Relief from Neck Pain
- 30-50% of adults will experience neck pain during a 12 month period
- 50-85% of which will not recover without help.
- Evidence shows that Chiropractic when used with other therapies (acupuncture, massage, etc) is highly effective in treating neck pain.
With over 50yrs of combined experience amongst our therapists we have looked after 100’s of patients with neck pain.
If you have neck pain please call (02) 9817 6611 to book a free 10 min phone consult to find out if we can help you get better.
At home tips to relieve neck pain
Sitting in a chair, with your right hand grab the side of the chair, lean over to the left as far as you can and tilt your head to the left. You should feel a stretch along the side of your neck and top of your right shoulder. Hold this stretch for 30 sec then do the same for the other side.
Laying on your back, tuck your chin and lift your head up a few inches and hold for 10 seconds. Drop your head back while keeping your chin tucked. Repeat this 5 times.
Neck pain can be due to one problem affecting your neck or several problems. The most effective therapy occurs when we identify these problems and develop strategies to correct them. Common causes of Neck pain include;
- Joint or muscle strain.
- Poor posture – forward head carriage.
- Poor sensitivity to joint movement – joint proprioceptive error.
- Balance problems – dizziness, motion sickness.
Joint/ Muscle strain –
By far the most common cause of neck pain, strain type injuries occur after applying pressure or load to joints and muscles in the neck beyond what they can tolerate, similar to a rolled ankle but for the small joints in your neck. These injuries are very common with;
- Sports injuries
- Sleeping in awkward positions
- Lifting or moving boxes
- Repetitive awkward movements – working at a desk, manual jobs (construction, hospitality, etc).
Chiropractic, massage and acupuncture have been found to aid recovery from strain type injuries.
Research has shown that collisions as slow as 5km/h can cause long lasting changes to your neck. The initial impact causes you neck to over extend backwards and then whip forwards to over flex you neck forward. This causes trauma to the muscles and joints in your neck, creating several areas of inflammation and sources of pain. Long term effects of whiplash include;
- Accelerated formation of osteoarthritis
- A decrease in joint position sense (proprioception)
- A reversal of the natural curve of your neck (arching backwards instead of forwards)
A recent scientific paper has developed several new techniques for improving proprioception in the neck. We make sure our therapeutic approach is up to date.
Osteoarthritis develops when your joints wear out from being under too much pressure for too long. Each spinal segment has several small muscles that travel between each vertebra called spinal intrinsic muscles. They are controlled subconsciously, in that you cannot move them voluntarily. Their job is to;
- Provide stability to the joints during movement
- Help to maintain your posture
- Help you to balance
If the intrinsic spinal muscles become traumatised and fail at their jobs, pressure starts to build up in the joints they should be protecting. This pressure, if not corrected, will overtime cause;
- Muscle tightness in the large muscles attaching to this area.
- Accelerated joint and disc degeneration, aka osteoarthritis.
Poor posture –
Imagine carrying a bowling ball, now imagine carrying it in front of you with your arms straight, it would be a lot harder. Your head is just like the bowling ball in this analogy, the further forward your head goes the more pressure you put on your muscles and joints to maintain that posture. Long term forward head carriage can cause;
- Tension to the suboccipital muscles leading to headaches
- Accelerated formation of osteoarthritis
- Jaw pain
- Rounded shoulders and shoulder pain
Chiropractic, massage and taping techniques can help improve posture.
Joint proprioception errors
Your neck is capable of a high degree of movement and control. Being able to turn your head to look at something requires a huge amount of information to pass between your neck and brain so that you neck activates the correct muscles to move in the direction your brain tells it to.
Joint proprioceptive errors occur after joint trauma, i.e;
- Car accidents
- Poor posture
- Sleeping on the couch
These errors lead to inaccurate information traveling from your neck up to your brain. When your brain sends signals to your neck saying ‘turn that way’ you use the wrong set of muscles because of the inaccurate joint signals. Left uncorrected, this issue has been shown to increase the rate of degeneration in the effected joints and cause neck pain.
Call 9817 6611 to book a 10 min phone consult to find out if this may be the cause of your pain.
Balance problems/ Dizziness –
There is a link between your inner ear sensors and your neck muscles. If your inner ears detect that you are falling or moving in one direction your spinal stabilizing muscles use that information to decide how to best protect your spine and keep you upright.
If you have balance problems or suffer motion sickness it can be due to a sensory mismatch which is where your brain gets confused by conflicting information coming in from your inner ears. Often people with this issue complain of neck pain which occurs because the spinal muscles don’t know what to do with the sensory mismatch from the inner ears, causing the neck muscles to spasm.
Evidence shows that Vestibular Rehabilitation is effective at helping these issues.
Unfortunately, excess stress has become a common part of modern life. Stress causes your body to produce more cortisol which is a hormone that helps your body to handle the stressful event. It promotes the flight/fight response. When we are exposed to constant stress the high level of cortisol can have several negative effects on your body;
- Poor sleep –Difficulty getting to sleep as well as waking up around 3 am and unable to get back to sleep
- Increased flexor tone – Chest and shoulder muscles tighten up rounding your shoulders forward as well as increasing forward head carriage
- Decreased short term memory – High cortisol levels have been associated with atrophy of your hippocampus, the area of your brain responsible for short term memory
- Low energy during the day – Especially in the early afternoon.
Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Massage and Meditation have all been shown to decrease stress levels.
To fix the cause of your neck pain we need to first identify the cause or causes of your pain. From there we develop a treatment strategy tailored specifically to you.
Call (02) 9817 6611 to book a free 10 min phone consult to find out if we can help.