Neck pain and stiffness is such a common condition in clinic. We have all experienced some form of discomfort in this area, whether it be from a poor nights sleep, direct trauma such as a sporting injury or whiplash, long hours driving or extended time on the computer – so many conditions can affect this area of the body.
Neck pain is often accompanied by stiffness and limited range of motion, which is incredibly uncomfortable as it can effect so many areas of our life. Driving can become hard, lifting things or looking up can go from easy day-to-day movements to painful and limiting actions.
One of the most commonly involved muscles is the Medial Scalene (pictured above). This tiny little muscle on the side of your neck is often the reason behind your neck pain ~ when it tightens you can experience painful, stiff and restricted movement of the neck and it often significantly contributes to tension headaches.
When I release this muscle in my sessions, people often feel they can breathe deeper ~ as you can see in the imagine the medial scalene attaches to the first rib so any tightening or shortening can also affect our depth of breath!
My treatment of neck pain includes a thorough manual assessment where I assess movement and strength of your neck and shoulder muscles, in addition to palpating for any tender areas. From here, specific acupuncture will be applied, often accompanied with a gentle electrical pulse into the belly of the muscle to help ease any tension. Therapeutic Infra-red heat will also be used to soothe the area, as well as soft tissue work such as cupping or massage.
Depending on the chronicity of your condition, I usually find 3-6 treatments are the most common treatment plans for neck pain ~ some people may need less or slightly more sessions depending on your own unique presentation.