Neck pain is a common problem which, perhaps surprisingly, can result in headaches, migraines, muscle spasms and pain in the arms or shoulders. Compression of nerves in the neck area can cause pain, tingling or numbness all the way down the arms and into the hands and lead to tension headaches. Neck pain can also be caused by poor posture, compromising sleeping positions, work or sports related injuries and trauma such as whiplash from an accident. Babies can also suffer from neck pain as a result of the birth process.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Neck pain can take varying times to heal depending on the cause of the problem.
- Lifestyle factors eg. sleeping position, prolonged computer use
- Postural issues
- Stress, anxiety or depression
- ‘Wear and tear’ to the neck joints (osteoarthritis)
- Disc bulge or prolapse
- Muscle strain
Common Symptoms of Neck Pain
- Stiffness (a reduction in movement and flexibility)
- Tension or pain (particularly in the shoulders and up into the back of the head)
- Muscle spasm
- Sharp pain going down one arm (can be tingling due to an irritated nerve)
How can Osteopathy Help with Neck Pain?
One of the best ways to resolve neck pain is with osteopathy treatment – a corrective manual therapy that encourages boney and muscular alignment of the neck and upper back muscles that become strained from overuse.
An osteopath will do a thorough assessment to work out the cause of your neck pain. If osteopathic treatment is appropriate, it may include soft tissue massage and mobilisation of the neck and spine. The aim is to reduce pain, improve ease of movement and increase resilience to further episodes of neck pain. An osteopath will also give you advice on lifestyle, posture and exercises to do at home. In some instances, you may be referred to your GP for a scan, X-ray or other tests to rule out possible underlying conditions.
The result? You will feel very relaxed, have increased neck and shoulder mobility and you can get on with your life without pain.
Each osteopathic treatment goes beyond relieving neck and shoulder pain. Body & Mind Osteopathy will also show you how to manage your posture and movement habits to help prevent the neck pain returning.
Osteopathic Care Helps
Osteopaths use a wide range of treatment techniques including soft tissue massage to soften muscle tension, gentle stretches and articulation and manipulation of the joints as appropriate. We may also use gentle cranial osteopathic techniques to re-balance the equilibrium or the spine and cranium, to ease the symptoms and return the patient to good health.