Neck Pain Treatment
The neck is a complex structure, a coordinated network of muscles, joints, nerves, bones and ligaments. It plays an important role in providing support and mobility of the head. But a weakened or damaged cervical spine can cause neck pain. This may be due to trauma (whiplash / concussions) or more commonly related to lifestyle factors such as stress, poor work ergonomics, or poor posture.
Common Causes Of Neck Pain
Neck pain is a common complaint seen by Osteopaths, the most common neck injury is a neck sprain. One of the joints in the neck becomes inflamed and painful, all the muscles tighten up and reduce rage of movement in the neck. This causes the neck to be tight, stiff and difficult to move. Common causes for neck sprains include:
- Poor posture: with technological advancements we are seeing more people on devices and working from home. More time spent on devices leads to poor posture, we notice shoulders begin to roll forward, back muscles become weaker and our chin begins to protrude forward, causing our neck muscles to become tight but weak.
- Sleeping positions: Sleeping in poor positions (sometimes falling asleep on the couch), or sleeping with our head and neck not supported (pillow to high / low), or stomach sleeping can all contribute to potential neck pain and potentially result in a sprain.
Other Common Causes Of Neck Pain Include:
- Chronic neck pain can range from an achy annoyance to shock-like pain that goes into the arm and becomes debilitating. Neck pain is typically classified as chronic when it persists or regularly recurs for at least 3 months.
- Disc degeneration. In between our spine we have vertebral discs Between each vertebral body is a cushion called an intervertebral disc. Each disc absorbs the stress and acts as shock absorbers in the body during movement and prevents the vertebrae from grinding against one another. As the intervertebral discs lose hydration over time, they also lose height and become less flexible. This degenerative process could cause the disc to become painful and/or nearby nerves to become compressed.
- Osteoarthritis (OA)- When a facet joint’s protective cartilage begins to wear away, bone starts grinding against bone. The joint may grow bone spurs (osteophytes) and become inflamed and painful.
- Herniated disc- When part or all of the disc’s outer layer (annulus fibrosus) tears, jelly-like material from the inner layer (nucleus pulposus) leaks into the outer later. This leaking may cause inflammation and pain. When the tear is large, the inner layer’s inflammatory proteins may leak completely out of the disc and onto a nearby nerve root. This can cause radicular pain down the arm in the distribution of the affected nerve root.
What Can Happen If Pain Is Left Untreated?
Living with neck pain can be debilitating living with a painful stiff and sore neck daily. If left untreated it can affect our quality of life causing difficulty sleeping, difficulty lifting the shopping or kids. Also the longer left without treatment the longer the body can take to heal.
Alleviating Neck Pain With Living Health Group
Living Health Group can help with Osteopathy, Myotherapy, and remedial massage to help relieve surrounding tight muscles and joint restrictions. In conjunction with dry needling, we can further reduce tightness and encourage blood flow to the area to promote healing. Neck pain can strongly benefit from postural stability and strengthening rehabilitation exercises which can be provided by our Osteopaths or Myotherapist to prevent re-injury from occurring. We can also look at lifestyle factors that may be contributing to prevent further injury or reoccurance.