Neck pain is common in people of all ages and is often caused by how we use our necks.
Working all day bent over a computer, driving long distances, poor posture while standing or sitting, stress and tiredness are all factors that can cause the muscles in the neck and upper back to become tight and the joints to become stiff which can contribute to ongoing neck pain.
Sometimes a nerve in your neck can become irritated or “trapped” and cause pain in the arm going down into your shoulder or the hand, and may be accompanied by pins and needles and numbness.
Some headaches can be the result of tension or stiffness in the neck and upper back.
Osteoarthritis or age-related wear and tear in the neck can also cause muscular pain from the neck into the shoulder as well as some stiffness in moving the neck.
How can osteopaths help?
Osteopaths can use a wide range of gentle manipulations depending on your age, fitness and diagnosis to reduce muscular tension in the neck and improve movement in the joints of the neck and upper back. We may gently massage the soft tissues or rhythmically “rock” the joints to release tension and sometimes we may gently manipulate the neck to move the joints and you may hear a “click”
Treatment is different in every individual and sometimes it might involve treating other areas in the back and shoulders as well as the neck.
We may offer advice on your posture at work or in the car and give advice on exercise and stretching to help keep your neck and upper back muscles and joints relaxed.
X-rays, scans and other tests are sometimes required to make adiagnosis and your osteopath may refer to your GP or a specialist for any additional investigations or treatment
Arthritis Research UK