Why is Neck Pain Common?
Neck pain is so common these days partly due to our lifestyle habits. We spend a large amount of time looking down at electronic screens in front of us, putting stress and strain on the muscles and joints of the neck. On top of this, life in the 21st century is very stressful. Perhaps not as life-threateningly stressful as it was on the Sahara back in prehistoric times, but we experience a huge amount of micro-stresses on a day to day basis that lead to tension developing in the muscles across the shoulders and the neck.
What Can Cause Neck Pain?
The most common structures in the neck that cause pain to be felt are the muscles and joints. Most patients with neck pain come in with sprains of the joints or strains of the muscles.
Less commonly, patients can be suffering from pain related to trapped nerves or disc issues in the neck. When patients come in with these issues, they often have arm symptoms as well as neck pain, such as tingling, numbness, weakness or just arm pain.
How Does Neck Pain Develop?
Sometimes patients will come in to see us with neck pain that developed after some sort of mechanical trauma. This could either be from a fall or from a car accident.
More commonly however, neck pain can develop for seemingly no reason. In these cases patient’s normally have a history of working at a desk and carrying tension across their shoulders. Over time, this build up of muscular tension will put too much pressure and strain on the neck, and unless something is done about it either through exercise or hands on treatment, the neck will become prone to injury. This can be very concerning and can make patient’s quite anxious as they are scared it is something more serious.
Most of the time neck pain is not serious but the pain levels can still be high. During our initial consultation we take great care to make sure there is nothing more serious going on, and that the treatment can be done in the safest way possible.
How Can Neck Pain Be Treated?
A lot of the time, neck pain can be dramatically reduced by working on areas above and below where the pain actually is. For example, if the pain is at the base of the neck, many times we will work on muscles and joints at the top of the neck and also in the upper back. This will help to take pressure away from the joints in the base of the neck that have become irritated, and patients will walk away after the first session feeling dramatically different.
The specific treatment techniques we use will depend on many factors including the patient’s preferences. There is no one size fits all treatment, but we have a large treatment toolbox to pick from so if you have a preference on the type of treatment we use, just let us know!
Treatment Techniques Used For Neck Pain
Spinal Joint Adjustments
Adjustments are used to reduce stiffness, improve mobility and reduce pain from joints in the spine and neck.
Soft Tissue Release
There are various soft tissue release techniques we use for neck pain depending on which muscles have been affected.
Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Release
As well as hands on soft tissue techniques, we also use instrument assisted soft tissue releases to cause a deeper change in affected muscles.
This video shows one of our favourite ways to improve your upper back mobility, which will help to reduce tension in your shoulders and reduce neck pain.