Are you the same as I was? Suffering with neck pain that has just become a part of you? Has it been there so long that you that you have just started to accept it?
When it comes to neck, we tend to focus purely on neck function and structure and don’t look to see if there are any other factors.
“An active scapular correction exercise resulted in an immediate reduction of pain and pressure pain sensitivity in patients with chronic neck pain”
…. Maybe we should?
We all have our health crisis at times. Yes even I have!
So I thought I’d share my story with you with the hope it may help you.
About 10 years ago I had massive issues with my neck. The pain was relentless. It was the last thing I thought of in my day and the first thing I thought of as I went to bed. This is how it started…
I started playing tennis at a young age. I loved it, it filled my thoughts day and night. Initially everything was great, I never had any issues. Then it happened…
At 16 I noticed that after training and matches my neck would be stiff. I didn’t think much of it and didn’t do anything about it. I thought it would go away and it didn’t. After a couple of weeks, it started to become more prominent and actually start to hurt after training. It got to the point it would even hurt when I wasn’t training.
I was encouraged to see many people. I started with massage, and it worked great… but only for a couple of days. I kept going back because it was the only thing giving me relief at the time. I persevered with this for many months. But things just weren’t changing.
Eventually I had enough and decided to see someone else. By this stage the pain was much worse. It had progressed to the point where I would avoid sessions and matches so it wouldn’t get aggravated. I was at a loss.
I went through countless professionals. It was always the same issue. Temporary relief. They would work on it and work on it but nothing changed, ever! We spent so much cash on this neck and just hadn’t gotten anywhere. I was on the verge of giving up.
I had a mate that was nagging me about this guy he sees. Going on and on about it. He just wouldn’t stop!
Eventually, I hit rock bottom, caved in and gave his guy a try.
Initially I thought he was a bit wacky. Some of the testing seemed strange and different. The big thing I noticed was he was spending a lot of time checking things that had NOTHING to do with my neck, I mean nothing!
He started to check my lower back, my feet and also my shoulders.
In fact he did a whole bunch of shoulder tests. Moving it around and getting me to move my neck at the same time. I remember wondering if I should remind him that it was my neck that hurts.
He put my shoulder in a certain position and asked me to re-create the pain I was getting in my neck. It wasn’t there. I couldn’t believe it! All these years and No one had ever created change like this before.
He spent a heap of time working with my shoulder and identified why it wasn’t working properly.
After a few sessions it was great. I had no neck pain and I was playing tennis again, pain free!
What I learnt early on is that neck function is affected by so many different areas of our body that to limit yourself to just looking at the neck is crazy.
Your shoulder joint practically hangs off the neck. So it be know seems obvious that some changes to the shoulder can affect how the neck works.
Neck pain isn’t always as simple as the neck muscles not working or the bones are out of place. So many different structures effect the neck.
After what happened to me, I’m always on the lookout for these connections and I can see it’s much more common than many people realise.
So, do you want to know why I tell you all this? Would you like to know the simple take home message?
Ok, I’ve listed them simply for you below:
- Treatment you receive should always have a specific goal and time frame around management, without it you can end up in an endless circle of therapy
- A wholistic approach to every circumstance is absolutely essential. Looking at a tree with a magnifying glass doesn’t allow you to see the entire tree and the problems that may be above you
- The neck is a complicated structure – Neck pain can come from many different areas including shoulder dysfunction, fatigue, brainstem changes, jaw problems, lower back problems and many much more. Always ensure the entire structure is assessed not just your neck.
There are some simple tests that we can do here to find out if your shoulder, or other areas are the cause or part of your problem. We have put together a specific neck assessment that helps us evaluate this.
This was my battle with neck pain, there’s nothing worse when you’re in pain and a practitioner shrugs their shoulders and says “you just have a bad neck and we will always need to work on it” or suggests that it’s your fault you’re not getting better.
If you’re finding you have the same issues and you’re bouncing around from place to place without any long term results, then click the message button and let’s have a chat and see if we can get you back to doing what you love, or don’t wait, book an appointment right now online.
Hope my story helps you find the answer to yours.
Thanks for listening,
Dr. Robert Delac