Gina McCafferty has studied neck pain and whiplash since 2006 and has found neuromuscular massage therapy to provide excellent pain relief and improved range of motion. Massage can help restore the damaged muscle tissue in the neck to a more normal resting length, bring fresh blood supply and oxygen to the muscle tissue, and eliminate painful myofascial trigger points.
When patients come into our Washburn, WI office with neck pain or range-of-motion considerations, range of motion will be measured and we will determine which muscle groups are the key players. Then, all of the procedures and techniques used during the massage is aimed at improving your condition (your pain relief) and is aimed at restoring the neck muscles to a more normal resting length, freeing the nerve entrapment, eliminating the trigger points and correcting the postural considerations that may be causing the problem. Gina's goal is to eliminate the neck pain and improve range-of-motion for your improved quality of life.
If you are interested in the anatomy of the neck, you may be aware there are different muscle actions that the neck muscles perform. Following are some descriptions:
Ipsilateral Rotators: These neck muscles turn the head to the same side. If they are tight short, they may restrict the ability to turn to the opposite side. These include the splenius capitis
Contralateral Rotators: These neck muscles turn the head to the opposite side. If they are tight, or shortened, they have the ability to inhibit rotation to the same side. These muscles include but are not limited to the Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) and upper traps. There are trigger points in the SCM that give rise to tension headaches and even vertigo.
There are also neck flexors: These muscles pull the chin toward the chest. They are mostly in the front of the neck and when tight short, can limit extension and cause pain in the pack of the neck. These muscles can also contribute to loss of cervical curve.
And the neck extensors in the back of the neck, if adaptively shortened, can cause limited flexion. Their job is to check rein the flexion forward, or to help your neck resist gravity. I treat these muscles when people can't move their chin toward their chest.
The muscles that bend the head from ear to shoulder, for example, are called lateral flexors. They are also important for pain relief and improved range-of motion.
If you seek massage for neck pain and whiplash, check with your massage therapist to make sure he or she understands not only the muscle actions, but which muscle groups prohibit movements along the kinetic chain.