The neck serves an important function in supporting your head. With such a heavy load to bear, neck stiffness, neck muscle tightness, and headaches are common conditions osteopathy can treat effectively.
How can Osteopathy help with neck pain?
A strong, flexible neck enables you to perform the essential activities of day-to-day life. Its function is linked to your immune system, your energy levels and overall well-being. Your neck rarely gets a rest from its key responsibilities of supporting your head, brain and protecting your circulatory and nervous system. It’s also a very fragile structure that doesn’t cope well with trauma and is sensitive to stress and poor posture. While neck complaints are common the good news is conditions such as neck stiffness, muscle tightness, and neck pain can be treated effectively with regular stretching and osteopathy.
What can cause neck pain?
Aging: Degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis (the wearing down of joint cartilage) and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spaces in the spine) can lead to neck pain as you age.
Injury: Trauma from sudden forced movement of the neck or head and rebound in the opposite direction (whiplash) can cause pain and soreness.
Mental stress: Tightening your neck muscles due to tension commonly causes neck pain and stiffness.
Physical strain: Overusing your neck muscles during repetitive actions or strenuous activities can lead to stiffness and pain.
Conditions that affect spinal balance: Poor posture (sitting for long periods of time; poor computer/keyboard/chair positioning), being overweight, weak abdominal muscles can all affect spine posture and contribute to neck pain.
What happens when you see an osteopath for back pain?
A first appointment with an osteopath will usually take around 40-50 minutes. Your osteopath will want to talk to you about your neck pain and your health in general, as well as any other treatment you’re having. They’ll probably ask you to remove some clothing so that they can examine you. If you wish, you can ask for a friend or relative to accompany you.
Your osteopath will look at your whole body in relation to your neck pain – they may observe you making some simple movements and stretches. They’ll also feel around your joints, ligaments and tissues with their hands (this is called palpation).
Osteopathy is a gentle, hands on treatment for neck pain. Osteopathy uses a variety of techniques to settle inflammation, restore blood flow and encourage movement back into the joints. We will match the pressure of massage and muscle manipulation to your pain tolerance. Our aim is to get you back on the road to recovery, enjoying the activities you love doing without discomfort. Together we’ll look at your lifestyle factors and identify the potential activities or triggers for your neck pain and work out a comprehensive recovery plan, including appropriate neck exercises you can do at home in between osteopathy appointments.
What to expect after treatment
You may feel a little sore for the first few days after your treatment. If you have any concerns, contact your osteopath for advice. You may need more than one treatment. Your osteopath will assess you at each session and discuss and agree with you any changes needed to your treatment plan.
Manual therapies such as those offered by an osteopath are usually only one part of your treatment for back pain. It’s important that you also follow any advice your osteopath or other healthcare professional gives you on looking after your neck and doing exercises. This will give you the best chance of a quick recovery and will help to stop your neck pain returning.
Call us today to find out more about back pain or to book an appointment at our well established, friendly Osteopathy clinic located in Old Harlow. We are well located and are happy to see patients from any area including Sawbridgeworth, Bishop's Stortford, Epping, Roydon, Nazeing, Broxbourne, North Weald, Loughton, Ongar, Stanstead and beyond.