NECK AND SHOULDER PAIN
Neck and shoulder pain can have a serious impact on the quality of your life. The good news is that, at Omnia, we take treating it just as seriously.
What causes chronic neck and shoulder pain?
Many patients come to us with head, neck and shoulder pain that simply isn't getting better on its own. They often despair at the effect their shoulder pain is having on the quality of their sleep, and as a result, their life in general. Good quality sleep is vital to our well being, our ability to heal and our immune system and we take improving our patients' sleep so seriously, we have written a blog about the Superpower of Sleep! They may have been given painkillers or told to rest it, use heat or TENS, stretch it or strengthen it, but nothing seems to help. They may have been told they have arthritis and will just have to live with it. They may have had a scan confirming a torn muscle in their shoulder and think that the only answer is surgery which they really don't want.
Sometimes it's easier to become resigned to the pain. Does that sound familiar?
One of the reasons that head, neck and shoulder pain is so difficult to get on top of is this:
Your shoulder pain might actually be being caused by a neck problem!
Your neck pain might actually be being caused by a shoulder problem!
Your headache might actually be being caused by a neck problem!
It's a complicated area, and pain around the head, neck and shoulder is commonly misdiagnosed. And if the diagnosis is wrong, it's hard to get the treatment right!
Take shoulder pain for example. You might feel your pain is "over the shoulder" and had a scan confirming that there is a tear in one, or more, of the tendons in your shoulder. BUT one important fact here is that ultrasound scans aren't good at telling a torn muscle from a tendon that is showing the normal, painless, signs of age. The muscles and joints of the neck also send pain to this area but it's easy to think, because of that scan result, that your pain is coming from the torn tendon. It's easy to see how some treatments are destined to fail!
If you are wondering whether your headache is actually coming from your neck, read our blog on these "Cervicogenic" or neck headaches. You will find out how to tell if your head pain is being referred from the neck, and learn some simple exercises to help reduce your pain.
How can physiotherapy help my neck and shoulder pain?
At Omnia, we are very experienced in unpicking situations like this, and love a good challenge!
If you have had a poor experience in the past where you feel your treatment and recovery has missed the mark, make an appointment now with one of our physiotherapists now. We will thoroughly assess your neck and shoulder to find the source of the problem. We are very experienced in treating headaches, neck pain and shoulder pain using a combination of manual therapy (such as joint mobilisations), soft tissue release, acupuncture and home exercises among other things. If we can't help, we will write to your Doctor to explain what we have found, and what we think WILL help.
How can I treat my own neck and shoulder pain?
Here are other some "dos and don'ts" to get you on the road to recovery:
Do your exercises! You may have been given the right exercises by a health professional, but they are doomed to fail if you don't knuckle down and do them! Remember it may take more than 12 weeks to get a weak muscle stronger. If you're worried you're not doing the right exercises (or you're doing the right exercises wrong!), book in for a review with us.
Don't sit or sleep in awkward positions. If you regularly wake up with a sore neck, or your shoulders feel tight after sitting all day, these are the signs that you need to consider changing your habits. Spending too long in one position can overload joints and overload soft tissues causing pain; try to move about more regularly to give yourself a break. The right strengthening exercises to help you support yourself, combined with some hands-on treatment will get you moving again. We have plenty more useful advice about posture, neck stretching and general self-help in our blog pages.
Don't stop everything you are doing! If you're shoulder tendons are causing the problem, resting the muscles that attach to them too much will worsen, not improve, the situation. This is because tendons need strong muscles attached to them so they can function correctly. If the pain is interfering with your ability to use the shoulder, make an appointment with us so we can discuss ways to reduce your pain and get your shoulder function improving again. Physiotherapy has been proven to help people with neck and shoulder pain, and is a recommended treatment by the National Institute for Health Care Excellence.
For more information, download our free guide: How to get control of your neck and shoulder pain, relieve your headaches and regain restful sleep.
If you want to take control of your headache, neck pain or shoulder pain, and reduce your reliance on pain killers, injections or surgery, book an appointment with one of our expert physiotherapists now! Click here to see instantly what appointments are available to book, and get your recovery started!