Osteopath for Neck Pain

If you suffer from a pain in your neck (no pun intended) then you might consider visiting an osteopath. Neck pain is very common in office workers and you increase your risk of developing neck pain if you hook your phone under your chin instead of holding it in your hand. Neck pain may also form part of your symptoms if you suffer from fibromyalgia.

Common Causes of Neck Pain

Neck pain is most commonly caused by injury or bad posture. You may strain your neck by using bad posture to sit at your desk, type on your computer or watch the television which causes strain. A common cause of neck strain is due to poor sleep positions and your osteopath may wish to ask you about how many pillows you sleep with and whether your neck pain is worse in the morning (or after naps). Neck injuries most commonly involve whip lash such as that caused during car accidents or falls from horses. However, neck pain can also be caused by problems with the bones in your cervical spine (your upper spine that extends through your neck to the base of your skull) or the nerves that lie within your cervical spine. 

A number of different conditions of the cervical bones could be responsible for your neck pain. Spondylosis is a condition caused by the degeneration of the cervical vertebrae and your risk of developing spondylosis increases with age. Neck pain can also be the results of herniated disks where the disks that sit between the cervical vertebrae become misaligned and place pressure on the nerves that run within your spine. Osteoporosis could affect the bones in your cervical spine and causing accelerated degeneration that could create fractures and subsequently be the cause of your neck pain. Arthritis could also cause you to develop pain in your neck if it you were unfortunate enough to develop inflammation of the joints within your upper spine or neck. Neck pain can also be initiated by an infection within your neck region or due to a nearby tumour.

Diagnosis and Osteopathic Treatment for Neck Pain

Your osteopath may tell you that your neck pain is due to muscle strain. In this case your osteopathic treatment will concentrate on loosening your strained muscles by using local massage and stimulating the blood supply to the area to help remove waste products (such as lactic acid). Strain to your ligaments and tendons will be treated in a similar way but your osteopath may also want to increase the strength in your surrounding neck muscles to try to re-stabilise your neck region.

If your neck pain was initiated by an injury such as a car crash or bad fall, then you will probably find that you are diagnosed with whiplash. Whiplash is a common injury diagnosed and treated by osteopaths. It describes the symptoms that occur when a sudden jolt to your neck strains all the muscles, tendons and ligaments past their point of normal motion. Osteopathy can treat this condition by reducing you pain from the strain in your neck using manipulation (as described above) and by relaxing your body which allows it to recover more efficiently from the trauma that caused the whip lash.

Degeneration of your cervical vertebrae (or injury) could also cause the natural curve in your neck to straighten up (and sometimes even reverse the direction of the curve). This is a condition known as cervical kyphosis and your osteopath will be able to advice you if your diagnosis includes this condition (which may only be a very slight reduction in the curvature of your neck). They will use manipulation and massage of your soft tissue to help to realign your vertebrae and re-stabilise the natural curve in your neck. This will reduce your pain caused by this condition. However, most cervical kyphosis is initiated by an underlying problem such as infection, injury, osteoporosis or other disease or congenital condition.

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