Do you know of someone who in their 40’s, 50’s or 60’s who suffers with nagging and annoying neck pain and often has to reach to the medicine cabinet to take painkillers to try to get some relief from it?
Do you know how long they have suffered with with this neck pain?
I bet most people are able to answer ‘yes’ to these two questions and so was Sarah, when she came into me first, and who’s story I will go though below.
In this busy life that we lead today, there are a lot of people trying do their everyday ‘chores’ while suffering with neck pain and this makes doing them, far more challenging then they need to be. When something is made more difficult, it requires more focus and concentration and this can be trick,y when you already have a pain in your neck.
The solution for many of these people is to reach for the medicine cabinet and take some pain relief in the hope that it will make their chores easier to accomplish… and to a certain extent it may, but the effects will be more than likely short lived.
Sarah’s neck problem
Sarah came to me a few months back, with a neck issue that was annoying her on and off for a full year and a half. Sometimes, she thought it was gone but whenever her life got busier it returned. She had four children, two dogs, a pony and 3 guinea pigs in her family and the majority of the time it was left to her to do most of the work. Did she mention she worked 25 hours a week as a secretary also.
She had tried massage, acupuncture and chiropractors before to help with her neck problem and while they helped for a while, it kept returning. So her default mode was now to reach for the painkillers every time she felt it coming and this she did not like.
What In found when she came to me was that she tennis elbow in her right arm almost 3 years ago that lasted for 9 months. While this pain eventually went away, she was was still quite weak when I tested her right arm. If she was not happy to put good tension through her right arm, then the muscles around her shoulder and neck were having to work harder…..
.. and when she put under times of stress, her body tightened up more, which was leading to that reoccurring neck pain.
So while, Sarah needed some muscles around her neck loosened, she really needed the muscles of her right arm to help out and work better to stop her problem returning and allow her to lead her busy work,family (and pets) life, without ending up been crocked with a sore neck all the time.
Why painkillers are not the LONG-TERM solution
There are two main reasons why the effects of pain-killers will wear away and will not get rid of your neck pain for good.
One is that there is only a limited time that they are effective for. Like any form of treatment, if the treatment given stays the same, it will start to loose it’s effect. Painkillers are no different. If you were to keep taking them for the same problem, your body will become immune to them and the effect they have will be greatly reduced.
The second reason why painkillers will not get rid of your neck pain for good is the more important one….
That is, that painkillers are only masking the pain and are not addressing the TRUE CAUSE of the pain. In order words pain is just the symptom that people feel and very often the painful area is not the true cause of the problem. It can often be coming from somewhere else in the body or from some behavior that is causing stress on the neck.
Finding the true stressor is key!
At Midlands Physical Therapy we aim to find the true cause and stressor of the problem with every person who comes into us with neck pain and this is what e found to help Sarah. This is found through listening to the persons story about how the pain came about and the events that led to the person experiencing pain and then piecing it together with our movement assessment.
Once the true stressor of the problem is found then a Step by Step treatment plan can be made to get the person out of pain and more importantly, ensure that they can do the things they need and love to do, without the pain returning.
A Step by Step Plan to getting you back to the things you love to do.
At Midlands Physical Therapy we use our step by step system with all our patients to help them live the life they want to lead without aches and pains.
If you are struggling with neck pain and are tired of having to take painkillers, then you can take advantage of one of our Free Discovery visits and book a free 30 minute one to one session with a physio to get a solution specific to your needs.Book a Discovery Visit Here