Description of Therapy for the neck and shoulderThe neck and shoulder is a very complex area whose dysfunction can also affect other areas.
The sensations you Feel
Ideally, the movement of the head on its different planes should be smooth, and with full range of motion, that is without restriction. Pain in this area tends to be preceeded by tightness and discomfort during movement.
Taking note of the movement that aggravates the discomfort
Unfortunately this area only gets our attention when we start experiencing persistent pain. The fleeting pain incidents we experience with unusual movements don't get our attention since we expect it to "go away". This is actually a hint of a condition starting to develop. The normal development of tightness and then pain in this area is the repeated use of these muscles over a long time. Without stretching and maintenance exercises, these muscles will tighten and start the pain process
Evaluating your Condition
Before I decide on a treatment program for my client, I get a full history of the client's physical condition. This is very important since many pain conditions the client suffers now, could have been initiated many years ago when the sensation experienced was not pain, but just some slight tightness or discomfort. With the neck and shoulder area, the most common historic event that causes major problems later in life, is the rear end accident. This causes whiplash, which is the tightening of the neck muscles to prevent the neck from whipping back completely from impact. If this tightness is not released completely, which is often the case, the residual tightness will build over the years and turn into chonic pain and possibly other related trauma. There is anecdotal evidence that many fibromialgia cases finds its beginning here.
Using an approach that Produces Results
The first goal is to relieve chronic pain. If you have chronic pain, you can be sure you have other lower level pain or discomfort in the vicinity. As you feel less pain while you're stationery, the pain sensations during movement that you didn't notice before will become more apparent. My primary focus will be in finding and treating trigger points on muscles with the highest pain levels. these areas will receive detailed attention and the treatment for each muscle will be adjusted based on its specific condition to maximize and speed the relief process. Typically I will start by softening the superficial tissue which will include the upper and lower trapezius and and rhomboids. Next I will address the splenius, semispinalis and sterno cleidomastoid, and then the deeper scalenes and levators. But this is no cookie cutter massage. Each muscle usually has different levels of tension and it will be treated accordingly. The ultimate goal is to achieve and maintain balance.
Have you noticed how angry you can get when you're in acute pain. It's hard to put on a smile. Well one of the most important benefits of getting pain relief is a more pleasant disposition. It is amazing, the good mood you can be in when you can actually relax and be pain free. But that's only the beginning. Along with pain relief will come muscles that are restored to their softer texture and full length. So when you're driving and backing up or turning, you will turn your head without hesitation and will actually be able to see behind you without discomfort. That comes from an increase in range of motion. Your energy levels will also rise with the improved circulation facilitated by softer tissue. Pressure on nerves and lymphatic vessels will also be released, all contributing to healthier tissue. The neck, shoulder and upper back is a complex and multifunctional region and should be given its deserved attention, more so since it is the gateway to the rest of the body.