What is Neck Pain?
If you are one of the many Australians that suffer with neck pain, you will be pleased to know that our proven osteopathy approach may offer the solution you have been searching for.
One out of ten of us will have neck pain at some time in our life. In most cases, it is not due to a serious disease or neck problem and often the exact cause for the pain is not clear. Most are probably due to minor sprains or bad posture. This comes as no surprise when we consider the activities of modern life such as sitting in front of a computer, watching prolonged periods of television and an increasing incidence of poor posture – particularly forward head posture.
Problems within the neck can also cause headache, shoulder pain, TMJ or jaw pain, pins and needles in the hands, carpal tunnel syndrome, and upper back pain.
We encourage you to contact us for a thorough assessment with one of our osteopaths if you regularly experience any of the following:
- In the morning, you may wake up with a sore neck
- Reversing the car and turning your head, your neck may feel stiff
- When you turn your head, you may hear a clicking sound
- Neck muscles may ache constantly
- A sensation of pins and needles in your fingers and hands
With more moving parts than any other machine, it’s not surprising your body occasionally cries out in pain or refuses to do what you want it to do. After all, there are hundreds of different muscles and joints that can go wrong. Fortunately, there’s an effective way to treat many of the problems you can experience – and that is osteopathy.
Causes of Neck Pain
One survey done has found out that, of adults aged 45-75 years, about 1 in 4 women and about 1 in 5 men had current neck pain. This does not mean, however, that people whose age are under such range are exempt.
By far the most common cause of neck pain relates to the effects of poor posture. In order to understand the impact of poor posture, we must first consider why spinal alignment within the neck is so important.
Coupled with the stresses and demands of modern life, it is no surprise why neck pain is so common. Your head weighs about 5 kilograms and, in normal alignment, it is very carefully balanced on top of your seven neck bones (vertebrae).
- Your muscles work very hard to maintain this position and easily withstand short periods of variation.
- Problems arise when we assume awkward positions for prolonged periods; the fine balance is disturbed and the nerves, muscles, joints, ligaments, and discs of your neck become strained and irritated.
- The tension in your neck and shoulder muscles doubles for every 2-3 centimetres when your head is forward. Over time, the neck strain and pressure accumulates to a point when it becomes chronic and even the smallest changes in posture cause significant consequences.
- Sporting injuries
Because neck pain can be an indicator of various illnesses, the osteopath will ask all the special questions such as general health, past medical history, weight loss, bladder and bowel control, quality of appetite and sleep, and medication usage.
Treatment for Neck Pain
Before any action is taken, the osteopath will assess your neck pain, diagnose the problem and help you understand what’s wrong. They will work with you to develop an effective treatment plan that takes into account your lifestyle, leisure activities and general health. Thankfully, osteopathy offers a very effective treatment for neck pain. Typically, your osteopath will recommend the following:
- Postural advice and how to avoid further strain. Indeed, good posture may help. Check if your sitting position at work or at the computer is not poor (that is, your head is not flexed forward with a stooped back). Sit upright.
- A series of spinal mobilizations to restore proper movement to the neck vertebrae
- Massage on tight neck muscles
- Neck exercises to encourage improved movement
- Neck strengthening exercises
- Being active
- Heat/ice therapy to help manage your neck pain
- A contoured firm supporting pillow to help you when sleeping
- Advice on how you can help yourself. For example, you may be shown exercises that you can do between treatment sessions
For further information or to consult with one of our skilled osteopaths, you can use the Contact Us or Appointment Request buttons at the top or bottom of this page,