Today’s topic is a very common area of concern for many people, the neck. The function of the neck is to balance the head over our shoulders but too many time’s our daily routine stops that from happening. Overall body alignment starts with proper head positioning so let’s explore why it is so important and when thing’s go wrong what we can do to correct the problem.
The cranium and spine protect the brain and spinal cord so any misalignment with these two structures may put pressure on nerves causing functional problems in the nervous system which creates problems in the other systems of the body. The muscular system is laid out in layers. In the neck the deep muscles are the Inter-vertebral muscle’s which stabilize and move the neck like the scalenes and splenius capitis. The top layer consists of the sternocleidomastoid (SCM), levator scapulae, and the trapezius and they connect the head to the shoulders. Long periods of having the head out of the neutral position will cause the deep muscles to become tight and under-active making the superficial muscles to do more work and work they are not meant to do.
Chronic contraction of the neck muscle’s may limit the flow of fluids to and from the head, causing headaches, diminished cognitive function and more dysfunction in the muscles. The lack of fluid to the brain over time can lower the oxygen level of the brain causing a slew of problems if not corrected. The neck muscles are put through a lot of strain during our day to day lives. Looking down at cellphones, reading, playing video games, working at a computer and even working out can all cause problem in our neck muscles. Not to mention car accidents and year’s of labor intense work. One condition the I see a lot with my patients is called Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. This condition is caused by the pinching of the brachial plexus and arteries between the scalene’s and the clavicle. This pinching may cause numbing down the arm and into the fingers, loss of grip strength and shooting pains while trying to grasp objects.
One of the best ways to correct neck tension is by getting massage’s and correcting the behavior that is causing the tension. Sometimes there can even be an underlying health conditions aiding in the tension and acupuncture can find that cause and help you correct the issue. For more personalized answers about what may be going on with your neck tension come see us at the clinic for acupuncture or massage.
Thank you for your time today. Sean LMT