Neck pain treatment
The osteopathic approach to diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of neck pain begins with your story – getting a detailed history of how your pain has come about, as well as broader aspects of your life that may be contributing or maintaining the pain in your neck.
The neck is a complex structure made up of the vertebrae, joints and discs between them, as well as the surrounding ligaments, fascia and muscles that hold your head above your shoulders.
In order to diagnose your neck pain, not only will we look locally at these structures and tissues but we will also perform an examination that looks at how you move overall, particularly activities that mimic those of your daily living where you may be getting your pain.
Common causes of neck pain include:
- Postural strain: Poor posture, especially if sustained for long periods, for example texting, long hours in front of a computer or slumped in front of the television, can strain the muscles and ligaments in the neck.
- Trauma: often the neck can be injured in car accidents (e.g. whiplash), falls, or blows during contact sport.
- Incidental sudden movements: we all need to move quickly sometimes, but it can occasionally be a cause of strain to the neck muscles and ligaments (e.g. turning the head quickly reversing the car).
- Sleeping posture: sleeping on your stomach or without adequate neck support.
- Disc pathology
These injuries can result in days of acute swelling and pain and long-term tightness. The pain may be felt in the neck, in the head as a headache or down into the shoulder or arm.
Our unique Osteopathy & Functional Rehabilitation approach to neck pain treatment looks at using a combination of both hands on techniques and movement-based therapy. Soft tissue, manipulation, articulation and variations thereof are used to promote tissue healing and improve joint range of motion, not only at the neck but also in other areas of the body (i.e. the mid back, jaw, front of the abdomen, hips etc.) that may be contributing to your pattern of neck pain. Movement based therapy, will further the benefits of hands on treatment, as well as, improve your movement patterns and quality of motion.
Rehabilitation is focused on improving, not only your movement patterns and strength of your neck, but also integrating this with the rest of your body. You may be given particular stretches, breathing exercises and specific movements to assist your overall function. This combined with improving how you perform your daily activities and altering your postural habits will facilitate better function and reduce the likelihood of re-occurrence.