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. Pain in the neck 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 muscles pain as a result of the birth process.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Pain in the neck 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
- Cervical disc herniation is a common cause of neck and upper body pain
Types of Pain
There are different types of neck pain profile, some people have only one type of neck pain while others can have a mix.
Central neuropathic pain
Central pain syndrome is a chronic neuropathic pain disorder caused by damage to the central nervous system. It can occur after a stroke, brain injury, or spinal cord injury. However, it can also be present along with conditions like multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.
Neuropathic neck pain
Stemming from the nerves or nerve roots in the cervical spine, neuropathic pain could result from conditions such as a herniated disc that presses against a nearby nerve, or other causes of nerve compression.
Mechanical neck pain
This pain stems from the spine and its supporting structures (e.g., muscles, ligaments, bones, or cartilage). Typically, mechanical pain is caused by poor posture, neck strain caused by work or sporting/physical activities, and even stress.
- Stiffness (a reduction in movement and flexibility) in the neck area of the body
- 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)
- Limited movement
How Can Osteopathy Treat Neck Pain?
One of the best ways to resolve the 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 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 neck movements and increase resilience to further episodes of neck soreness. 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 pain returning.
Osteopathic Care Helps
Osteopaths use a wide range of manual therapy 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. Contact our neck pain treatment Toronto clinic today to set up your treatment.