Neck pain affects people across most age groups, and for many different reasons. Sometimes pain is related to trauma or other clear cause but postural and ergonomic strain also commonly involve the neck and can seemingly create pain for no reason at all.
The neck or cervical spine is a complex region made up of seven vertebrae (bones) with multiple joints and intervertebral discs in between, connecting them all together.
There are many muscles linking these vertebrae to one another, to the skull and to the structures of the trunk below. There is also a complex network of ligaments holding it all together and creating stability, so as I said…complex!
Any of these structures can be injured.
Some of the more common injuries we see are cervical joint irritation, muscular strains and disc injuries like a herniation or prolapse. These everyday injuries can occur as a result of fairly innocuous activities like doing a head check or losing your footing on a step – almost anything that causes a sudden movement in the neck can be associated with pain.
As the spinal cord descends through the neck it gives off several nerves that supply the face, neck and the shoulders. These nerves can be irritated, compressed or entrapped, commonly as a result of disc bulges or degenerative bone changes, and less commonly these sorts of changes may even effect the spinal cord itself.
In this video, Melinda demonstrates a few ways in which osteopathy can aid in alleviating neck pain and restoring movement.
The first treatment technique is simple articulation of the atlanto-occipital joint which is where the base of the skull meets the uppermost cervical vertebra. This technique aims to improve movement within the joint.
The second technique you’re seeing uses active resistance of muscle contractions to help reduce muscle tension in the area and allow the joints to move more freely.
If you’re suffering with neck pain, come see one of our osteopaths at Melbourne Osteohealth. We are highly experienced in helping patients recover well from these types of injuries.