Neck pain and cervical headaches are usually chronic conditions, primarily caused by the sedentary lifestyle and the stress of everyday life. The symptoms have a gradual onset and then finally become almost permanent, with periods of exacerbation and remissions.
The first goal of physiotherapy is the relief of symptoms. With the use of heat and gentle manual techniques the tension in the soft tissues is released and the normal joint mobility is restored. The result is the reduction of pain and participation in daily activities with greater comfort.
However, our main goal is to address the causal factors that produce the symptoms in order to stop the vicious cycle that perpetuates the problem, ,so that the positive treatment outcome will remain.
The main factors causing the chronicity of symptoms are:
Most people spend several hours a day in the sitting position and usually in front of a screen. The relaxed kyphotic posture brings the head in an asymmetric position of forward projection and strains the neck muscles and joints. The stress accumulates and eventually causes pain and discomfort.
- The breathing pattern
If we take a deep breath spontaneously, we will notice that we lift the chest. Lifting the top of the chest to inhale is done with the auxiliary muscles of respiration located around the neck and produces tightness to the superficial neck muscles and the upper and mid thoracic region.
- Weakness of the shoulder muscles
When the muscles around the shoulders are weak, the neck muscles make an extra effort to stabilize the region and support the arm elevation. This substitution strategy is fatiguing the neck muscles and causes chronic neck pain, especially when performing overhead activities.
During the physiotherapy session we will teach you:
- Ways to reduce the negative impact of prolonged seated position in your spine
- Economical ways of breathing, which improves blood circulation and tissue oxygenation, without straining the neck
- Exercises that will activate the shoulder muscles and relieve the tension in the neck muscles
CONCLUSION: The chronic problems of the cervical spine often start from neighboring areas, such as the shoulders and the thoracic spine. The correct body posture and a relaxed breathing pattern are very important. The holistic approach to chronic neck pain is the key to optimal treatment results.