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Pain in the neck

Neck pain is one of the three most frequently reported complaints of the musculoskeletal system.

These days I see countless cases of neck pain. Neck pain that restricts movement and can give headaches. We acupuncturist are unfortunately the last resort for most patients who have tried just about everything to get some relief. Let's say that patient X has been to her doctors, and the doctor either prescribes pain medication or anti inflammatory meds for her. If the problem persists, patient X will return to the doctors for an eventual referral for physiotherapist. The recommended exercises do little to relieve the nagging pain. Soon a succession of costly treatments from chiropractors, massage therapist etc follow before patient X finally gives acupuncture a shot. The acupuncture works but is no miracle cure for stress. Thats why its important to find out more.

Before I treat neck pain I need to know what has caused it? Was it an accident? stress? Long hours sitting in front of a computer screen, arms and neck static? What about mobile use?

So I dig to find out more about the patient and his/her lifestyle before even thinking of using a needle. The interview process is essential for diagnosis and a treatment plan.

These days more and more patients are having neck pain due to overuse of smart phones. You don't need to look far to see that smartphones have taken over our lives. We have stopped looking out the windows of the tram for this ingenious never ending blue screen of entertainment. When we are bored we reach for it, when we are stressed we reach for it and like zombies we sit, with a whole 4-5 kilos of our head slung over, straining those poor neck muscles of ours. We need to look up more!

I treat neck muscles successfully with acupuncture and trigger point or dry needling. I learnt a technique called intramuscular stimulation when I was a student. It is a quick and effective way to treat shortened muscles. I also use a combination of cupping and guasha where needed.

I often offer advice on how to maintain being pain free. Stretching regularly, avoiding using ones phone or at least cutting down its use can all help enormously are just a few of the tips I have suggested to my patients. And of course getting out the blue gloom of a life online for the great outdoors and using our body like it was made to be used.

Now for a walk in the sun I go!

Have a lovely day people!


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