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neck & back pain

Do you suffer from head and neck pain?

Neck and back pain are the two areas of the body where we all will get soreness at some stage of our lives. The main reason for this is we don’t look after our bodies any more. We carry too much weight, watch too much TV on the couch or spend all day in front of the computer at work.

Neck Back Pain

The main cause for pain in the back and neck is due to poor posture. Because most of our daily duties are forward movements for example typing on the computer, cooking dinner or driving a car, our chest and neck muscles become short and tight pulling the shoulders forward while our upper back muscles become stretched, weak and will eventually fatigue as they try and fight to hold the shoulders and neck back. These posterior muscles eventually develop trigger points, areas of tight muscle that can refer pain, and may cause tension headaches and lead to muscle weakening and fatigue. This same principle applies for the lower back. Our bodies are designed to move. If we don’t ‘oil the body’ so to speak by moving and stretching, we develop imbalances therefore creating weaknesses in some areas and extreme tightness in other areas. Eventually this pulling on the spine will cause inflammation, spasm, stiffness and pain.

These are the most common reasons for back and neck pain but there are many other causes and types.

Examples of neck dysfunction and injury that can cause pain

  • Poor posture
  • Whiplash
  • Wry neck (torticollis)
  • Muscle tension developing into active trigger points
  • Thoracic outlet syndrome
  • Facet joint dysfunction
  • Cervical herniated disc
  • Spinal deformaties (scoliosis)
  • Cervical vertebral fusion
  • Cervical degenerative disc disease
  • Cervical osteoarthritis

Examples of back dysfunction and injuries that cause pain;

  • Poor posture
  • Lumbar hernisated disc
  • Lumbar degenerative disc disease
  • Lumbar osteoarthritis
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Lumbar nerve impingement (sciatica)
  • Degenerative Spondylolisthesis
  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • SIJ (Sacroiliac Joint dysfunction)
  • Lumbar joint and facet sprains
  • Visceral disease (organs can refer pain to areas of lower back)

Treatment for neck and back pain involves decreasing muscle tightness and restoring the body’s natural posture to take the pressure off the skeletal system or bones where the muscles attach.  Relaxing the spasm muscle will alleviate symptoms of aching and pain if not removing them all together depending on the severity on the dysfunction at hand.  Degenerative diseases of the neck and back may require ongoing treatment for pain management.  We may use techniques such as trigger point therapy, myofascial release, tendon releasing and other modalities including dry needling and strapping. We also give important postural advice and exercises to strengthen the body so it has a better chance at coping with day to day stresses.  Once the client knows how to keep the lower back strong they will decrease their chances of re-injuring their back.

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