“Some people have loved ones they will not forsake, even though they are a pain in the neck.” –  Lewis B. Smedes

Chronic neck pain is not uncommon among American adults and it can lead to other issues such as headaches, shoulder and back pain, and limited functionality.

If you suffer from chronic neck pain, you may have tried a number of treatments to minimize or get rid of it altogether. The good news is that, in most cases, complete relief from that chronic and debilitating neck pain is possible.

According to Spine-Health.com,

“Neck pain is common among adults, but it can occur at any age. In the course of 3 months, about 15% of U.S. adults have neck pain that lasts at least one full day. Neck pain can develop suddenly, such as from an injury, or it may develop slowly over time, such as from years of poor posture or wear and tear.

The pain can usually be alleviated with self-care, such as rest, icing the area, or improving posture. Sometimes medical treatments are needed, such as medication, physical therapy, or injection therapy.”

But, what can you do if these approaches don’t work for you?

Understanding Active Release Technique®

One of the proven ways neck pain can be relieved is through treatment with Active Release Technique®, or ART®. The experts at Pain and Performance Solutions can help to bring you neck pain relief with ART® and all that is required from you is patience, commitment, and some hard work. 

Developed by Dr. P. Michael Leahy in the 1980s, ART® is a highly specialized soft-tissue management system. When Dr. Leahy began to notice that patient’s symptoms were related to changes in their soft tissues, he designed a technique that revolved solely around the patient’s symptoms.

ART® is primarily a soft tissue method focusing on the relief of tissue tension by removing fibrosis and scar tissue adhesions. These abnormal tissues can develop as a result of overload due to repetitive use. This can then lead to muscular weakness, numbness, aching, tingling and burning sensations.

Because of its effectiveness in treating these types of tissue disorders and the subsequent pain that often results, it has become one of the most well-known techniques among chiropractors, physical therapists, and therapeutic bodyworkers.

The success of ART® comes from its ability to break up adhesions and other unhealthy tissues that have formed in the body. A typical scenario involves muscles that are exposed to an unusual amount of stress, such as typing at a keyboard all day. In this situation, the body will adjust to reinforce those muscles by increasing tension and forming collagen fibers.

While these collagen fibers and increased tension may help the body adapt to the specific stress it is being exposed to, these adaptations can eventually prevent proper tissue movement. When that occurs, it can result in a variety of painful conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, for example.

ART® Treatment and Neck Pain

The human neck is a vital and complex portion of the body that comprises several structures including a complicated network of muscle systems.

“Muscles of the neck attach to the skull, hyoid bone, clavicles and the sternum. They bound the two major neck triangles; anterior and posterior.

Anterior triangle is defined by the anterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, inferior edge of the mandible and the midline of the neck. These muscles are grouped as the suprahyoid and infrahyoid muscles depending if they are located superiorly or inferiorly to the hyoid bone. The suprahyoid muscles elevate the hyoid bone, while the infrahyoid muscles depress it. Acting synchronously, both groups facilitate speech and swallowing.

Posterior triangle is bordered by the posterior border of the sternocleidomastoid muscle, anterior border of the trapezius muscle and the superior edge of the middle third of the clavicle. This triangle contains the sternocleidomastoid, trapezius, splenius capitis, levator scapulae, omohyoid, anterior, middle and posterior scalene muscles.”

Treating your chronic neck pain with ART® will start with a series of initial examinations and treatments. The specific ART® treatments that should be used are determined by each patient’s unique needs. The goal, of course, is to eventually achieve complete neck pain relief.

And what do these treatments look like?

“[T]he provider uses his or her hands to evaluate the texture, tightness, and movement of muscles, fascia, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. Abnormal tissues are treated by combining precisely directed tension with very specific patient movements.”

While administering the movement, the therapist maintains tension on the muscle as it slides under the therapist’s fingers. The treatment can be mildly painful, but feels like a much-needed stretching. The result of this technique in an increase in the nervous system’s tolerance to stretching the tight muscle.

ART® has become widely practiced in various settings. For example, ART® therapy is used by hundreds of corporations on-site to treat repetitive strain injuries, and in thousands of therapy clinics around the world. Its growing popularity is due to the proven quick results in treating conditions such as tennis elbow, neck pain, shoulder rotator cuff injuries, and even plantar fasciitis.

Neck Pain Relief and Pain and Performance Solutions

The first step in pain relief is letting us get to know you. When you arrive for your first appointment, we will learn about your present pain experience as well as any history of discomfort. Experiencing relief from neck pain relief through ART® begins when we can understand where your pain started.

Perhaps it actually began much earlier from another injury you might have sustained. A full examination will help us determine which form of treatment is needed to help you on your road to recovery.

Your body will compensate for pain, so it can allow you to function as well as possible throughout your day. But, because your body may shift that pain to compensate for the discomfort, this can lead to other forms of pain. Your trust in us is key, as is your honesty. Ultimately, getting your body working properly and healthy is the only way to achieve total recovery, and that is our goal for you.

We are here to help and will answer any, and all questions that you may have, so don’t hesitate to reach out. You can contact us at (707) 636-4404 or by filling out our online contact form.