Client Case Study stiff neck…I had a lovely lady come to my treatment room in June last year with the complaint of having a stiff neck and shoulders, she is a very active lady swimming regularly and going to body pump classes but was starting to find that the stiffness in her neck and shoulders was now restricting her activity.
Her shoulders were protracted (rounded) and her head was in a forward position with her resting head position turned slightly towards the right. When testing her range of movement she was restricted in every range but especially when moving to the left. All the muscles around her neck felt very congested, everything on the right was short and tight and the muscles on the left were long and weak which meant that they couldn’t contract enough to pull her head back towards the left.
My treatment plan was to reduce the congestion in the muscles around her neck and shoulders, increase her range of movement and bring her head back to a more neutral position. I would do this by lengthening the short tight muscles on the right hand side and front of neck and reduce the congestion and realign the fibers on the left hand side, to allow those long weak fibers to contract and go back to a “normal” length.
So that is what I did, using a range of techniques and after the first treatment the tissues felt softer on palpation and more even on the left and right, her range of movement in side bending and rotating had also increased, though her head was still in a fairly forward position and still held slightly to the right.
At the next visit she reported that her neck had felt better but was starting to get stiff again, though her range of movement had improved. I decided to continue with the treatment plan but also to reduce the congestion in the back of the neck, top of shoulders and upper back where these muscle fibers had become long and weak, so by allowing these muscle fibers to contract correctly they in turn would help to pull the head back into a neutral position.
It took a few visits but every time there was an improvement. Her head is now in a neutral position, the discomfort has gone and her range of movement is really good. Occasionally she gets episodes where it gets uncomfortable again, but I still see her regularly to relieve these episodes and maintain her neck and shoulders and with her doing regular exercises at home she has really felt the benefit of the treatment.