Neck pain could be a symptom of poor posture, trauma, muscle strain or abnormalities in the bone or joints. Shoulder pain could signify tendonitis, joint instability or pinched nerves, to name a few possible conditions.
Any pain in these areas is usually a symptom of deeper postural problems or injuries.
PAIN & THE BRAIN
When we suffer from any of the above conditions, we will naturally make compensatory movements to avoid pain. A ‘compensation pattern’ is the body’s plan B for movement, when normal function is restricted.
For example, someone with a stiff neck might hold his or her neck forward to avoid a pinching sensation. This compensatory movement, while avoiding pain, will have its own ripple effect as it redistributes the strain incorrectly on the surrounding muscles and tissues.
With time, compensatory patterns can become ingrained and lead to problems of their own. Whenever we experience back, neck or shoulder injury, we must stay aware of any compensatory movements so we can make a proper recovery.
There are many options for treatment of these injuries, all of which will encourage holistic recovery and proper movement and alignment.
Physiotherapists focus in on the injury and surrounding muscles and formulate exercise plans to target that injury.
Osteopaths work across the ‘whole body’, increasing joint mobility, relieving muscle tension and enhancing blood and nerve supply to tissues.
Chiropractors mainly focus on spinal alignment, and treat pain by manipulating the spine.
Pilates classes with a trained instructor offer low-impact flexibility, strength and endurance movements, for overall wellbeing, postural alignment, strength, balance and mobility.