How does your neck feel? If you’ve been in a car accident, sit at a computer all day or have slept wrong and awoken with intense neck pain, then this article is for you!! Many times neck pain can be caused by any -or all- of these three things: nerve compression, muscle strain or injury, or postural imbalance. A proper diagnosis from a doctor is always recommended.
So how can massage help your neck? Let’s take a quick look...
1. Nerve compression –Nerves don’t like to be pressed…in fact it makes them angry, and they let you know it! Nerve compression or impingement can create pain, numbness, tingling, weakness, loss of range of motion, etc. MPS therapy is a soft tissue therapy, endorsed by the Florida Hospital’s Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Department (see link to study below), which uses low voltage direct current stimulation to relax the muscle and connective tissue. It helps to release the muscles around the spine, allowing the vertebrae to naturally decompress, which relieves the pressure on the nerves. When the spine isn’t compressing the nerve as much and tight muscles aren’t impinging the nerve, the nerve pain subsides. It is a great therapy for 'pinched nerves.'
2. Muscle strain or injury –The key here is to reduce inflammation and promote healthy tissue. Therapies may include ice massage to reduce inflammation, deep tissue massage to improve range of motion and 'flush out' the metabolic waste in the tissue, cranial sacral therapy to gently encourage range of motion, and trigger point therapy which isolates and releases those "knots" in the tissue that refer pain into the neck, back and head.
3. Postural imbalance –Do your sunglasses sit crooked on your ears? Do your clothes fit funny or with a twist? These may be indicators that your posture is off. Many people sit, and even stand, with their head pushed forward. This can lead to tight muscles in the front of the neck that pull and overstretch the muscles in the back, neck and shoulders causing pain in the neck. Structural integration therapy uses a full postural assessment along with other techniques to determine what muscles have developed an unhealthy memory pattern. Then it uses a slow, stripping technique to manually elongate muscles that have shortened. Repatterning exercises are performed to strengthen muscles that have become weak or overstretched. The key is balance so that our bones are stacked evenly, and our muscles and joints can function in a healthy way. Almost always, if there is neck pain, there may be some low back compression as well. It's how our bodies compensate. MPS therapy releases tight muscles around the spine, balances the sacrum (which supports the rest of the spine) and is truly an amazing therapy!
A comprehensive assessment of your unique symptoms is essential in order to create a custom treatment plan that will get you better fast! This is just a brief summary and does not fully entail all therapies and their benefits, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You do NOT need a referral or prescription from your doctor to get a massage; however, you should always see a doctor for severe neck pain before treatment. As always, I’m happy to talk with your physician regarding any pain you may have to see if medical massage might benefit you.
May you be filled today with a peace that passes all understanding.
Thanks for reading!