Surely you have ever suffered from neck pain at some time.
Neck pain is among the top 4 most common causes of pain in the United States along with
● low back pain (28%),
● knee pain (19%),
● headache (16%),
● and neck pain (15%).1
this figure is not surprising given that the cervical spine is one of the most fragile parts of the back, and suffers a lot from the stress of the day.
At MB Massage therapy we are often seeing clients with neck pain and we find that medications may provide only partial relief and can be associated with unwanted effects.
That’s why many individuals turn to complementary health approaches as part of their pain management strategy.
It is far more than just the discomfort of pain.
Many clients realize that the consequences of chronic neck pain influence their capacity to work, engage in recreational and social activities, and, for some, do the most basic everyday activities that people take for granted.
Neck pain, predictably, begins to undermine their mood, leaving them angry, annoyed, nervous, and/or sad.
You know what we’re talking about: muscle tension, stiffness, whiplash on one side of the neck, and lack of mobility that can extend to the arm.
There are even cases where neck pain can be behind dizziness, nausea, and severe headaches.
Neck pain can be the result of abnormalities in the soft tissues, muscles, ligaments, discs, and nerves, as well as in the vertebrae and their joints. The most common cause of cervical pain is soft tissue injuries due to trauma or progressive deterioration.
The section of the spine that supports the neck is referred to as the cervical spine. There are seven cervical vertebrae and their function is to support the head and balance the spine.
It is characterized by being very flexible and allowing greater mobility than any other area of the spine. This is why it is so often the seat of pain.
The reasons for pain can vary, but certain people are indeed more prone to it, such as those who spend a lot of time working in front of a computer or looking at their mobile phone or tablets; and athletes who frequently make rapid movements or suffer physical injury.
The main causes are
● Bad posture when sitting, sleeping, etc.
● Sudden movements.
● Muscle and tendon strains and sprains
● Excessive time in front of screens.
● Sedentary lifestyle.
● Diseases such as osteoarthritis, herniated discs, or degenerative disc disease
› Massage performed on the affected area act as a natural pain killer. It is a widely used treatment for neck pain as it helps to relieve the tension accumulated in the area.
It promotes muscle relaxation and improves cervical mobility.
› At our massage center, we had numerous cases when migraines, headaches, or stiff neck have improved considerably after 3-4 massage sessions.
A study was conducted in the USA at Group Health, a non-profit, integrated healthcare system, where sixty-four patients were randomized to receive up to 10 massages over 10 weeks. They experienced clinically significant improvements in neck pain dysfunction and symptoms. No adverse experiences were reported.
Researchers concluded that massage is safe and delivers clinical benefits for treating chronic neck pain.2
!! Cervical osteoarthritis is a condition involving changes to the bones, discs, and joints of the neck.
These changes are caused by the normal wear and tear of aging. With age, the discs of the cervical spine gradually break down, lose fluid, and become stiffer,
Osteoarthritis may be present in up to half of all neck pain cases in individuals over 50. Men have a higher percentage of disc problems (40%) than women (28%) in cases of neck pain in individuals aged 55-64
› Massage also works very well for this type of disease, let’s see the following study.
Twenty-four volunteers with neck arthritis were treated with 30 minutes of massage therapy weekly for 4 weeks, paired with daily self-massage, in a clinical experiment titled Neck arthritis pain is reduced and range of motion is increased by massage.
Patients reported considerable improvements in pain and range of motion at the end of the session.3
If you have neck pain, acute or chronic, we recommend you go to a professional massage center at least once a week.
Your neck muscles will relax and begin to strengthen little by little.
We highly recommend looking for professional advice as a therapist has seen different cases and has the expertise to advise you according to your situation.
› The advantages of receiving a professional cervical massage are
● Relieve the pain and reduce inflammation in the area.
● Prevents the appearance of deformities in the neck or back.
● Increases the strength of the muscles in the area.
● Relaxes the area where most of the stress accumulates.
● Helps to correct bad posture in the neck and back.
After repeated massage sessions, you should notice a gradual improvement with expert assistance.
Beyond the benefits it has for specific conditions or illnesses, some people enjoy massage because it often produces feelings of care, comfort, and connection.
Let go of any belief that massage is just a way to feel good and pamper or indulge yourself.
Quite the contrary, massage can be a powerful tool to help you take control of your health and well-being, whether you have a specific health condition or are just looking for another way to relieve stress.
1 Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care, and Education (2011). Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention, Care, Education, and Research. National Academies Press (US).
2 Sherman, K. J., Cherkin, D. C., Hawkes, R. J., Miglioretti, D. L., & Deyo, R. A. (2009). Randomized trial of therapeutic massage for chronic neck pain. The Clinical journal of pain, 25(3), 233-238. https://doi.org/10.1097/AJP.0b013e31818b7912 therapy by Field and colleagues.
3 Field, T., Diego, M., Gonzalez, G., & Funk, C. G. (2014). Neck arthritis pain is reduced and the range of motion is increased by massage therapy. Complementary therapies in clinical practice, 20(4), 219–223. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctcp.2014.09.001