Top 10 Tips For Neck Pain
Neck pain is very common, the busy lifestyles we lead can take its toll on our necks. Some common causes of neck pain can be:
- Poor posture
- Lack of exercise
- Muscle strain
- Trauma e.g. whiplash, sports injury
- Incorrect screen positioning
- Poor sleeping position
At Skelian Chiropractic Clinic in Cheltenham, mechanical neck pain is the second most common problem we see, the first being lower back pain. As chiropractors, we complete a thorough orthopaedic, functional and neurological screening to help diagnose the origin of your neck pain.
Causes Of Mechanical Neck Pain
In most cases, we find there are “stiff” joints in the neck, which limit the movement of your cervical spine (the vertebrae in your neck). Lack of mobility can lead to tight/irritated muscles which develop trigger points. A trigger point is a hypersensitive (very sensitive) area of muscle. This sensitive area of muscle can cause pain locally or refer pain to other areas of the body. Sometimes the referred pain can cause headaches. As chiropractors, once we have found the cause of your neck pain we usually use manual “hands-on” treatment to help your recovery.
Techniques used are typically adjustments of the vertebrae, mobilisation, soft tissue work e.g. massage or fascial release. An “adjustment” is where the chiropractor uses a specific technique to help improve a particular joint’s mobility. If the origin of pain is something that we can not treat, we will refer you to the appropriate health-care professional.
Top tips for people with mechanical neck pain
- See a health professional if you are not sure what is causing your pain.
- We usually recommend putting ICE on your neck to help reduce irritation of the local muscles and joints. Use an ice pack for around 15 minutes, how often you should do this depends on your case, so it is advised that you speak to a health professional and always have the icepack wrapped in a thin cloth.
- Keep gently active. Get up and move away from your TV, laptop and put down your phone. Holding your head in one position for a long time can cause irritation to your neck joints and muscles. If you are at work, try and take regular short breaks.
- Perform regular upper back and neck stretches to help maintain mobility (speak to your chiropractor about specific exercises for your case)
- Correct your work station. Most workplaces offer a scheme to have your workspace assessed and optimally set up to suit you, this is to help reduce poor posture.
- Improve postural muscles. One thing that can help this is training the correct muscles in your mid back to help support your spine and maintain a better position. Muscles that are stronger/have more endurance will help you get through day to day life.
- Massage of the upper back and neck can sometimes help release muscle tension that is built up around the neck, shoulders and upper back. Though usually for a long term improvement, you will need to address the reasons why your muscles get tight.
- Practice regular stress relief techniques to help combat stress-related muscle tension. Some people find that activities such as meditation, yoga or simply going for regular walks outdoors can help manage stress and anxiety.
- If you have to carry a bag on a regular basis, a rucksack is a better option than a single strap or handbag. A rucksack will evenly distribute the load across both shoulders rather than just on one shoulder.
- Check your technique in the gym! It’s fantastic that people want to keep fit and healthy, and at Skelian we encourage everyone to do so. What people sometimes forget or simply don’t know, is the correct technique or the best frequency or repetitions for their work out. Having poor form can cause the wrong muscles to be used, causing strain from overuse or stressing the muscle by making the muscle to perform a job it’s not meant to do
Get In Touch
If you would like more advice or if you need some help with your neck pain, our expert chiropractors are here to answer your questions.
Please call 01242 254000 for advice or to book an appointment at Skelian Chiropractic Clinic.