Neck Pain



Stress or dysfunction in the neck can also lead to pain or disturbance in your senses. Vision can be disrupted, hearing can be altered, sinuses can be blocked, and smell, taste and swallowing can be compromised. Neck dysfunction is the number one cause of headaches and of course neck pain itself. Neck problems can even lead to internal organ dysfunction because of a certain nerve known as the vagus which can also be compromised in the neck.


It's all in the eyes! 

If you decide to come to see me with neck problems this is what is likely to happen. Firstly, I‘m going to take a look at your posture! This may seem strange, but your eyes always need to be level, so if there are any alterations In your posture because of leg, hip, back or pelvic issues, your neck will be the final place your body will attempt to compensate, in order to keep your eyes level. Problems with how your body is working elsewhere may need to be taken into account when dealing with your neck pain.
Safety first.
My job initially through consultation (asking you important questions about your symptoms) and examination (looking at your posture and assessing how you move) is to rule out any nasty problems. If you have any serious problems rest assured I will find them during the consultation and examination and advise you on the best course of action, whether it’s a visit to the doctor or hospital for more investigations such as x-rays or MRIs, or an important need to rest and recover.



The most common reason for your symptoms is going to be joint or muscle problems. Either or both can contribute to pain in the head, neck, shoulders or arms.

The first thing I’ll do is test how far your neck can move and if it causes any pain, usually while you’re sitting. Then I’ll briefly assess various muscles around your neck to determine their state of tension. After this I’ll ask you to lay on your back, make sure your body is in a comfortable neutral position that won’t aggravate your back or legs, and cover you with a warm towel.

 I’ll then assess the way your joints are moving in your neck, and how the muscles allow them to move. Primarily I will be looking for restrictions in movement. It’s very unusual for a joint to be fully ‘out’ of position and this would usually be accompanied by excruciating pain. Nonetheless restrictions in joint movement can still cause severe discomfort.


No surprises!

If there appears to be a joint restriction, I may consider manipulating the joint in order to regain normal movement. I will always explain carefully to you what needs to happen and why, then obtain your permission to carry out the technique. There are many reasons why a joint manipulation may not be carried out and you can be sure that if you are afraid, in pain or unsure, even after I have explained everything to you, then I will not perform the technique. I will NEVER surprise you by distracting you and carrying out the manipulation.


The heart of the problem... 

Although I often find  joint manipulation very useful in the neck, it’s often only the beginning of treatment. By far the most important reason for your neck pain is muscular. When I manipulate your muscles an extraordinary cascade of events occurs, (see link) which will lead to your improvement.

Important areas I may work on include your chest (pectoral) muscles, the muscles at the base of your skull (sub occipital muscles) particularly for headaches, the top of your shoulders (trapezius muscles), the 'forgotten' muscles in the front of your neck, and possibly into the upper back muscles.


It is important to remember that although your neck pain may have gone on a long time, and even though you may have had treatment before, never underestimate the power of  muscle manipulation with the possible combination of joint manipulation.


Care, understanding and skill are vitally important in dealing with the neck, not least because of the large number of potentially serious conditions that can lead to symptoms of pain and misery. Additionally it’s a very personal area of the body, it’s also very scary when you have pain here so I believe that helping you to fully understand what is going on can take away some of the fear, and aid in resolving the problem.


With this kind of approach most conditions will improve dramatically within 1-6 treatments. See how long will it take?  on the 'Your first visit' page.