Neck pain is a common condition. A stiff and painful neck can develop for no obvious reason, perhaps from sleeping or sitting in a draught or following a minor twisting injury. The underlying cause is not fully understood, hence the expression 'non-specific neck pain', which can appear completely normal under an x-ray.
Neck pain can be responsible for headaches, muscle spasms and pain in the shoulders or arms. Pins and needles, pain or numbness may also be felt in the hands if nerves are trapped. Necks can be strained as a result of poor posture, muscle strain, sports injury, injuries sustained at work, trauma such as whiplash or an awkward sleeping position. Even babies can suffer neck strain during birth.
Whiplash results from a sudden movement of the head, damaging the ligaments and tendons in the neck, causing pain, stiffness and a temporary loss of movement in the neck. It can take a long time to heal.
Osteopaths have a range of treatments for pain and poor posture, ranging from massage and manipulation to mobilisation and exercise therapy. We assess the function and quality of neck and joint movement and check the muscle and facial tension in relation to the spine and head. Soft tissue massage reduces muscle tension, followed, where necessary, by articulation and manipulation to release the joints. We also use gentle cranial osteopathic techniques to rebalance the rhythmic function of the spine and cranium.