The neck is the most mobile part of the spine and as such it is generally the most vulnerable to injury. The most common causes of neck pain are:
The ‘whip’ effect from a car crash or other similar event can damage the muscles, ligaments and tendons of the neck causing stiffness and pain.
Postural pain and stiffness is generally the result of adopting prolonged and unnatural postures that our bodies are not designed for – such as slouching at an office desk all day. Adopting these poor postures means the joints, ligaments, muscles and spinal discs are all put under increased pressure, leading to irritation, pain and discomfort.
Many people have experienced waking up one morning with a painful crick in the neck. Although this can be extremely painful – and somewhat frightening especially if experienced for the first time – these ‘cricks’ are mainly the result of acute muscle spasms in the neck, possibly resulting from a build-up of tension around the joints.
Acute neck pain (such as a ‘cricked neck’) may resolve itself within a few days however receiving osteopathic treatment is likely to speed up the recovery time and enable you to get on with your life.
The more long-standing (chronic) conditions may require a longer treatment plan and additional advice on exercise and posture or workplace set-up etc.
Hands-on treatment will involve massage, stretching and mobilising the tissues and joints of the neck, enabling them to return to optimum health, alignment and function.
Tension headaches (sometime known as cervicogenic headaches) are the most common form of headaches. They are caused by muscular tension around the head, neck and jaw and present as a constant pressure around the skull. Tension headaches can affect everyday life, especially when they increase in frequency and duration.
Tension headaches can affect anyone, although it is common in those with increased stress. Postural factors can also aggravate and trigger an episode and therefore is common in those who spend a lot of time at a computer or desk.
Osteopathy offers a wide range of techniques to reduce the tension in muscle surrounding the head and neck. A mixture of joint mobilization and soft tissue massage is considered the most effective method of relieving pain and preventing return of tension headaches.
Osteopaths can also advise on exercises to facilitate the healing process and reduce the likelihood of the incident re-occuring.