All Posts Tagged: neck pain

Forward Head Posture & Neck Pain in Glasgow & Ayr

Forward Head Posture & Neck Pain in Glasgow & Ayr

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/

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Treatment for neck pain

Treatment that works best for Neck Pain

Experts estimate that up to 70 per cent of people in their lifetime will suffer an episode of neck pain. Although many alternative forms of treatment are available, little has been released in connection with the different treatment options available to patients with neck pain.

A 2012 study involving 272 patients with neck pain compared three treatment options: osteopathy, medicine, and exercise. The patients who received either osteopathic care or exercise training reported the greatest reduction in pain after 12 weeks of treatment. The researchers followed up with the participants for up to a year and found that patients in the osteopathic and exercise groups tended to experience less discomfort than those in the medication group, and these benefits lasted until the study was completed. The researchers concluded that participants from both the group of Osteopathy care and exercise therapy had more than twice the chance of full pain relief relative to the group of patients.

Since the 1980s, quality studies have been published on the short- and medium-term benefits of exercise and manual therapies applied to the cervical spine in patients with neck pain. Nonetheless, the long-term benefits aren’t as well known. In this regard, 191 patients with chronic neck pain followed a 2002 study for two years comparing spinal manipulation (SM) with and without one of two forms of exercises: low-tech (and low-cost) rehabilitative exercises (LTEx) or high-tech MedX (machine-assisted) rehabilitative exercises (HTEx).

The research team randomly assigned one of three therapies for the 191 patients to eleven weeks: SM only; SM + LTEx; or SM + HTEx. At the start of the study, the authors examined the patients, again after five weeks of treatment, and eventually after the completion of the study’s treatment period before 11 weeks. Four, six, twelve, and 24 months later they followed up with the patients.

The results showed that at both one-and two-year time points SM + LTEx and SM + HTEx were both superior to the SM alone. Overall, patients in the SM + LTEx group reported the greatest reduction in pain, and care satisfaction. This result is even more significant, since the care given to the SM + LTEx community costs less than care requiring more costly, specialised equipment.

It is clear that osteopathic treatment requiring stimulation of the spinal cord and/or activation with exercise training provides the best long-term results. Add to that the use of soft tissue treatments such as myofascial release, active release therapy, and different modalities, and osteopathic patients with acute or chronic neck pain are clearly the best choice.

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Neck pain

Osteopathic Neck Pain Care in Glasgow & Ayr

Have you ever had tightness, pain, or stiffness in your neck? With all the time spent using smartphones, tablets, watching TV and working at computer desks, the chances are, you have.

Neck pain is very common due to the complexity, structure and the function our necks undertake. The neck supports your head, which may weigh 10 lbs or more and it moves in several directions. Our heads way roughly 10lbs so, the weigh load is 10lbs provided it is directly over the centre of our shoulders. However, for every inch the head sits forward from centre for example, the weight increases by 10lbs. So, 3 inches forward equals 30lbs of weight strain on the neck. This strain is taken by the spine, discs, joints and nerves. This can cause major neck pain and recurring issues.

These pain symptoms are a sign that something is seriously wrong. Even minor neck stiffness can be an indicator that something is wrong inside your spine and you should Google “Osteopath near me” to seek local professional evaluations from your local Osteopath.

The Cervical Spine

The section of the spine positioned in the neck is comprised of seven bones called vertebrae. These vertebrae protect the spinal cord and nerve roots that exit from the spinal cord. Between the vertebrae are pads of tissue called discs that help cushion the vertebrae as the spine flexes and bends. An injury such as a car accident, whiplash or a bad fall may cause damage to the neck and spinal cords. However, mainly wear and tear from lifestyles i.e. poor posture, lack of movement and exercise, job situation and even emotional stress from bad relationships can cause damage over time.

Injuries and disproportions can cause cervical vertebrae to move out of position or become constrained. Delicate tissues like tendons and ligaments can become inflamed, worn out and exhausted. The cervical discs, which function as cushioning and help with movement, separating and cushioning the cervical vertebrae, can begin to decay and lead to disc bulges or ruptures (herniations) causing neck pains. If the degenerative degradation in the discs continues, this needs to be reversed to avoid additional pain and loss of function.

Ultimately, when we grow older the neck changes. Nerves may become pinched or irritated from misaligned spinal areas or from bulging discs. To cause irritation, it doesn’t take much pressure, just the weight of a coin. There are several age-related changes, also referred to as arthritis, that can occur at the spine. Due to weakening of the muscles or ligaments, the neck can lose its healthy curve, cause degenerating discs, or even develop bone spurs. All of these degenerative changes can cause nerves in the spine and neck to become irritated.

Neck Problem Symptoms

Neck problems can lead to pain symptoms and reduced motion range (normal rotation would cause the chin to be almost parallel to your shoulder). And even seemingly unrelated symptoms can be attributed to neck problems: headaches, inflammation of the sinus and discomfort, ear ringing (tinnitus), and vision disturbances were all associated with dysfunction of the neck. Just as a cavity in the tooth decays long before it reaches the nerve and causes pain, the misaligned vertebrae will irritate the function and damage it before any pain starts.

Keeping and Getting a Healthy Neck

Most people are seeking neck pain remedies such as muscle relaxants, pain killers, or tranquillisers. Such medical treatments should not be the first choice because they only “cover” the pain; they do nothing for the underlying cause which is why the pain returns when you stop taking the pills.

More extreme medical interventions include injections of steroids, or even surgeries that have many risks. Long-term use of drugs can lead to undesirable side effects and damage to internal organs like your liver and kidneys. There are more than 400,000 deaths from improperly prescribed medicines each year.

We are handling arthritis here at Cram Osteopaths with programs that are not just treating the symptoms. The purpose of our initial assessments is to identify and fix the underlying cause.

At Cram Osteopaths practises across Glasgow and Ayr, we will perform a thorough history evaluation and examination, with special attention to the spine and its effect on the nervous system will be carried out. As Osteopaths we are experts in the care of bones, nerves, muscles and connective tissues which make up about 60% of your body.

The conservative Osteopathic approach is to find the source of the neck pain that most frequently dysfunction (subluxation) in the vertebrae, and to repair it to allow the body to heal naturally. Once the dysfunction has been repaired, the spine moves normally and, most importantly, the spinal nerves are no longer irritated or pinched to allow proper nerve flow to the different areas of the body.

Several research studies have shown that Osteopathic treatment is more successful than the other types of medical treatment, also it’s healthier. One study, published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, found that patients receiving Osteopathic care reported significant improvement in neck function and a decrease in neck pain, whereas those just taking pain-killers did not.

If you are suffering from neck pain or are concerned about any symptoms you are suffering, get online and search for “Osteopath near me” or if you live within travelling distance of Glasgow and Ayr, please feel free to visit us at Cram Osteopaths where you can book online here at cramosteopaths.co.uk/book-online

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Neck Pain

Exercise and Posture Training for Neck Pain

Poor posture is extremely common. This may be why thousands of people are Googling an “Osteopath near me” on a regular basis.

If you look around any airport, museum, auditorium or social event, most people are suffering from poor posture. There’s forward head posture, uneven/misaligned heads/shoulders/pelvis-hips and rolled forward shoulders all around us. Many patients shuffle or limp whilst walking as a result of this.

Added strain on various parts of a patient’s anatomy happens as a result of bad or abnormal posture. A result of this can elevate the risk of musculoskeletal pain, including neck pain.

Exercises that can be done from home, can reduce the risk of future episodes of neck pain. These exercises combined with Osteopathic care, can significantly reduce episodes of neck pain, or even stop them from happening at all.

A study that included almost 100 senior patients was undertaken over a six month period, primarily of older adults with a rounding of the mid back and with a bent forward posture. This resulted in findings that a one-hour, three times a week exercise program provided both improved spinal curvature and self-esteem.*

Two groups of young adults with rounded shoulder posture were included in a study that found that shoulder stabilisation and shoulder stretching exercises, resulted in physical benefits in many different ways. This implies that the combination of these exercises may be the best approach to improving posture, strength, balance and flexibility.

Another study showed that scapular stabilization exercises when combined with abdominal bracing exercises, produced greater physical benefits than just scapular stabilization exercise on their own.

It has also been witnessed in a recent  study, that when teenagers incorporate specific neck and shoulder exercises into their physical education, for a 16 week period, their posture improves significantly.

In 2008, the Neck Pain Task Force** suggested exercise for  the management of neck pain, as well as neck pain connected with a whiplash injury. A 2016 literature review published that exercise is also successful for improving grade III whiplash and neck pain. Furthermore, of injury that includes loss of neurological function. One thing that was of note, the review didn’t find any one set of exercises to be more beneficial than another. This suggested that combining several, various exercise routines may be the best advise an Osteopath can give.

Osteopaths are highly skilled in manual therapies, exercise training, and functional assessments – all of which have been found to successfully improve outcomes for patients with persistent neck pain. As with many conditions, treatment of early onset symptoms, yields the best results, so don’t delay in starting your Osteopathic treatment at an Osteopath near you!

*https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5659804/

**https://journals.lww.com/spinejournal/Fulltext/2008/02151/The_Bone_and_Joint_Decade_2000_2010_Task_Force_on.4.aspx

Adapted article, credit: https://chiro-trust.org/neck-pain/exercise-posture-training-neck-pain/

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Forklift Operators Have Higher Risk for Neck Pain.

Swedish researchers report that forklift operators are five times more likely to develop neck pain than office workers. The research team concludes, “This is the first published study showing that forklift operators have an increased risk of neck pain. The results are therefore of significance for improving work schedules, the adjustment of work tasks for these workers and the design of the vehicles.”
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, February 2018

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