Neck complaints can have several causes. The Orthopaedic Manual Therapist (OMT) is able to determine the cause, and form a diagnosis, by thorough physical examination. Following this physical examination a course of therapy can be determined.
Limitations in range of motion (ROM) of joints in the spine (neck complaints can be caused by more than just neck joints) will regain normal ROM by utilizing a special technique called ”thrust manipulation”. This is a technique where the OMT generates a very fast, yet soft motion in the joint.
Neck complaints can also be caused by too much ROM in the spinal joints, called ”hyper mobility”. Specific training of muscles that stabilize these joints is the designated form of therapy.
The muscles in and around the neck can be too tight or too loose. When these muscles are the cause of your complaints or if they are maintaining your complaints your OMT will try to solve this by stretching, relaxation and strengthening exercises.
Bad posture or ergonomics can also be the cause of neck complaints. Your neck is not able to handle the wrong load and will protest with pain, stiffness and other complaints. Besides instructions for proper posture and ergonomics you will also be given specific ‘homework exercises’.
If the OMT isn’t able to form a diagnosis, your neck complaint might be caused by something else. Your OMT will then refer you to your general practitioner and inform him/her of his findings.