Neck Pain and Headaches
Neck pain is common in people of all ages.
At Cannock Osteopaths it is second only to back pain in the symptoms our patients present with. Neck pain can develop gradually with long work hours sat at a computer or driving a car, poor posture, stress or sitting in a draught. It can also develop suddenly after an awkward neck movement or a whiplash injury.Pain can range from a dull ache and tightness to acute pain with decreased neck movement. A lot of neck problems will also cause headaches. If you are experiencing shoulder blade and arm pain or pins and needles, the neck may be the cause. The nerves that supply sensation and power to the arms originate in the neck and can be irritated by disc bulges, cervical ribs or degenerative changes (spondylosis) caused by ageing.
What Are the Symptoms of Neck Pain?
- Decreased neck range of movement
- Arm pain, numbness, pins and needles
What Causes Your Neck Pain?
Non Specific Pain: This is the type of problem that develops slowly and is usually caused by muscle tightness in the shoulder blades and neck. It can result in neck stiffness and headaches. This is the type of pain that develops gradually and could be caused by long hours sat behind a computer, long distance driving, stress, sitting in a draught etc.
Facet Lock: This pain will come on quickly, possibly after a sudden awkward neck movement. It is caused by locking a facet joint in the neck and can cause acute pain with restricted neck movement.
Cervical Spondylosis: With the large range of movement in the neck, joints and discs are prone to wear and tear over the years. The degree of Spondylosis and its onset will be individual, but depend on our working life, choice of sporting activities and inherited genetic factors. It can cause a variety of symptoms that may include pain, stiffness, decreased neck range of movement, dizziness, arm pain or pins and needles.
Whiplash: This describes the rapid forceful movements of the neck backwards and forwards (or occasionally from side to side) which occurs most commonly in road traffic accidents or as a result of an injury or fall. The excessive forces can cause trauma and changes of mobility in the spinal joints, with possible resultant damage to the muscles, tendons, ligaments, discs and nerves in the surrounding area. This causes the characteristic pain and stiffness. Early intervention with appropriate treatment will help speed the recovery from these symptoms.
How Can Osteopathy Help Your Neck Pain?
At Cannock Osteopaths we will first diagnose the cause of your neck problem before deciding on the most appropriate course of treatment. We use a wide range of gentle techniques aimed at reducing muscular tension in the neck and improving movement in your neck and upper back joints. We may gently massage the soft tissues or rhythmically “rock” the joints to release tension and sometimes we may gently manipulate the neck to move the joints.
Treatment is individually tailored depending on your age, fitness and the diagnosis. If we feel that your symptoms are not appropriate for Osteopathic treatment, or related to an underlying condition you will be advised of the most appropriate course of action. On occasions further investigation by x-ray or MRI scan may be necessary.
We will offer you advice on your posture at work or in the car, and give appropriate exercises to help keep your neck and upper back relaxed and flexible. Pain is debilitating whether it is persistent or acute.