Neck pain is one of the most common complaints that results in patients seeking Osteopathic care. Cause of injury is often a reported traumatic incident, but in other cases, the neck pain is the product of wear and tear from bad posture — especially head forward posture.
The Head, weighing 10-11 lbs. (4.5-5 kg), usually rests above your shoulders. If the head of an adult bends to glance at a computer screen or gaze down at their smartphone / tablet, the muscles in the back of the neck and upper back / shoulders tend to work harder to hold the head straight.
Experts estimate that the head feels around 10 lbs for every inch (2.54 cm) of forward head posture, however even heavier on the muscles that attach the head and neck to the back. To demonstrate what that feels like, pick up and hold a 10-pound object, tight to your chest, like a bowling ball. Keep it up with your arm extended out from your body to notice how much heavier it feels, and the pressure it places on your body to sustain the position, even for just a brief while.
Forward head posture is something the body can manage in the short term, but over time the muscles can get tired and the strain can injure the soft tissue in the back of the neck, shoulders and upper back. Some muscles may get stronger to adapt (and some may atrophy), the shoulders may roll forward, the cervical curve may straighten etc. Researchers have observed that forward head posture, particularly with rotation and forward flexion movements, can also reduce neck mobility. Although these changes may lead to a number of negative health problems, neck pain is perhaps the most obvious and common.
If a patient arrives for Osteopathic neck pain treatment, it is usually appropriate to correct postural defects in order to produce a successful result. This can be achieved through manual therapies to restore proper movement in the affected joints, and through exercises to retrain the muscles that may have become deconditioned.
A patient may also need to learn improved postural practices, especially when communicating and interacting with their electronic devices. While the process may take time, the good news is that forward-head posture can be reduced, which can also reduce the risk of recurrence of neck pain.
If you are struggling with neck pain or any related issues, please book into one of our locations which can be found here https://www.cramosteopaths.co.uk/book-online/