The neck is comprised of vertebrae, ligaments, nerves, vessels, fascia, many muscles, and more. With so many complex structures, it is no wonder that neck pain is so commonly seen. It may be due to poor posture (sitting at that desk too long), sleeping funny (the awful “kink” in the neck), stress (what’s that?), whiplash, etc. Whatever the cause, neck pain can lead to headaches, tingling down the arms, decreased range of motion, and more.
After being in the massage therapy field for over 12 years, the neck has become one of my favourite areas to treat. One of my most effective techniques is Neuromuscular Therapy (NMT). There are several techniques within NMT but my favourite is called laminar groove stripping. It is a very deep technique that is performed by doing muscle stripping immediately beside the cervical spinous processes of the vertebrae. This is great for chronic whiplash and increasing range of motion. Another fantastic NMT technique is applying pressure on the suboccipitals (the muscles at the base of the skull). This will help get those tight areas of the neck that might be causing headaches.
A thorough neck massage is completed with effleurage and some deep neck stretches. Of course it’s not always easy to book in for a massage right away so it’s important to remember your homecare. Keep up with stretching your neck, pectorals, and shoulders. Applying heat for 20 minutes will also be helpful.