Do Osteopaths Treat Neck Pain?
Yes, Osteopaths do treat neck pain.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Typically, neck pain is caused by anatomical misalignment of the bones in the neck. The original cause of this misalignment can be trauma, chronic imbalance, shoulder asymmetry, eyestrain or a variety of other causes. Misalignment can irritate nerves resulting in muscle contraction, stiffness and pain. The cause may also be imbalance elsewhere in the body. For example, if the upper back has a pattern of bending to the right, the neck will develop a pattern of bending to the left to compensate.
How Do Osteopath Treat Neck Pain?
Osteopaths look for the root cause of neck pain and correct it. Often this means gently re-aligning the vertebrae in the neck and upper back as well as the ribs. A hallmark of osteopathy is the softness (and yet effectiveness) with which we approach the neck, which may be preferable for some people who avoid having their neck 'cracked.'
What Else Can I Do To Relieve Neck Pain?
Depending on the cause of the irritation, here are some things you can try:
Relaxing The Eyes - The eyes have a direct neural connection to the muscles of the neck (lookup oculocephalogyric reflex for more info). When we focus our eyes, our neck muscles also engage to help us maintain that visual focus. Do this for too long and we feel chronic neck strain. This is why regularly relaxing your eyes can counter certain types of neck strain. You may also find the jaw is involved in this eye-neck-jaw tension pattern, so consciously relaxing your jaw and face can help too.
Keep Breathing Naturally - When focused on a task, we often augment, or restrict our breathing subconsciously. Since the ribs, diaphragm and neck are connected both muscularly and neurologically, holding our breath causes neck tension. Making it a habit to maintain natural breathing while you work and play is an effective way to lower neck tension.
Visit Your Local Osteopath - Of course, when self-remediation techniques do not work, serious relief is just a phone call and a few steps away.
Learn more about Treatment for Neck Pain.