoker


Simple initial treatment:

If your symptoms have just started, or you are experiencing a flair up it could be worth modifying your activities, while things settle down. This could mean reducing the amount of time you spend in fixed postures or reducing the time performing activities that seem to aggrevate your pain. Its important that as things settle you try and return to your normal activity levels.

It may be helpful to perform some simple range of movement and strengthening exercises to help maintain your mobility and allow things to settle down.

Medication options

Your GP might also prescribe a muscle relaxant or other pain medicine if the pain has been coming and going for a long time. If the pain is not severe you could try over the counter analgesia such as ibuprofen tablets, Ibuprofen Gel and/or paracetamol after discussing you medical history with your pharmacist to check any contraindications/cautions. In addition you could try heat packs or cold packs providing your skin sensitivity are normal and you will not get a heat/ice burn.

It usually takes a few weeks for treatment to work, although the pain and stiffness can come back. If your symptoms are not settling please refer yourself here.