Neck pain

(This page deals neck related shoulder pain.  Problems with the shoulder joint itself can be found on the page entitled Shoulder Problems).

If you’ve got shoulder pain or neck pain, a pinched nerve or issues from a neck injury, then you’re in good company with the many patients we’ve helped.  And if you're one of the many who sit in front of a computer all day, you probably have learned to live with a tight neck and shoulders.

As with all problems, trying to diagnose yourself using the Internet or listening to friends who’ve had neck pain is unreliable — and it’s only half of the problem. The other more critical half is to know what to do about it.

That’s where we’re trained to help.


Does your work give you grief?

Neck and shoulder pain often go together, which is not surprising given that they share many muscles. Nerves coming from the neck also serve the shoulder muscles and can make them feel tight and painful if the nerve is being irritated.

The shape of the neck is also directly affected by our posture and how our shoulders ‘sit’ or slouch in relation to the rest of our body. That's one reason why getting your work station set up correctly is so important if you spend a lot of time at the computer.  And we can give you some help with this.

Poor posture, especially hour after hour at the desk, is a major cause of sore neck & shoulder muscles because these become overworked & irritated from inadequate circulation in the tissues. This leads to weakness in the muscles, which only makes the problem worse. Stress commonly affects pain in these areas too.

You’ll be surprised at how much better you can feel after just a few treatments and some taking on board some common sense advice about work habits and self care.  That's likely to be very important, at least as important as treatment itself since you'll be spending a lot more time at work than at our clinic!


There's another tab all about headaches, so I'll just mention here that headaches have many causes, but a big share are routinely caused by tightness of the muscles between the base of your skull & your upper neck. These then irritate the nerves passing through them to your head, giving you a headache. This usually responds well to treatment.  Tender points (called trigger points) in other muscles such as the upper trapezius of the shoulder can give pain that is felt elsewhere as a headache.

Migraines & other types of headaches (e.g migraines linked to hormonal changes) occur for different reasons & the effectiveness of treatment depends on the cause and how long you've been suffering from them.  Not all respond to manual therapy. 


Pins & needles or weakness in the arm or hand?

This needs experience to diagnose as the source of the problem could be anywhere along the nerve from the neck to the arm. As an example, Carpal Tunnel  (tingling, numbness or pain) is usually confined to the hand, often strikes at night & has its cause outside the neck in the area of the wrist itself.  Beware, though - not all tingling in the hand is carpal tunnel...

But a disc problem or degeneration in the lower neck also need to be considered as a possible reason. The treatment, of course, will be different depending on the cause, and in some cases we'll advise an x ray (which we can authorize for you) or referral to a specialist if the severity of the symptoms suggest something serious.


Have you had whiplash or banged your head?

Neck injuries can cause spasm and extreme tenderness in the muscles of the neck and shoulders, and both need caution in assessing to make sure that no serious damage has occurred.  They can also lead to dizziness, vertigo (when the room seems to move around you) & headaches, all of which can be helped. 

Gentle and non invasive treatment is the best way to calm the tissues and reduce the levels of sensitivity.

We use a wide range of techniques to suit the person & condition
rather than repeating the same kind of treatment visit after visit!


Can’t turn your head?

Have you woken only to find that you can’t turn your head to one side without a sharp pain stopping you? One visit normally sees a big improvement in the range of movement and the degree of relief. The culprit is often one of the vertebrae (bones) at the top of the neck not rotating as it should, and often painfully trapping a portion of the soft tissue between the joint, resulting in spasm.  Very painful, but luckily not serious!


"Suffering neck pain - unable to move when at its worst, I was referred to Osteoworks.

I had tried all sorts of treatment - other osteos, physio' & alternative treatments.  Chris has been able to work on the problem so that I am no longer experiencing pain at all, let alone on a daily basis.  The treatment was always discussed with me & appointments were convenient & comfortable.

I would recommend Osteoworks to anyone suffering from pain - even after years of putting up with it! "

K.H. (Browns Bay)

Jill and Chris were both trained in the U.K and started Osteoworks back in 2004 when they moved to N.Z from London with their son.