24 Jan Why your massage doesn’t totally fix your neck & how to get neck pain relief
Dr Alex Ritza – Your Downtown Toronto Chiropractor
CHIROPRACTIC CARE CONVENIENTLY LOCATED NEAR YONGE AND BLOOR
RATED ONE OF TORONTO’S BEST CHIROPRACTORS ONLINE
Your neck has been a little sore lately so you decide to book a massage, which usually fixes it. The massage is a little more painful and you notice a little more soreness after than usual but you figure that is it just because of the irritated state of your neck.
After a few hours of soreness you wake up the next day and your neck does feel quite a bit better – maybe not perfect – but definitely better. However, 2 days later it is back to where it was and hurts again!
Whether you have encountered this exact scenario or a similar one where your regular massage has ceased to fix your back problem for any sustained time, you are not alone. In fact, I see this in practice … A LOT!
Why does this happen? This simplest answer is an analogy: If you are trying to place a screw but you do not have the corresponding screwdriver head to match, you are going to have a heck of a time being succesful. You might be able to get the screw in with another head, plyers or your hand but it is going to take a lot more time and work and it probably won’t do as good of a job.
Massage is really effective if you have a strained or tight muscle because massage as a modality focuses on muscles. But if the problem with your neck is not muscular in nature, or more importantly, the Core Problem that is contributing to your neck pain and muscle tightness is not muscular per se, than it would make sense that massage might not be what you need. Massage might be the wrong screwdriver head.
Cumulative stress on the neck with age contributes to postural distortion and Anterior Spinal Shift, where the head is SHIFTED forward. This makes the head weigh more from the torque that gravity places on it. This places tremendous stress on the muscles of the neck to hold up the head that has doubled or tripled in weight from poor posture and shifted structural alignment.
Furthermore, this structural distortion and aforementioned stress on the neck causes irritation or SHIFTS in the spine as well as poor function and irritation of the nerves leaving the neck. This places additional strain on the muscles of the neck because they no longer receive a strong signal from the nerves that are supposed to be powering them on.
In the end, you have muscles that are weak, tight and overworked. They are not the actual problem but rather Collateral Damage from the poor functioning of the nervous system and postural distortion of the spine.
What you thought was a muscle problem was, in fact, muscle tightness that resulted from another deeper core issue. Rather than an approach that focused on the muscles, what you needed was something that focused on the underlying joints and nerves that were causing the muscles to tighten up in the first place!
Please do not think that I am saying massage is bad! Going for regular massages is an important part of self-care in my opinion. But keep in mind that the function of body’s muscular system is 100% dependent on the nervous system. If the muscles are not receiving the correct signals in the first place, they will never be strong, soft and function and their best.
In our experience, we have observed that when patients have sought us out for this exact complaint, there is almost always an underlying Core Problem in the spine and nervous system that continues to perpetuate muscle ache and soreness until it is resolved.
Trying some of the exercises we went over in last week’s Facebook Live Lunch and Learn TV [ABOVE] will help you to get some temporary relief if this is an issue you are experiencing.
If they, combined with your massage are still not enough, fill out the contact form below to schedule a 15-minute Complimentary Case Review to determine if NeuroStructural Chiropractic might be the tool for the job.
– Dr Alex