3 Common Neck Pain Myths
At Physio Labs we are amazed at how often we hear clients repeat things that have no truth to them.
When a patient comes in that has had neck pain and restricted movement for multiple years and we can show them an improvement with 2-3 weeks it gets them really excited about how we can get them painfree in a relatively short amount of time.
At Physio Labs we are not like other physios!
We pride ourselves on getting you out of pain and fixing you.
We explain the situation and what your problem is, so you get a better understanding of your neck and what we need to do to get you pain free, and keep you there!
We love hearing the surprise of clients coming in saying they “actually feel better” or “this is the best I have felt in years”.
The most common misconceptions I hear every day from people with neck pain are:
I am just “getting old”
People young and old have neck pain.
The short-lived acute pain of an injury provides us with a protective reflex, so we can avoid things that cause tissue damage (e.g. we remove our hand from a hot plate). However, chronic pain does not have the same meaning or purpose. It is not protective and does not indicate ongoing tissue damage or injury.
The older we get, the more opportunities our muscles and fascia have had to learn to stay tight, contracted, and hardened. This is how a decreased proprioception (the body’s ability to know how it is positioned) or what some people call Sensory Motor Amnesia develops. It occurs due to accidents, injuries, surgeries, repetitive use, and emotional stress. If the contracted muscles progress over the years, it will appear that the neck problem is a result of age, when in fact, it is the result of muscular dysfunction left unchecked. There is no substantive evidence to prove that age itself has anything to do with neck problems. There is, however, evidence that a lack of movement can result in tighter muscles and restricted movement.
This can happen at any age, especially in today’s technological world.
UPPER CROSSED SYNDROME
A simplified 2D Example of what happens when the neck isn't functioning correctly
Having neck pain is normal
You shouldn’t have to live with pain.
Acute pain (as discussed above) is caused by damage to a structure, and damage is caused by either
an abnormal force on a normal structure (eg a car crash) or
a normal force on an abnormal structure. (eg. walking on the sides of your feet instead of the soles)
In the second scenario pain is a by-product of incorrect biomechanics whether this be posture, incorrect movement or poor body awareness.
The body is an amazing machine that adapts to its environmental stressors, whether they are good stressors, (eg. building strength, bone density or flexibility) or bad (eg. Flat feet, incorrect posture or overuse injuries).
The good news is the body will adapt when the correct stressors are placed on it.
Arthritis is causing my neck pain
Arthritis, the most common being Osteoarthritis is believed to be caused by mechanical stress on the joint and a low grade inflammatory processes secondary to that.
Mechanical stress is increased if the joint is operating in its non optimal position.
Teaching the body to function in it’s correct (anatomical) position can eliminate/reduce pain and decrease the advancement of osteo arthritis.
Incorrect neck position in hyperextension or "Chin poke" as seen in the picture above