What are the typical causes of neck pain?
Neck pain can ruin your day and even disrupt your sleep.
And besides that, it is never fun to walk around the office looking like an extra from a Frankenstein movie!
Obviously, there are a variety of reasons why you may be suffering, but there are some particularly common causes.
If you have had an injury or whiplash you will almost certainly be aware of the cause. But other factors such as a poor sleeping position, bad posture (especially at your desk), and pinching a nerve can all cause problems.
More often than not, neck pain will subside in a few weeks. But as part of Osteopathy Awareness Week, we look at how you can use osteopathy to help alleviate the condition and bring you some much-needed relief.
Neck pain – a deeper look at the cause
We have mentioned a few possible triggers for the cause of the pain, and now let’s look at what it is doing structurally.
In most of these instances, the neck isn’t able to move around freely. A restriction in the movement of the upper back and the neck can cause the muscles to become ‘hypertonic’. This simply means that they have become abnormally tight and that they restrict movement and cause pain.
It is also important to rule out other possible causes though. Bear in mind that the condition can also be triggered by a degeneration of the discs, or perhaps an infection, such as a viral infection to the throat.
As always, your first priority is to make sure your condition is correctly diagnosed.
How does osteopathy help?
If you have chronic pain in your neck, the chances are that your skeleton is out of alignment.
Osteopathy is commonly referred to as a manual therapy. The goal is to manipulate the bones and massage the muscles in a way that helps bring them back into alignment.
A qualified and experienced osteopath will use their hands to find areas of weakness and uncover underlying restrictions.
They will use a variety of techniques to help restore normal function. Some of the techniques are gentle, and others are fairly forceful, but they are all part of the process of correcting imbalances.
Often, the problems in your neck will stem from problems lower down the spine. A good osteopath will often help to manipulate various different regions of the spine to address the problem.
One of the key benefits of the treatment is that it helps to decrease the likelihood of the problem re-occurring.
Once your underlying structure and balance have been restored, you will no longer have the underlying imbalances that can set your neck pain off.
The therapy will not only reduce pain, it will also improve your natural movement and help to increase blood flow. All of which helps to restore your feeling of well-being.
You should also be given clear advice on how you can help manage your own condition and will be given tips on specific exercises you can do to aid your recovery.