Our team of Rochester Osteopaths set the record straight about neck pain
And what do most people do when they have neck pain…either ignore it OR start googling symptoms, treatments and prognosis. STOP. There are so many myths out there about neck pain and what you should or shouldn’t be doing.
We’ve put together a list of the most common myths along with the FACTS.
Fact: During the first few days after the initial injury, avoiding aggravating activities may help to relieve pain. However, being sedentary can in fact increase the pain especially if factors such as your pillow height, “sofa” posture or lying position are the causes. Plus if watching TV is a cause, then lying down and doing exactly that for hours is not going to help your pain at all.
Fact: If you’re GP could not find the cause of your pain that does not mean it’s all in your head. Remember that many GP’s may not be specifically trained to find upper cervical misalignments and indeed many refer to MSK specialists such as Osteopaths.
Fact: If your family are affected by neck pain that does not mean you will necessarily also be affected by it. The majority of neck problems do not have a genetic predisposition.
Fact: It is true that as we age we become more prone to certain types of neck pain. However, with all the treatment options available today, neck pain does not have to be part of the aging process. Working with the right specialist will enable you to establish the type of treatment right for you.
Fact: Of course manual labour workers are more likely to be affected by neck pain, but office based workers are equally just as prone to neck pain. This is due to poor posture, poor desk set up, incorrect chair, not taking breaks, not stretching during the day, incorrect monitor position etc. Plus we are obsessed with our mobiles and overuse of these has a huge impact on neck pain due to the position of our head whilst browsing or talking on the phone. Craning the neck at a 60-degree angle can place 60 pounds of pressure on the spine even though the head only weighs 10-12 pounds on its own.
Fact: Posture is important. If correcting your posture feels unnatural, it usually means that have been changes in vertebrae alignment and soft tissue and your body has become used to being in this position. Once your spine is functioning properly (having seen an Osteopath), good posture should feel natural and comfortable.
Fact: Never ignore your pain. A study performed by Australian researchers revealed that spinal pain (whether in the neck or lower back) increased mortality rate by 13% and that the longer a person has neck or back pain the more the rate increased. We highly recommend getting any pain checked out as soon as possible as this can also help increase your recovery time.
Fact: A high percentage of people with neck pain make a very good recovery with the right treatment and although there may be instances where the issue reoccurs later in life – these instances are not serious. Only a small percentage of people may develop long standing problems later in life.
Fact: Most neck pain is usually a result of mechanical or functional disturbance of the spine – problems that Osteopaths have been treating successfully for over 100 years. The NHS recognises the value of Osteopathy with GPs recommending spinal manipulation and acupuncture and referring patients, however, you do not need a GP referral to visit us and we can start treating you straight away after an initial consultation.