“No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.” – Frederick Douglass
While it may be metaphorical, neck pain can be easily seen as a chain that keeps us from freedom of movement.
The human neck is an amazing structure. However, it is also susceptible to injury or strain. The very structure that provides its great flexibility also makes it vulnerable. This could be something sudden and traumatic, such as an automobile collision, or long-term strain such as repetitive movement or chronic poor posture.
Most neck pain is the result of unnatural stress on the cervical spine, which can lead to either acute pain or chronic pain. This neck pain can also originate in the soft tissues, joints, and cervical discs in the overall neck region.
Sometimes neck pain extends into one or both of the shoulders and this can impair or limit the function and mobility of the arms and hands. Neck pain can present as a dull, deep pain that worsens with certain movements, or as sharp pains that come and go.
The pain can cause relatively minor stiffness, or be a debilitating sprain, or – in severe cases – extremely painful whiplash or ruptured discs.
For many people and for many instances, a sore neck will resolve itself in time. However, there are situations where the pain does not alleviate and, in fact, can grow worse. Fortunately, experiencing long-term neck pain relief can be achieved with the proper diagnosis and utilizing Active Release Techniques® to lead to a full recovery.
Treating Neck Pain with Active Release Techniques®
Active Release Techniques®, or ART®, is an elite soft-tissue management system developed by Dr. P. Michael Leahy back in 1985. His system is unlike the traditional physical therapy approaches used by most practitioners and has proved to be exceptionally effective for pain relief, including neck pain.
ART® is far from some marginal or questionable treatment approach. It is, in fact, one of the best-known techniques among chiropractors, physical therapists, and other practitioners of bodywork. ART® primarily works by breaking up adhesions and other unhealthy tissues that can occur in your body.
Your unique needs will determine the specific techniques that may be used to provide neck pain relief with ART®.
Neck Pain and Treatment with Active Release Techniques®
As we noted earlier, the human neck is an amazingly versatile and strong structure.
Your neck is composed of 26 muscles that consist of 10 pairs of two muscles each and two sets of three muscles each. It is these muscles that are attached to the various bones of your skull, spine, thoracic cage, and shoulder girdle. In addition, there are seven cervical nerves that make their way through this network of muscles and other soft tissues.
The neck muscles are layered, so during treatment, careful attention by the practitioner is required to isolate them. The Active Release Techniques® allows the therapist to isolate and apply treatment to each individual muscle of the neck through its full range of motion.
ART® is generally performed with a direct contact from the practitioner to the patient’s skin. We use this technique to find the area to be worked on and will either have you actively move your neck and shoulders or passively move those body parts.
While administering the treatment, the therapist maintains tension on the muscle as it slides under the therapist’s fingers. While this treatment can be mildly painful, it also feels like a much-needed stretching that you can’t quite do yourself. Ultimately, the ART® method works by increasing the nervous system’s tolerance to the stretching of these tight muscles.
The entire Active Release Techniques® treatment consists of over 500 specific moves that can be employed and are unique to this therapy technique. These give us the ability to identify and correct the specific problems causing the pinched nerve in your neck and shoulder.
Pain and Performance Solutions, ART® and Neck Pain Relief
Finding relief for chronic neck pain begins with a visit to Pain and Performance Solutions so we can get to know you and your pain issues. Once you arrive for your first appointment, we’ll ask you about your present discomfort as well as any history of discomfort.
After a full examination, we can determine which form of treatment is needed to help you on your road to recovery.
Your body will attempt to compensate for pain, this can allow you to move on with your day. However, your body can also shift that pain around to compensate for your discomfort and this can lead to other forms of pain.
Getting neck pain relief with ART® begins when we understand where your pain started. That could mean it started with a previous injury you might have sustained.
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, so don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any questions that you may have. You can reach us at (707) 636-4404 or by filling out our online contact form.