Step one is a proper assessment as neck pain has many causes, ranging from muscle tension to disc prolapses.
On the basis of a detailed history and thorough osteopathic examination your practitioner will establish what is causing the pain, why it has occurred and perhaps most importantly what can be done to alleviate the pain and prevent it coming back.
There are many causes of neck pain. Amongst the most common are tension patterns caused by poor postural habits and minor joint and muscle restrictions that have not released naturally through exercise and rest. These restrictions become established and not uncommonly it is a minor incident such as sleeping awkwardly or lifting that sets off the symptoms – the straw that broke the camel’s back. Of course sometimes the cause is quite clearly from trauma, which can make the diagnosis easier.
It is equally important to identify those cases that are not likely to be helped by osteopathy and need further interventions or even surgery. Kane and Ross osteopaths will make use of x-rays, scans and blood work to identify whether a specialist referral is required or what treatments or activities to avoid.
Certainly most cases of neck pain can be helped if not cured by osteopathic treatment. A range of gentle hands-on techniques are used to release tension patterns and restrictions from very gentle ‘cranial techniques’, positional release, neuromuscular techniques to manipulation where appropriate. It is central to an osteopath’s training that they look at the system as a whole and not just the neck in isolation. This may lead to work being done further down the spine or core stabilising muscles.
Fast effective pain relief may be the first objective but we also want to identify underlying causes, whether that be poor work station set-up, lack of exercise or even the wrong kind of exercise. Once we understand what the causes or contributing factors are, we will work with you to put together a manageable exercise regime – stretching, strengthening and rebalancing muscle function.
So from diagnosis to effective management to prevention our aim is to get you moving and in control, rather than being controlled by neck pain