Pain and stiffness in the neck are common among people of all ages and can have a variety of causes. Especially today, as we spend more time on our laptops and mobile phones, our necks tend to grow sore.
Neck pain can be a disabling condition, disrupting your day-to-day life and causing significant discomfort. 50% of the population will experience regular neck pain, however, it is rarely caused by serious conditions. Causes may include long hours looking into a computer, whiplash-associated symptoms, repetitive muscular strains (‘pulled’ muscles), strain of the facet joints in the cervical spine, or accumulation of stress.
It is normal for issues affecting the neck to spread to the shoulders and upper arms, and is often misconstrued as a case of “trapped nerves”. Compressed (or trapped) nerves do occur but tend to appear in older adults, caused by natural degeneration of the spine, or as a result of severe trauma resulting in disc hernias. These are a much rarer events, but with appropriate assessment, manual therapy, lifestyle and exercise advice we can help bring significant relief.
Osteopathy is a highly successful method of treating pain and functional impairment. After taking a thorough case history and examining your body, your osteopath will create a diagnosis and treatment plan. Osteopaths combine massage therapy, joint manipulation, mobilisations and stretching of your muscles to relieve you from your aches, spasms and feelings of stiffness. Your osteopath will also provide you with specific exercises and give you advice for the best posture to adopt at home, in the office or at night during sleep.
• Most neck pain is caused by muscle tension due to static postures, not through injury.
• Neck muscles have to constantly work to hold the neck upright. Long hours of static sitting looking into screens, plus everyday life stresses, can cause excessive muscle tension and pain.
• Neck pain commonly spreads to the shoulder and upper arm. This does not necessarily mean you have a trapped nerve.
• Nerves do not get ‘trapped’ but can become inflamed leading to pain and sensitivity on movement. You may also get tingling and numbness in the arm or hand. Although unpleasant, this does get better.
• Pillows and sleeping position are rarely a cause of neck pain but once your neck hurts you may need to find a pillow that fits your neck shape better.
An in-depth exploration of your problem, how it came about, and how it is affecting your life.
A thorough examination to find out what's wrong and what we can do about it.
An expert, hands-on treatment to get your body working again, tailored to your sensitivities.
Top tips to maximise your body's own healing capacity in the shortest time possible.
In order to re-establish appropriate movement and coordination between your neck and spine, your osteopath will also treat other areas of your body such as your shoulders, upper back, ribs and more. Watch this short explainer video to see how we treat neck pain.
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