Posts

Osteopathic Management for Acute Neck Pain

Acute neck pain is no picnic! Just about everyone has had that ‘pain in the neck’ at some point in their life. When it happens, it can make life hugely miserable until it goes away. People who experience it often find that it suddenly comes on without warning and can be quite painful for several days. It can be difficult and painful to achieve your usual range of motion, in fact, sometimes it is impossible to move your head even slightly. There are many potential causes of acute neck pain that are related to soft tissue or muscular sprain and to other areas as well.

Some Causes of Acute Neck Pain:

It can happen due to a number of reasons, such as:

  • Whiplash – due to a car accident, for instance, where your body is suddenly jarred,
  • Straining the neck due to over exertion in exercise or because of heavy lifting,
  • A pinched nerve in the neck,
  • Sleeping in an unusual position or sitting at a computer for too long in a non-ergonomic position,
  • Stress, causing you to move in a certain way, tensing your muscles for long periods of time,
  • An underlying medical issue where acute neck pain is a side effect of the issue.

The above isn’t an exhaustive list of reasons for sudden onset of neck pain but gives you an idea of the fact that many issues could be causing neck pain. Sometimes, the pain goes away on its own after a day or two. Other times it lasts longer.

Many things could help, such as pain relievers, muscle relaxers, muscle rubs or sprays, hot or cold compresses, and perhaps sometimes, even a neck brace. An osteopath could also help you by treating you and making recommendations to help your neck heal more speedily and more completely.

Should You See an Osteopath About Your Acute Neck Pain?

Osteopathic medicine can be a big help for those suffering from neck pain or other musculoskeletal issues. Osteopathic treatment can be done both reactively and proactively for overall health and well-being. Many osteopath patients benefit from soft tissue massage, gentle mobilisation movements and manipulation that can help heal you faster from the pain and limitation of acute neck pain. Your osteopath can also make recommendations for exercise and good ergonomics as well as coping with stress that can help you to minimise future neck, shoulder and back pain problems.

If you’re in need of advice from a Sydney osteopath, contact the team from Sydney Osteopathic Medicine. Our Osteopaths have extensive experience in the treatment of acute neck pain.

Pain Referred From Your Neck

Sometimes, neck pain can refer to other parts of the body, most frequently to the head, shoulders, between the shoulder blades & behind the eyes. Referred neck pain is, indeed, a common cause of headaches. This pain is directly caused mechanical changes to the neck.

Neck pain with radicular symptoms down the arm is where a nerve is pinched. Pinched nerves can cause pain, stiffness, numbness, and general weakness into the arm. Some people find that untreated, the pain can last for months and can result in loss of function in the arm and then often lead to secondary problems due to the pain and associated tension (when we tense our shoulders repeatedly in pain it impacts our shoulders, arms, neck, back, and even our legs!) When you’re in constant pain, it impacts every facet of your life. You don’t have to suffer through it. There are treatment options for pain referred from the neck, due either to a pinched nerve or mechanical strain patterns.

How do you pinch your nerves?

There are many potential causes of pinched nerves in the neck, such as: arthritis, herniated disc, bone spurs, acute injury, muscle spasm and other problems. Pinched nerves in this area could cause pain and discomfort in other areas distant to the neck itself. Those who suffer from pinched neck nerves often have resulting symptoms in their arms and shoulders.

Pinched nerves may be diagnosed through general physical examination and via running tests to identify and rule out specific issues as well. You might need an X-Ray, CT, MRI, and an EMG electrical measurement test.

What Pinched Nerve Neck Pain Treatment Options are Available?

At times, a pinched nerve will work itself out on its own. Resting, applying ice, and neck braces may be used to isolate the area in the acute stage. Use caution even if you begin to feel better on your own as many people start resuming normal activities to soon and have a relapse.

Anti-inflammatory and pain killers may be recommended. Treatment, such as osteopathic physical therapy would be highly recommended. osteopathic treatment for this will aim to release muscular spasm and ease joint movement to take the pressure off the irritated nerve. Osteopathic treatments would include such as approaches spinal mobilisation or manipulation, nerve mobilisation and soft tissue approaches to relieve the pain and ease the pressure off the irritated area. In some cases surgery is required if the condition worsens or does not improve. Your Osteopathic medicine provider can help you explore all options.

The osteopaths at Sydney Osteopathic Medicine are experts in manual medicine and experts in the treatment for neck pain. If you are having problems with your neck, give us a call at our Sydney CBD practice on 9233 2788.