Waterloo Chiropractor- Self Treatment For Neck Pain.
Kieran Finnegan: Chiropractor, Myotherpaist (SLM) & Sports Massage Therapist.
When it comes to neck pain, its important address the muscles that support the spine, neck & shoulders. Muscles are only healthy & supple when there is sufficient blood supply to the tissue’s which can be restricted by trigger points (TrP’s) & chronic tightness. Things such as stretching, exercises & chiropractic adjustments/spinal manipulation rarely achieve this. I have learnt this through being a chiropractor as well having an estimated 10,000’hours experience & training as a myotherapist & sports massage therapist specialising in treating the muscular system.
Generally when I treat someone who has has seen a ‘standard’ chiropractor, i.e 15 minute treatment with minimal bodywork or muscle therapy prior to seeing me & who have not responded, more often than not it is a chronic muscle problem/TrP’s underlying there symptoms. These people tend to get immediate relief from treatment, but it is often short lived and its usually only a matter of days or weeks before the symptoms return to where they were prior to getting treatment, if this sounds familiar to you, I encourage you to try the techniques below. You also have the option to book into see me personally, so I can provide a hands on muscle & spine treatment not & a more individualised home treatment plan. You can read about my unique approach & how I treat neck pain here.
Its best to do the following once every 2nd day & preferably at night prior to bed to let the muscles completely rest after the treatment, if the muscles are tender from the previous session wait until the tenderness is gone. These techniques should not cause any pain, although they may be uncomfortable on certain area’s. Do not hold a point longer than a minute & come back to area several times if need be. If you find a point that refers pain, causes a muscle to twitch or is particularly uncomfortable keep note of this and make sure to concentrate on this point(s) over the following weeks using, heat prior & afterwards will also be of benefit. All up it these should only take 10-20 minutes.
The above points are only a guideline, experiment & find out what works best for you.
A great tool designed for the whole spine are back balls, you can make these yourself by , such as lacrosse balls or buy them already made. There are plenty of companies making these now but the ones I personally use & recommended are bakballs (firm).
These are a great way to release the most important postural muscles when it comes to most type’s of back & neck pain, namely the These muscles are responsible for holding our spines in a upright position & can get very tense & ‘locked up’. Start as high up as possible just where the neck meets the upper back and slowly work down the entire length of the spine, there may be a couple of points which refer to the head & neck and give a general but intense headache, wait & hold for 30-60 seconds & it should dissipate. You may also hear clicks and pops, especially through the mid back which is just the joints releasing.
The paraspinal muscles are especially important if you also suffer from lower back pain currently or in the past or simultaneously with neck pain as well as instances where lower back pain & neck pain alternate between the the two.
Massage blocks are only something I have come across recently & it is by far the best tool I have found to release the muscles underneath the skull & upper neck (). People who get pain, headaches and/or tension at the base of the skull or headaches that refers directly behind the eye as well as restriction of movement of the neck, particularly in rotation, may benefit from this tool. You can watch a video to get a better idea how to use the Massage Blocks here. Massage Blocks are also a great way to also mobilise the joints of the upper neck.
Unfortunately the company that makes these do not deliver outside of the US & you will have to use a third party service to get them to deliver to Australia, because of this I usually let my clients try these at my office so they can get a better feel for them. I have linked to the site where you can find more information or you can order them from amazon.com.
So far we have covered the important postural muscles of the spine & neck. The final group of muscles that often have TrP’s and involved with neck pain, shoulder pain and headaches are the and . A tool designed to get to these difficult area’s is something called a Body Back Buddy. People with TrP’s in these muscles often suffer from tension headeaches (tight band around forehead), general restriction of neck movements in most directions & shoulders that feel tired and achy at the end a long day sitting at a desk. People who have a history of neck pain where the neck will be suddenly lock up and be extremely painful, pay particular attention to the lavator scapulae as this muscles connects to the shoulder and the as well as the mentioned previously.
The information contained herein is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment in any manner. Always seek the advice of your medical physician prior to commencing treatment outlined in this article.
Kieran offers Chiropractic & Myotherapy (SLM) to Waterloo, Zetland, Moore Park, Redfern & surrounding area’s. Contact Waterloo Chiropractic & Myotherapy today for more information.