By| September 3, 2011
The neck supports the weight of the head and is vulnerable to huge postural stresses, strains and injuries, so not surprisingly many people suffer from neck discomfort.
Holding your head too far forward or rounding or hunching of the shoulders can cause strain to neck muscles and tension in the upper back due to the weight of your head as well as increasing strain of jaw muscles which reflects tension into the neck.
Causes of neck pain include:
Whiplash, Inappropriate ballistic, jarring or overexerting exercise, Sleeping in an unusual position or sitting at a computer for too long in a non-ergonomic position, Stress, An underlying medical issue.
Neck pain symptoms are often due to inflammation or immobility in the facet joints, that run down either side of the neck (which may include nerve root irritation) or muscular or ligamentous strain. A herniated disc is more severe cause of neck pain which may be the result of damage caused by an impact such as a road traffic accident or increased pressure due to overuse, or simply by the natural ageing process.
Shoulder and arm pain are often symptoms of neck problems. This is because the nerves that supply the shoulder and arm travel through gaps between joints of the neck and can be trapped by them.
During an osteopathic assessment for neck pain you can expect a full medical history to be obtained. Assessment of the muscles, joints and discs of the neck as well as the surrounding areas is undertaken. After this a diagnosis is formed and discussed with you. Referrals for further investigations or other medical practitioners are made when appropriate. Treatment can involve combining different osteopathic techniques such as soft tissue massage, articulation and gentle re-balancing techniques that decrease the mechanical strain placed on the joints and soft tissues. The osteopath’s goal is to facilitate your recovery, reducing any pain and stiffness as quickly as possible.
Osteopaths have a very good understanding of ergonomics. A common cause of neck pain is poor ergonomic set up of your work station. Your osteopath will discuss with you the best techniques in helping you reduce your neck pain at work.
Evidence Based Research Supporting Osteopathy As A Physical Therapy In The Treatment Of Neck Pain. McReynolds, T. M., Sheridan, B. J., (2005), Intramuscular Ketorolac Versus Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment in the Management of Acute Neck Pain in the Emergency Department: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of American Osteopathic Assiciation, Vol. 105, Feb, pp. 57-68
This clinical research shows that osteopathic medicine in an effective alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication in the treatment of acute neck pain.
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