Neck pain is so common people of all ages often repent themselves to the discomfort. Working all day bent over a computer, stuck in long driving commutes or having poor posture are all factors that can cause the muscles in the neck and upper back to become tight and the joints to become stiff.

Getting the best possible care means taking an advocacy role in knowing what that care looks like. Talking to an Osteopath might be the answer.

Here are 5 reasons to talk to an Osteopath about chronic neck pain.

1. If a nerve in your neck is irritated or feels like it is “trapped” and causes pain in the arm going down into your shoulder or hand, this might be a good reason o see an Osteopath. Osteopathy is a drug-free and safe approach to pain relief for back and neck discomfort as well as carpal tunnel syndrome, heartburn / reflux and rib pain.

Osteopathy treatment detects and prevents health problems by moving by moving, stretching and messaging a person's muscles and joints. It is based on the principle that an individual's well being depends on their bones, muscles, ligaments and connective tissue functioning smoothly together. The belief is that their treatments allow the body to heal itself.

2. If your respiratory system is vulnerable and you suffer from recurring episodes of asthma, bronchitis or sinus congestion and infection. Osteopaths can talk with you about your gastro-intestinal health, which experts say fluctuates frequently relative to your diet and levels of stress.

3. It is hard for you to feel refreshed after a night's sleep due to neck pain. Osteopaths emphasize that mind and body are not separate entities, that each affect the other. Emotional stress does manifest itself itself physically, although we are often not aware of this, experts say. Osteopaths we are very much aware of this association / link and can work with patients to help release old patterns of holding onto stress.

4. General reasons why you might consider seeing an Osteopath: Back and Neck pain, Joint pains (shoulder, wrists, hip, knees), Headaches and Migraines, digestive disorders, period pains and irregularities, recurrent infections, sinus problems, asthma and chest complaints, stress, depression and fatigue.

5. If you are older, Osteopaths use a wide range of gentle manipulations depending on age to reduce muscular tension and improve movement in the joints of the neck and upper back. Oftentimes the soft tissues are gently massaged or rhythmically “rocked” to release tension. Some Osteopaths gently manipulate the neck to move the joints and you may hear a “click.”

Treatment is different in each individual and sometimes it might involve treating other areas in the back and shoulders as well as the neck. Often advice is given on posture, especially at work in the car during longer than usual commutes. The advice covers exercise and stretching to help the neck and upper back muscles and joints relax.

X-rays, scans and other tests are sometimes required to make a diagnosis.

Remember to check with your doctor before taking any treatment or medical remedy.