Treatment for Neck Pain in Anchorage, AK

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Causing of Neck Pain
Conditions Causing Neck Pain
Preventing & Avoiding Neck Pain
How to Treat Neck Pain
How Counterstain Cures Neck Pain

What’s Causing My Neck Pain?

The causes of neck pain include pain and inflammation caused by injury, poor posture, sleep position, muscle strains, worn joints, nerve compression, and certain other diseases. In fact, neck pain is so common that it is estimated around 80% of people will experience neck pain in their lifetime and if neck pain lasts for more than 3 months, it is considered chronic neck pain.

Neck pain has another extremely common, two-part combination of causes, although few know about it: this common combination is fascia spasm and inflammation. Fascia spasm and inflammation can occur as part of an injury or condition, or without obvious provocation, and are the likely cause of most people’s neck pain. 

Fascia is the thin coating that wraps around all the separate parts of our body (including veins, arteries, nerves, bones, ligaments, organs, muscles, and more). Nerve endings that tell us we have pain are almost entirely housed in your fascia. Thus, pain in your neck is actually coming from the fascia of a particular part of the neck, for example, fascia of a disc, muscle, nerve, or ligament etc.

Typical treatments for chronic and complex cases of neck pain may not be emphasizing all of the anatomy that needs work.  For example, typical body work may emphasize the fascia around the muscular system (myofascial release).  However, the fascia of other sensitive structures may need to be addressed as well, such as the arteries, veins, nerves, cartilage, viscera and more.  The longer the problem has been present, the more likely multiple parts of your body will benefit from treatment.  This could be some of the reason why neck pain remains chronic for years.  There are few treatments available that will comprehensively seek out and treat all types of fascia in the body.  Fascial Counterstrain is one of those treatments and is a very efficient and powerful approach that will treat all parts of the body and find the hidden causes of pain.  Patients can find relief and avoid further complications like surgery and reliance of opiates. 

If you want to find out more about the various causes of neck pain please contact us.

What Common Conditions Cause Neck Pain?

Whiplash: when your head is quickly whipped from forward and to back like in a car crash or fall.

Osteoarthritis – Sometimes with age, neck joints can wear down 

Muscle strains – can be from long term overuse situations such as poor posture in front of the computer or using smartphones or from a sudden sports injury. 

Herniated Discs (bulging discs).

Bone spurs: Advanced arthritis may develop abnormal bone growth around the moving parts of the neck. This can produce pain and lead to severe motion loss. 

Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the canal where nerves exit the neck bones) can result in neck pain via nerve compression. 

Rare medical conditions: Space occupying lesions such as cancer or cysts may compress nearby tissue and create pain that is difficult to differentiate from other more normal causes.

Long-lived fascia spasm and inflammation can actually lead to the development of several common medical neck conditions for example herniated discs, muscle strains, even local joint degeneration. Not only can long-lived fascia spasm and inflammation lead to such medical conditions, but this spasm and inflammation combination can lead to chronic neck pain even when diagnostic X-rays and MRI tests don’t indicate a problem. 

Neck pain can come from somewhere else in your body! Did you know compensations from injuries not in the neck can lead to neck pain developing over time? For example, the attachments of the ribs and lungs to your spine can transmit tightness and stress up into your neck, which can lead to neck pain. Another example is when a lower back pain problem causes your posture to change away from neutral, this occurs because the spine is trying to avoid painful positions, this postural shift along the spine increase stress up into the neck as the neck very often needs to compensate for the poor spinal posture beneath it leading again to neck pain. In fact, the connectivity of the body means that it is sometimes possible for compensations around foot, ankle or hip issues to eventually lead to developing neck pain. 

Less widely known causes of neck pain include head injuries, eyesight, inner ear, teeth, & gut issues. Although these problems require other health professionals to diagnose and treat, it has been our experience that FCS therapy is helpful and often improves the speed of success of other medical treatments.

If you want to find out more about how fascia and inflammation might be underlying neck pain, please contact us.

Is there anything that I can do to help prevent or avoid neck pain?

Most common neck pain is associated with aging and poor posture. Developing good habits and being aware of what can create neck pain can slow down the wear-and-tear associated with aging and posture. 

Good ways to avoid neck pain include:

  1. Regular stand-and-stretch micro-breaks from your tablet, phone, or computer 
  2. Ensuring your screen is close enough so that you don’t need to lean in to read it 
  3. Good posture when sitting in front of a computer – knees are slightly lower than the hips, the monitor is at eye level, and your arm-rest height is the same as the desk height
  4. Stop smoking – inflammation caused by smoking can sometimes put a strain on the neck through the ligaments that link your lungs to your neck and collar bone.
  5. Sleeping on your back or side: thinner pillows are often better for back-sleepers and pillows that don’t tip the head up or down are good for side-sleepers. There is not a one size fits all approach to pillows and you often need to try several different types to find the one that works.

However, given our modern-day lifestyle it has become increasingly hard to avoid neck pain, particularly if you are already suffering from a condition or injury. In order to help neck pain or stop it from getting any worse, you might be considering drugs, surgery or some form of therapy. If you want to avoid the risks of taking drugs or having surgery, but aren’t sure what therapy treatment is the right option, you end up having a hard time knowing which therapy treatment is right for you.

A good therapy that can fully resolve neck pain is one that can address the whole body – not only the different parts that make up your neck (skin, bones, nerves, lymphatics, veins, arteries, cartilage, ligaments etc.), but also parts of your anatomy that are connected to the neck (such as your lungs).

Fascia (connective tissue that coats all parts of the body) has a central role in pain across the whole body. Thus, by addressing the fascia dysfunction, inflammation, and spasm of a condition, you can help your condition heal and resolve pain. Fascial Counterstrain therapy helps fascia spasm (strain), inflammation and pain in any injured part of the body and thus is a safe bet for being able to resolve neck pain.

If you want to find out more about how Fascial Counterstrain therapy can help you avoid neck pain, please contact us.

How should I treat my neck pain?

It can feel confusing when there are many options for neck pain treatment (physical therapy, surgery, drugs, massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, and many more). Key to picking the right treatment option is understanding what is causing your neck pain. With this in mind, a treatment called Fascial Counterstrain therapy can be a good first option. Fascial Counterstrain therapy helps you avoid drugs, surgery, or resolve chronic neck pain (more than 3 months of pain) that hasn’t responded to other therapies. 

If you’re experiencing chronic neck pain that is not responding to treatment, it may be because 1) a condition or injury hasn’t healed or can’t fully heal; or 2) that the persistent inflammation & spasm created by a condition hasn’t resolved, whether it developed recently or a long time ago.  

Whether you have a diagnosed medical condition or not, the feeling of your neck pain is all coming from nerve endings housed within your body’s fascia. That means that muscle pain, for example, is actually produced within the fascia of the muscle. 

Fascia coats all of our anatomy from head to toe; it interconnects across all parts of the body (skin through to the center of our bones). Fascia is effectively a key part of your body’s ability to sense and protect itself, and responds with pain, spasm, and inflammation when a particular area is threatened or harmed.

When you initially feel neck pain, it is often the result of the protective and automatic reflex of your body responding to a potential threat to the neck or body. Your body responds to threat by causing the sensation of pain and by guarding vulnerable sites by spasming both fascia and muscles. This healthy response can become unhealthy when the spasm and inflammation produced, as part of the natural healing process, gets effectively “stuck” in the fascia and muscles involved in the condition. This situation is a result of a pain-spasm-pain cycle, this is what drives the inflammation to become stuck in your fascia, and it can be very hard to resolve without the right treatment.  

Fascial Counterstrain therapy helps you avoids drugs and surgery because it is a powerful treatment for spasm and stuck inflammation. It can successfully resolve both these and the underlying condition(s). Fascial Counterstrain therapy removes the stressors like inflammation and spasm that have stopped your condition from fully healing. Effects from old and new injuries are both dealt with as inflammation and mechanical stressors are eliminated.

What if you don’t know if your neck pain is coming from a new injury or from the effects of an old injury, or both? Whether your pain is from an injury that is old, new or combination of both Fascial Counterstrain therapy is able to help identify the underlying sources and resolve them. 

Contact us to find out more about how Fascial Counterstrain therapy can help neck pain.

How Counterstrain Works to Relieve Neck Pain

Your body will always try to protect you from injury. It does this naturally with automatic reflexes that warn and guard you against any event that might cause you pain or injury. Part of this natural reflex involves the automatic tightening and spasming of muscles and fascia. Spasming fascia can affect any part of the body, not just muscles. This means that the fascia that lines your nerves, arteries, veins, joint cartilage, lymphatic vessels, bones, organs, and any other part of the body can spasm and sometimes put permanent strain into the neck after injury.

Injury that causes spasming of muscles and fascia triggers inflammation, a fluid that can make you more sensitive to pain. This is a natural protective process that should shut off once the body has healed; however, this process can go wrong when inflammation becomes “stuck” in your fascia. “Stuck” inflammation maintains your pain, it can cause pain to become chronic, and causes your body to stay stuck in a compensation “guarding” pattern that was originally intended to temporarily protect the injury site. 

Fascial Counterstrain therapy is designed to relieve pain by releasing fascia spasm in all parts of the body. This approach triggers the release of the associated “stuck” inflammation, providing long-lasting pain relief. Releasing the causes of inflammation and fascia spasm allows the body to relax and return back to a more properly-functioning, “factory settings” state.

The way Fascial Counterstrain therapy works is by relaxing your body’s fascial tissue using precise and gentle positioning and gentle glides, these positions and glides are chosen based on the presence of particular painful tender points. Tender points are small diagnostic points that when painful indicate the presence of a particular fascia spasm. Tender Points are similar to Trigger Points, but unlike Trigger Points that are located only in muscles, Tender Points can be located anywhere across the body. Moving the body into a position of ease with precise positioning and gentle glides helps the Tender Point and the specific anatomy to relax allowing painful “stuck” inflammation to drain out of the specific fascial tissue in need of help – whether it is nerve tissue, arterial or vein tissue, muscle tissue, etc. This simple solution has profound effects for people with complex physical problems. 

Fascial Counterstrain therapy has three main effects: 1) effectively drains inflammation, 2) resets the reflex triggering the inflammation, and 3) reduces inflammation and tightness, allowing the body to achieve optimal healing & health. These three effects often provide long-term pain relief for most people. The bonus benefit of receiving Fascial Counterstrain therapy is that you get help for the most hidden causes of pain that can reside in any part of the body. 

If you are interested in finding out more about how Fascial Counterstrain therapy works, please call us.

Conditions Treated by Fascial Counterstrain Therapy

Fascial Counterstrain (FCS) therapy is a class-leading, hands-on method for the identification, assessment, and correction of one of the most common sources of pain and dysfunction in the body. It can help resolve chronic pain & inflammation, improve post-surgical outcomes, reduce healing times, reduce wear and tear across joints, & improve tissue health. Fascial Counterstrain therapy can substantially help many conditions, here is a list of a few, if you don’t see your condition ring us to find out if we can help.

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