Craniosacral Therapy and Neck Pain

– Written by Amber Novak, Craniosacral Therapist in Burlington, VT

Does your neck talk to you everyday? Are you spending more and more time thinking about your neck, massaging it, changing positions to get more comfortable or… cracking your own neck? Yikes! Does the tension or pain seem to be more frequent, more severe, longer lasting?

Neck pain is a problem for many and it can chip away at your life. Making it smaller and smaller as you start avoiding things that you know will cause a flare up. Before you know it, you are very limited and not doing things you used to enjoy because the pain isn’t worth it anymore. I know first hand what it is like. My neck was very sore every day. Old injuries that had healed poorly were compounded by stress and a desk job. Whatever is the cause for you, 7 Wonder Wellness understands the impact neck pain can have on your life and I have tools to help resolve it.

Neck pain can manifest in various forms, from dull aches, to sharp, stabbing sensations. It may be accompanied by stiffness, limited mobility, and even headaches, jaw or facial pain. Sometimes, there is weakness in the shoulder or pain may travel down your ams, or your hands may fall asleep, it can be scary!

If pain is a signal from your body that something is not working correctly, how do you figure out what is wrong? Medical professionals often do not even do a physical exam, before they prescribe drugs. The drugs will make the pain go away, but that doesn’t address the cause. And not hearing the pain signal can cause further harm, as you may be tempted to do more than your injured body can handle. Not to mention the side effects of the drugs may be undesirable.

Common causes of neck pain include:
Poor Posture: Spending long hours hunched over a computer or looking down at your phone can strain the muscles and ligaments in your neck, leading to pain and discomfort.
Muscle Tension: Muscle tension is usually painful. It is the signal that we are most willing to do something about. However, what is causing the muscles to be tight? Emotional stress, misalignment, overuse.
Injuries: Trauma from accidents, sports injuries, or whiplash can damage the structures in the neck, leading to pain and inflammation.
Degenerative Conditions: Arthritis or degenerative disc disease can cause the breakdown of the spinal discs and joints in the neck, resulting in pain and reduced mobility.
Surgeries: permanent changes to structures like diskectomies or spinal fusions change the way joints move and relate to one another. Ligaments, tendons, facia, scar tissue and bones are affected by these surgeries. While it may provide relief short term, often it leads to more rapid degeneration of the surrounding joints and often leads to more surgeries in the future.

Alleviating Neck Pain with Craniosacral Therapy
At 7 Wonder Wellness, I specialize in craniosacral therapy, a gentle hands-on approach that aims to release tension and promote relaxation in the body. Craniosacral therapy focuses on the craniosacral system, which includes the membranes (meninges), bones, fascia and cerebral spinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord.
During a Craniosacral Therapy session, I use subtle, non-invasive techniques to detect and correct imbalances in the craniosacral system. By gently manipulating the bones of the skull, and working with spine, and pelvis, we can help relieve tension and improve the function of the central nervous system, allowing the body to relax and heal naturally.

In addition to Craniosacral Therapy, here are some tips to help alleviate neck pain:
Improve Your Posture: Be mindful of your posture throughout the day, and take frequent breaks to stretch and move around, especially if you work at a desk.
Strengthen your whole back and core: A strong core and back will provide a solid foundation for your neck and head to rest on.
Practice Stress Management: Incorporate stress-reducing activities into your daily routine, such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga, to help relax tense muscles and alleviate neck pain.
Stay Active: Regularly moving your body through all planes of motion will improve flexibility and range of motion which is key to reducing the risk of injury and episodes of pain.
Use Ergonomic Support: Invest in ergonomic furniture and accessories, such as a supportive chair and an adjustable computer monitor, to promote proper posture and reduce strain on your neck. Do not look at your phone for extended periods of time. If you need to do work, use a computer, not your phone.

Neck pain can be a real pain in the neck, but it doesn’t have to control your life. By understanding the causes of neck pain and exploring holistic approaches like Craniosacral Therapy, you can find relief and restore balance to your body and mind.

If you’re struggling with neck pain, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 7 Wonder Wellness. I would be happy to use my expertise to help you on your journey to wellness. Book an appointment today.

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