Seeing an Osteopath when you have neck pain
The thing with necks, though, is that your neck can hurt for a lot of reasons. For example, if you have an irritation in your stomach, which you may or may not be aware of, your body will tend to subtly bend forward over it. If your neck didn’t compensate for this, you would end up looking at a downward angle. So your neck does compensate. You will hold the back of your neck tighter, to lift your head again. And you probably won’t be aware you are doing it; but your neck might start to hurt, even though the actual problem is your stomach. Or you might have a low-grade sinus inflection that you aren’t aware of, but the nerves in your upper back that supply the blood vessels that lead up to your sinuses might be. They might be so irritated that they cause all the muscles that they supply to become tighter, which may make the vertebrae in your neck lock up, leading to neck pain.
I could just manipulate your neck, and you would probably feel better for a little while, but the pain might quickly return. And so I will look at things more broadly. I won’t just be interested in what your neck is doing, but will look at your whole body.
Will it work? Nothing is guaranteed in this life, and humans are endlessly complicated. But it nearly always does, and there is scientific research supporting visiting an osteopath to get on top of your neck pain and stiffness. (See references below).
References for seeing an osteopath when you have neck pain:
Bischoffa A, Nürnbergera A, Voigta P, Schwerla F, 2006 Osteopathy alleviates pain in chronic non-specific neck pain: A randomized controlled trial International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine Volume 9, Issue 1, March ,
Cleland JA, Childs JD, McRae M, Palmer JA, Stowell T 2005 Immediate effects of thoracic manipulation in patients with neck pain: a randomized clinical trial Manual Therapy Volume 10, Issue 2, May , Pages 127–135
Fernández-de-las-Peñas C, Palomeque-del-Cerro L, Rodríguez-Blanco C, Gómez-Conesa A, Miangolarra-Page JC 2007 Changes in Neck Pain and Active Range of Motion After a Single Thoracic Spine Manipulation in Subjects Presenting with Mechanical Neck Pain: A Case Series Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 30, Issue 4, May , Pages 312–320
Fryer G, Alvizatos J, Lamaro J 2005 The effect of osteopathic treatment on people with chronic and sub-chronic neck pain: A pilot study International Journal of Osteopathic Medicine Volume 8, Issue 2, June
Haller H, Lauche R, Cramer H, Gass F, Rampp T, Saha F, Dobos G 2012 Craniosacral therapy in chronic neck pain patients–a randomised sham-controlled trial European Journal of Integrative Medicine September; 28-29
Harrison RE, Page JS 2011 Multipractitioner Upledger CranioSacral Therapy: descriptive outcome study 2007-2008. J Altern Complement Med Jan;17(1):13-7
Martínez-Segura R, Fernández-de-las-Peñas C, Ruiz-Sáez M, López-Jiménez C, Rodríguez- Blanco C, 2006 Immediate Effects on Neck Pain and Active Range of Motion After a Single Cervical High-Velocity Low-Amplitude Manipulation in Subjects Presenting with Mechanical Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 29, Issue 7, September , Pages 511–517
McReynolds TM, Sheridan BJ. 2005 Intramuscular ketorolac versus osteopathic manipulative treatment in the management of acute neck pain in the emergency department: a randomized clinical trial. J Am Osteopath Assoc Feb;105(2):57-68