The neck is made up of seven cervical vertebrae that are bound together with numerous ligaments and supported by many muscles. In between each vertebra is a disc that acts like a cushion and joins the vertebrae together.
Below is a list of conditions that your osteopath can help you with:
This is the most common cause of neck pain. Poor postures while working, watching TV, using a computer, reading a book, talking on the phone with the receiver held against your shoulder and under your chin, sleeping in an awkward position, stress and anxiety can all be responsible for tightening up your neck muscles and causing pain. Muscular problems with the neck will usually respopnd well to soft tissue techniques.
This is where the cartilage that covers the bones like a cushion breaks down and the bones start to rub on each other causing the joints to deteriorate. It can make the affected joints stiff and painful and it is typically worse in the mornings. There will usually be associated muscle tightness around the joints that are affected. Gentle mobilisation of the joints and an increase in blood flow to the area can often help to improve the symptoms.
Disc herniation (or rupture) is relatively rare but can be the source of intense pain and sometimes may require surgery for repair. If the herniation impinges on the nerve as in the picture below, then you will probably experience severe pain down your arm as well as symptoms in your neck. If the disc herniation does not impinge on the nerve then you will probably only have symptoms in your neck, such as pain and restricted movement. Injuries to the neck that cause tiny little tears or cracks to the outer layer of the disc, can contribute towards herniation. Gentle techniques to loosen up the tissues and structures surrounding the herniation can help to relieve the pressure caused by the herniation. If the herniation is severe then your osteopath will refer you to a specialist.
Whiplash is an injury to the neck caused by or related to a sudden distortion of the neck. Whiplash is commonly associated with motor vehicle accidents, usually when the vehicle has been hit in the rear, however, the injury can be sustained in many other ways, including falls from bicycles or horses, or repetitive movements like headbanging. The picture below shows the typical movement of the neck from whiplash. For more detail on whiplash click on the link.
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