Neck pain – caused by multiple areas of mechanical dysfunction
This patient presented primarily with neck pain but had other areas of discomfort in her chest, knees and right foot. She had seen an osteopath in Weybridge, Surrey two weeks earlier, where she had two sessions of osteopathic treatment which consisted of having only her neck massaged, articulated and then “cracked”. The rest of her body was not treated. Her neck felt easier after the second session, but it returned a couple of days later feeling much worse than it had done, before visiting the osteopath. The left photograph shows the whole body alignment of this patient after treatment in Weybridge & before treatment at our clinic. The right photograph shows this patient after only ONE treatment at Balance-Rite Osteopathy Clinic. Continue reading for details of how this patient was assessed and treated with our whole body approach.
After a full assessment at Balance-Rite Osteopathy Clinic the following mechanical dysfunctions were found:
- The pelvic girdle was side-shifted to the left, with a rotation to the left. This affects the positioning of the hips, legs and attaching soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, tendons & fascia) as they extend down from the pelvis, causing incorrect tensions in the soft tissues.
- The affects on the lower leg from the pelvic twist and adjoining bones and soft tissues, in this case, was causing the left knee to be hyperextended and sit behind the right knee with the affects continuing down into the feet, with more weight being placed on the right foot. Here both feet were slightly turned out but the left foot was worse, showing from behind, more of the outer part of the foot and none of the inner part (big toe).
- The affects on the bones and soft tissues of the pelvic girdle twisting, also continued upwards, by rotating and side-bending the individual vertebrae of the lumbar and thoracic spine. This caused the shoulder girdle to rotate forward on the right, showing a more prominent shoulder blade on the left. The effect of this was to place unequal tensions through the muscles and soft tissues up into the neck and head.
When you consider the affects of all the twisting in her body, it is easy to see how her symptoms were being caused; it can also be seen that by just focusing and applying a HVT thrust to the painful area in her neck, that this may ease some of the muscle tension in that local area – but it will not alleviate the imbalance in muscle tensions throughout the whole musculo-skeletal framework. Her neck pain was being maintained by adaptations and compensations throughout her whole body and by not treating these, her neck pain was bound to return.
Interestingly, after only her first treatment at Balance-Rite Osteopathy Clinic, where no manipulative thrusts were used at all and no direct work was carried out on her neck, the symptoms of this patient eased and in the photograph showing her after only her first treatment, it is clear to see why. The spine is straighter, the pelvis and shoulder girdles are better aligned and the soft tissues are no longer under asymmetrical strain and tension.
This patient had a total of seven treatments, during which no manipulative thrusts were used. Treatment was not focused on her neck but on the other multiple areas of mechanical dysfunction found throughout her framework, thus reducing the strain on the muscles & tissues of the neck and ultimately her pain.