If you suffer from neck pain, tension headaches, shoulder or upper back pain as you sit at your desk for long periods, or as you go about your daily routine then you may find Hugo’s approach and treatment really helpful.
Why do we suffer from neck, shoulder and upper back pain?
The first step to developing strategies for dealing with our pain is to understand the cause.
There can be any number of causes from disc involvement, tumours, Osteo–arthritis, fractures and whiplash to joint inflammation, muscle strains and chronic muscle fatigue.
On assessment Hugo will perform a range of clinical tests to determine what could be the cause and then advise accordingly. This may involve a recommendation of further investigations such as X ray or MRI, in the case of possible fractures or disk involvement, before a treatment plan can be agreed. Or it could be a more straight-forward programme of treatment.
Treating Neck Pain
The most common patient presentation involves muscle and joint loss of mobility. It can cause symptoms such as numbness and tingling into the shoulders and going down to the fingers, regular headaches after sitting at a desk, aching into upper back muscles and shoulders, ringing in ears, dizziness and of course neck pain.
The first question to ask is what are you asking your muscles and joints to do on a daily basis that they may be struggling to cope with?
Often it involves sitting at a desk, or the TV, working on a laptop, bending down looking after small children, driving, cycling and so on.
All these activities involve our arms being forward. This in turn causes our pectoral muscles become shorter bring our shoulders forward.
Our upper back is arched forward stretching our postural muscles in our upper back
Our neck muscles have to hold our head up so we can see the screen
Our lower back muscles have to do more work just to keep us bending forward slightly
And we keep this position for hours on end! It’s like running a marathon every day for months on end for our postural muscles.
No wonder they start to ache!
Then to top it all after a long day some of us choose exercise that makes them have to work even harder. That could be cycling which is similar to sitting at a desk or going to the gym and working on pectoral muscles and biceps.
So our bodies adapt
In order to cope with the daily demands we put on our neck, shoulder and upper back muscles our bodies adapt. And the flexibility in those muscles is reduced so you can maintain that position for hours on end. However there is a cost.
There is a build-up of lactic acid in our postural muscles. This causes inflammation.
With Inflammation our bodies then lay down Collagen as part of the healing process. This in turn reduces mobility
Reduced mobility leads to reduced circulation which in turn leads to fibrotic changes in the muscle and more inflammation
A vicious circle leading to long term pain and stiffness.
However adaptation works both ways
If our bodies can adapt to reduced mobility they can adapt to increased mobility.
Through regular movement and exercise of those muscles you can revise the effects of lack of movement. You just need the right exercises.
Effective treatment Hugo’s Osteopathy practice in Kingston and Surbiton
He will assess your muscle and joint movement not just in your neck but also in surrounding structures such as thoracic and lumber spine, hips and shoulders so he has a complete picture combined with a thorough history of previous injuries and problems as well as what is a typical day for you and what you put your body through. How you sit at your desk, pick up your children , your gym work out or your bike position.
He then combines effective Osteopathy treatment working on joints and muscles using a variety of techniques from articulation, muscles releases, manipulations to trigger point work and medical acupuncture with 3D Functional exercise therapy (developed by the Gray Institute of Applied Functional science).
These specific movements will increase the mobility of specific joints in a pain free and incredibly effective way. Hugo also take the time to explain why the ‘movements’ work so well and why they help.
Personal exercise Videos
To ensure that you can remember just how the movements and exercises are done Hugo (with your permission) will video you doing the exercises then send them to you for you to download and refer to. As a patient you will also have access to an extensive library of therapeutic exercises on his Osteopathy Youtube channel.
Ultimately it will lead you to having the strategies to maintain your new found pain free movement in the long term not just whilst you are seeing Hugo.