Neck pain, discomfort and stiffness can be local, but it can also involve the upper back, shoulders and arms and also be the cause of headaches. You may also experience pins and needles/tingling, numbness or weakness in your hand or arm.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends osteopathy for the treatment of non-specific neck pain. This includes neck pain caused by postural issues, neck strain, sports injuries, anxiety and depression (NICE CKS, 2015).
What Causes Neck Pain?
- Lifestyle factors eg. sleeping position, prolonged computer use
- Poor posture
- Mental/emotional issues such as stress, anxiety or depression
- Degeneration in the neck joints (osteoarthritis)
- Disc bulge or narrowing
- Muscle strain
Shoulder pain is usually caused by a problem with the muscles, joints or tendons within the shoulder complex itself, or it can be referred from the neck, upper back or ribs.
Common Causes of Shoulder Pain
- Poor posture or repetitive strain injury
- ‘Frozen’ shoulder
- Rotator cuff injury
- Subacromial Impingement
- Wear and tear (osteoarthritis) of the shoulder joints
- Upper rib or back restrictions
- Muscle strain
An osteopath will not only treat the symptomatic or problem area, but will also address other possible factors that have led to the problem. The aim is to reduce pain and restore the range and quality of movement. An osteopath will also give you advice on lifestyle, posture and exercises to do at home. A complete treatment plan will help to prevent future occurrences and so restore good health.