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