How osteopathy heals neck pain?

Ecrit par Julien Adam

May 11, 2023

May 11, 2023

How osteopathy heals neck pain?

Your neck hurts you. Your pain comes back regularly. You don’t know how to get rid of it.
Many people complain of neck pain, literally pain in the cervical vertebrae. This means the vertebrae in the neck. It can occur in various forms. The causes are many and differ for each person. They can be caused by muscles, ligaments, joints or nerves.
Most often, this is a benign problem but one that can be disabling in everyday life.

Good news! Osteopathy can help to alleviate this problem.

What are the symptoms of cervicalgia?

Cervicalgia is pain in the back of the neck that often interferes with neck movement. But they can be accompanied by many other symptoms:

  • Pain in the shoulders, upper limbs: tension in the neck can compress the nerves causing pain to follow the path of the nerves.
  • Tingling, numbness in the arms, hands: if the pressure on the nerve is greater, the pain may be accompanied by neurological signs. This may be present in particular in the case of cervical hernia. The intervertebral disc degenerates and compresses a nerve root.
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches: from simple tensions to pains that start at the base of the skull and go up to the forehead…
  • Dizziness: muscular tension hinders the blood flow to the inner ear.
  • Concentration and memory problems
  • Sleep disorders…

What are the causes of cervicalgia?

  • Trauma:
    Cervicalgia can appear following a trauma: a fall on the head or not, a shock, a car accident or a fall on the buttocks. The first step is to consult a doctor and do an x-ray to exclude any serious pathology: fracture, cervical sprain, cervical disc hernia.
    Always think about consulting your osteopath in second intention after a trauma. The pain can sometimes appear a few weeks or even a few months later following this accident.
  • Posture :
    Poor posture maintained over a long period of time forces the neck to adapt in order to keep the gaze horizontal: position facing the screen, facing the workstation, position for sleeping… These are all the more damaging as the sedentary nature of our society reduces the strength of the muscles that maintain our posture.
  • Osteoarthritis :
    Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of joints. In this case, the degeneration of the joints of the cervical vertebrae. It is accompanied by inflammation. It is often present in the context of neck pain and increases stiffness. However, there is no systematic correlation between osteoarthritis and the presence and intensity of pain. You can have osteoarthritis without pain and vice versa.
  • Jaw :
    The jaw interferes with posture and neck muscles. Untreated cavities, gum infections, bite problems or recent dental work can throw the jaw joint out of balance and affect the neck.
  • Sight :
    The eye muscles work in conjunction with the muscles at the base of the skull. Any problems with your eyesight have a direct impact on your cervical statics and dynamics. Your osteopath will direct you to the appropriate professional at the end of the session: ophthalmologist, orthoptist, etc.
  • Cold :
    Cold can cause neck pain, especially draughts. The typical example is the person who gets a stiff neck after taking an air-conditioned plane. Known in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a cold wind attack, the air current penetrates the muscles and triggers a very painful contracture in general…
    Be particularly careful with air conditioning.
  • Visceral tension:
    Visceral dysfunction can cause musculoskeletal pain through its ligamentous attachments. For example, stomach dysfunction can lead to cervical blockages as it creates tension on the oesophagus which attaches to the sixth cervical vertebra.

How does osteopathy help to relieve neck pain?

As we have seen, there are many causes of neck pain. Your osteopath’s first task will be to identify the cause or causes of your pain. If there is no trauma, he or she will question you to find out more about your lifestyle: your work, your hobbies, the context in which your pain appears.

In case of unusual symptoms such as fever, your osteopath will refer you for a more thorough medical check-up.


He will then test your whole body to locate the areas of tension.
Your osteopath then carries out the session with the aim of rebalancing your body as a whole.

He will act on the functioning of your cervical vertebrae and also on all the tissues and organs that hinder them through joint, muscle, organ and fascial manipulations near or far from the pain.

The aim is to restore a coherent global functioning of your body which integrates your cervical spine
To speak more specifically:

  • In the context of trauma, the aim of the session is to restore the cranio-sacral axis. Indeed, the cranium and the pelvis work together through the dura mater, the tissue that surrounds the brain and the spinal cord. Any shock or accident disturbs the synchronicity of this functioning.
  • In the case of posture, vision or jaw problems, osteopathic treatment allows the body to regain its ability to adapt. It can then self-regulate these imbalances.
  • In the case of osteoarthritis, the treatment does not of course make it disappear. It reduces the inflammation and relieves the pain.

A few tips to avoid neck pain:

  • Monitor your working posture and change it regularly. Take breaks to walk, move around and stretch a little.
  • Have your eyesight checked by an ophthalmologist if you feel discomfort or regularly if you work on a screen.
  • Protect yourself from air conditioning and cold draughts.
  • Have regular check-ups at the dentist.

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