Neck & Back Pain
Aches and pains arising from the neck and back can be a symptom from a wide range of causes. Stiffness and restricted range of movement are the most frequent complaints and is mostly contributed by the lack of activity. Given the ever expanding ‘screen time’ and computer related activities, our bodies have been subjected to prolonged inactivity. The body is an amazing thing and will attempt to adapt to whatever environment and situation it is put it. So, being in front of a screen for many hours of the day over consecutive days/weeks/months, will yield stiffer joints and less resilient less elastic muscle systems. This also reduces blood perfusing in and out of our tissues due to the ever-increasing compression we subject our bodies to (given the downward force of gravity). This build up over time adds to the condition until the body eventually informs you that it can’t deal with it anymore and the pain alarms are set off.
However, neck and back pain may not just be from lifestyle habit, they can also arise from car accidents, falls, traumas/ some sort of injury and is best to have this identified by a healthcare practitioner. Osteopaths & Chiropractors are licensed health care practitioners that assess and treat neck and back pain so contact us if you have a specific condition.
We all have had some kind of sporting injury in our lives or know someone who has. Some heal very well while others may linger around of years because they needed rehabilitation which wasn't properly completed. An important factor to recovering from injuries is to create the optimal environment for the body to deliver the necessary nutrients and materials to the area, removal of the waste products and protecting the region from strain during the process.
This can be aided with treatment. As for those who have a recurrent problem from an older injury, most of the time specific rehabilitation can address the compensation mechanisms driven by the chronic injury. Other times treatment can help you successfully manage the condition.
As we continue to adopt a more sedentary lifestyle, poor posture in the various body positions is becoming more prevalent. There is the classic ‘plumb’ line which dictates that certain anatomical parts of our bodies should be in certain positions to be a good representation of posture. However, nobody looks like a human body model, everyone has slightly or grossly different bodies. Therefore it’s unreasonable to expect everyone to achieve this model posture. Rather, assessment of each person’s structure along with their life habits and tendencies can help to develop a more reasonable goal specific for that individual; which in some cases may greatly vary from the classic ‘plumb’ line. One’s ‘functional neutral’ varies from person to person
As we breathe in our lungs need to expand in our rib cage. In order for this to happen the ribs cage expands and the thoracic diaphragm pushes downwards to further expand the space where the lungs can fill. As we breathe out again the diaphragm moves upwards again facilitating gradual deflation of the lungs and the rib cage reduces in space.
There are instances where this mechanical process is interfered with, causing less than desirable breathing patterns. Posture, injuries, how we use our neck, torso and back, how we sit, our mood etc… all can contribute to altered breathing patterns and can further aggravate conditions such as asthma. Although we don’t claim to ‘cure’ asthma, much can be done to improve the mechanism of breathing and thus reduce the strain on the respiratory system. The majority of the time the, thoracic diaphragm does not contact and relax as it ideally would which can be addressed in treatment. Other times the neck (where the breathing muscles are innervated from) along with the back need to be addressed to help the condition.
Headaches & Migraines
This is simply speaking… pain in the head. But it may not be that simple. There are so many types and from many different sources. The World Health Organisation has a fact sheet on them. Pain medication is not the only way.
Actually it’s not the preferred way of alleviating head pain. Our clinic has had much success with treating migraines to tension type headaches, muscle referred headaches to cervicogenic headaches. What was that last one? This is a type of headache caused by an irritation to a bundle of nerves from C1-C3… the upper third of your neck. And can be treated with various techniques such as soft tissue massage, joint manipulation, stretching amongst others.
This term describes inflammation and irritation arising from a joint. It has been classed as a medical description for many different types of joint conditions. Yet, the most commonly understood arthritic conditions by the public are rheumatoid arthritis which is an autoimmune disease where the body’s own system attacks the joint components, and osteoarthritis which refers to the ‘wear and tear’ of the joint surfaces as the joint is used over time or there has been some physical trauma further accelerating the degenerative process. There are many other types of arthritis however you can mostly benefit from manual therapy for osteoarthritis (and related) conditions.