Massage and Neck Pain

The editors of Institute for Integrative Healthcare (in 7/1/16 edition) found the following when speaking of massage and neck pain. Neck pain is the 4th leading cause of disability in the US and affects 30% of Americans. About half of acute neck pain will resolve on its own. Two common causes of neck pain are: forward head (pain in neck and down the arms) and text-neck. Generally, for every inch the head moves forward from neutral, pressure on neck vertebrae and muscles increases by about 10 pounds. A therapist and patient must strengthen back-of-the-neck muscles and stretch the sternocleidomastoid, scalenes, and splenius capitis. Tilting the head forward for as little as 2-4 hours a day has been shown to cause significant damage which can even result in needing spinal surgery. Both conditions can, and, do cause trigger points. Trigger points in the upper back typically cause neck pain, and trigger points in the neck usually cause headaches. Craniosacral therapy helps because the cranium, vertebrae, and sacrum are all connected. A therapist should only use about 5 grams of pressure, which is the weight of a nickel!

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