Chronic Neck Pain Treatment

Chronic neck pain is a prevalent issue that brings many patients to our clinics, often accompanied by a limited range of motion and headaches that may radiate from the base of the skull to the temple region.

Many attribute their discomfort to “sleeping wrong,” with symptoms typically worsening upon waking. This could be due to increased inflammation during sleep, compounded by the lack of movement, affecting the neck or shoulder areas.

Understanding Chronic Neck Pain

Contrary to common belief, most chronic neck pain sufferers have no structural damage to their spine. The discomfort often stems from the muscles, ligaments, and joints, with more persistent cases possibly linked to arthritis in the facet joints or disc degeneration.

Facet joint dysfunction is a frequent cause, where irritation of these small spinal joints leads to muscle spasm and pain, either from the joint itself, the resulting muscle tension, or both. This irritation can arise from trauma, such as a whiplash injury, sustained awkward positions, or postural issues, often exacerbated by prolonged desk work or poor sitting habits.

Our Approach to Treatment

At our clinics, we employ a multifaceted treatment strategy that includes:

  • Soft Tissue Massage and Joint Mobilisation: To alleviate muscle spasm and improve joint mobility.
  • Dry Needling: Targeting specific trigger points to relieve pain and muscle tension.
  • Exercise Prescription: Focused on fine-tuning muscle activation and promoting correct movement patterns, essential for acute phases and long-term management.

Aim and Desired Outcomes

Our treatment goals are comprehensive, focusing on:

  • Reducing Muscular Spasm: Addressing muscle tension in the neck, shoulders, and shoulder blades to restore movement and function.
  • Enhancing Joint Function: Improving articulation to increase range of motion and prevent movement restrictions.
  • Positively Influencing the Nervous System: To mitigate pain and the associated muscle guarding, thus protecting the body from further injury.
  • Improving Mobility and Function: By identifying and treating stiff and dysfunctional areas, we aim to alleviate compensatory strains that might have led to the initial discomfort.
  • Focusing on Stabilisation and Posture: Similar to core support for the lower back, neck stability is crucial for preventing recurrent issues.

Additional Considerations

It’s important to note that jaw dysfunction can also contribute to neck pain and headaches due to its proximity and interconnectedness with the neck muscles.

How You Can Support Your Neck Health

  • Regular Exercise: Strength and flexibility are key; routine stretching of the neck and shoulders can significantly reduce recurrent pain.
  • Mindful Posture: Especially when seated for extended periods. Adopting an ergonomic setup is vital.
  • Frequent Breaks: Change your position often to relieve joint and muscle tension.
  • Relaxation Techniques: Stress management can play a significant role in reducing muscle tension.
  • Pain Management at Home: Consider self-massage, heat or cold applications, and gentle exercises to manage discomfort.
  • Optimal Sleeping Posture: Aim to sleep with one supportive pillow to maintain a neutral neck position and avoid stomach sleeping.

If you’re grappling with ongoing neck pain or have experienced episodes where movement is severely restricted, consider the above factors. Our Myotherapy treatments are tailored to address the root causes of your discomfort, offering relief and long-term solutions. Contact us to see how we can assist in resolving your neck pain and improving your overall quality of life.