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Stiff neck syndrome is an uncomfortable condition which will affect most people at some point in their life. You’ll know you have a stiff neck if you feel pain and/or restriction when moving or turning the neck. It can develop into a chronic issue if left untreated. Pain experienced can vary from person to person and can be anything from a dull ache to sharp, constant pain. 

What causes a stiff neck? 

By far the most common cause of uncomfortable neck pain and stiffness is a muscle strain or soft tissue strain. Did you know there are 26 muscles in the neck, comprising of 10 pairs of 2 and 2 sets of 3? 
 
If any of these muscles become tight or strained, then it quickly has a domino effect on the surrounding and supporting structures. It’s not uncommon for pain to refer to other parts of the body such as the shoulders and lower back. 
 
The most common muscles in the neck that are affected are: 
 
Levator scapulae, which lifts the shoulder blade and is a key postural muscle. 
Sternocleidomastoid, which is one of the largest of the neck muscles which rotates the head and flexion of the neck. 
Trapezius, the large triangular shaped muscles which extend from the back of the head, neck, and shoulders. Composed of three parts; the upper, middle, and lower portion, its main function is to stabilise the shoulder blades and to rotate and tilt the neck. 
The suboccipital muscles. A group of four muscles situated underneath the occipital bone, a deeper group of muscles that extend and rotate the head and often when tight or restricted are the muscles that contribute to stress headaches and upper neck tension. 

So how do these muscles become tight? 

The most common factors that contribute to stiff neck syndrome are: 
 
Postural issues caused by long periods of time sitting at a desk, driving, or rounding of the shoulders. 
Injury caused by sporting activities, or car accidents (whiplash). 
Underlying or diagnosed medical conditions such as disc disorders, osteoporosis, skeletal alignment issues, auto immune conditions, and mental health can all contribute to a stiff neck. 

How will a sports massage help? 

If you’ve ever experienced neck pain, you’ll appreciate how debilitating it can be and how it affects your ability to carry out your daily activities. 
 
Sports massage therapy is a proven, effective treatment for the treatment of soft tissue pain and injury. 
 
Working with you as an individual, your therapist will take a detailed history and carry out various assessments to not only look at how to effectively treat the area but to determine how the problem came about and how to prevent it from occurring in the future. 
 
With all of this a tailored treatment plan can be devised with an aftercare plan and exercise prescription if requited. 
 
Sports massage therapy involves using a variety of soft tissue techniques to improve the muscle function and restore the body back to normal pain free function. 
 
To book, just contact us and we’ll arrange a suitable appointment and get that neck free and comfortable again. 
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