Local Pain

There are a great variety of conditions which can affect the mechanics of the neck. The most common ones are joints, muscles, discs and ligaments. The neck is the top end of the spine. Quite often there is a problem in another part of the spine which leads to the neck trying to compensate. Although the pain is local in the neck the mechanics of other regions is really to blame in those situations. Many of your neck muscles actually begin much lower down in your shoulders and mid back.

The simplest local issues we see are because neck muscles are being made to do things they are not built for. Such as holding your head in an awkward posture when sitting at your computer. Other more serious injuries can actually create more long standing issues. For example whiplash can cause ligament damage which can leave longer term laxity in them. This will then lead to state of relative instability and the muscles in the neck will tighten to try and compensate. Through appropriate exercise prescription and treatment we can help create stability again. Or for example if a disc begins to degenerate, everytime you move your head there will be a fraction of a millimeter more movement than there should be and your muscles will tighten. A loss of disc height will also lead to more pressure on your neck joints which will then be far more sensitive to both movement and static postures. With a severe disc problem you will feel pain radiating down your arm - but other less severe neck problems can cause this too. Depending on the severity of the issue present, it may take more or less time to take care of the problem. Structural osteopathy is very well equipped to help with such issues.
Abdominal Influences

The upper abdomen can have a large role to play in neck dysfunction. The big breathing muscle which runs along the base of your ribs, when tight, can bend you forward very subtly. This means that you then have to tilt your head back and therefore begin to compress the neck by no fault of its own. Upper digestive problems can also cause diaphragm irritation and lead to neck pain. So the causes can be many, but rest assured - in osteopathy, there is a solution for all of them.

Poor breathing mechanics are the easiest to correct so long as you are willing to participate with doing some exercises for it. The upper digestive system can also irritate even the healthiest of diaphragms. For example reflux, hiatus hernias, or any stomach, gallbladder or liver irritation taking place will lead to diaphragm tightness. In such cases we can relieve the mechanical movement between the organs, but if the original cause for such problems isn't addressed, the results will only be temporary. In cases where dietary advice or a visit to your GP or a specialist are necessary, we will refer you appropriately.

Stress can also be a big influence on diaphragm tightness. There is a big nerve bundle nestled right under the diaphragm. It 'runs' the organs in your upper abdomen - most importantly it 'runs' your adrenal glands. So when you are stressed this nerve bundle gets busy and becomes sensitive. As a result when you breathe, your diaphragm doesn't want to push against it and you take shallower breathes gradually without realising it. In such cases cranial osteopathy can help with easing the effects of stress, but you may also need additional methods of stress relief. We would discuss this with you if needed and help you find an appropriate solution.

All custom content © Epsom Osteopathic Centre 2006 - 2017. If you would like to use any of our content, please to contact us.