Neck Pain ELDOA Stretch

We’ve all dealt with neck pain in the past. Some of you might be dealing with it as you read this blog post. There is a reason for the phrase “pain in the neck.” Most people will deal with it by using some heat, maybe some ibuprofen, and then just wait it out. In some cases that might work, which is great! What do you do though for that nagging neck pain that sticks around and seems to bother you every time you turn your head? Allow me to help with some neck stretches that you have probably never heard of before. ELDOA!!!

Why Do I Have Neck Pain?

Before we get to the good stuff lets talk about why you are probably having neck pain. A majority of people have neck pain because the facet joints in their spine have locked up. Facet joints are the small joints in the vertebrae that allow for neck movement.

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When they get locked up it causes a restriction when you try to turn your head to one side. It will also cause a protective spasm of the neck muscles. Your brain thinks that your spine is pretty important so whenever it recognizes there is a problem, it goes into lockdown mode. Better to be safe than sorry. In order to restore your movement and decrease the spasm you need to stretch these little joints out and give them some space. The stretches that work best are called ELDOA stretches.

What is an ELDOA Stretch?

ELDOA (Étirements Longitudinaux avec Decoaptation Ostéo Articulaire), or more easily translated to Longitudinal Osteo-Articular Decoaptation Stretching, is a technique created by Osteopath Dr. Guy Voyer. These stretches are designed to give length to the muscles, joints and myofascial system all in one movement. The most amazing thing is that they really work! I know that sounds stupid but once you see the video for the stretches you will think it looks like witchcraft. Trust me though. If you have, or have had, neck pain you should be doing these stretches regularly. They don’t take much time but you will notice a dramatic improvement in your neck mobility and a decrease in stiffness when you turn your head.

I would do each stretch for a minute at least once per day. As always if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact me. Thanks for reading.

How I Used Dry Needling to Fix My Neck Pain

Unfortunately...even I get neck pain. I know what you’re thinking. That would be like Superman getting a head cold. It’s not supposed to happen. Well, I’m sure that even Superman is subject to the occasional sinus infection. But, luckily for me, I have access to excellent treatment and know what to do when my neck goes on the fritz. Let me show you how I use dry needling to fix my neck pain.

I’ve dealt with neck pain off and on for a majority of my life. When I was younger I would get chiropractic adjustments to help. Nothing against what a chiropractor does, but I have not needed a single adjustment since being introduced to dry needling in 2010. I was at a conference and my neck went out one morning. To anyone reading this that has had neck pain in the past you know exactly what I’m talking about. I could not turn my head at all to the right and when I did try the pain would shoot down to my shoulder blade and up into the back of my skull. It was horrible. Oddly enough I had met someone at this conference that was certified in dry needling and also giving a talk on the technique and how it can help with all types of pain and restrictions. When he saw how much pain I was in at breakfast he offered to treat me. Now, truth be told, I am not a fan of needles at all (I know, ironic). I was willing to put my fears aside due to the intense pain in my neck and give dry needling a try. Thank god I did, because within 15 minutes I had almost 100% motion back, and no pain. I was hooked, and within a couple of months I was certified myself to help others quickly recover from pains and strains.

Fast forward to last week. I woke up, stretched my arms up like I do every morning and BANG! Searing neck pain. My first thought was, WTH, am I that old? My second thought was, yes. My third though was, I need to get to work and have someone dry needle this so I can function and help my patients.

When I got to work I had similar symptoms to 2010. No neck rotation to the right, getting pain from my shoulder to my neck, and also getting some symptoms down my arm. Even though she was super busy, Kristen agreed to help me (did she really have a choice?). After a dry needling treatment to my C7 and upper trap I was 90% better. The pain was still there slightly and my motion was improved enough to where I could work without any restriction. I then did some exercises to open up my cervical facet joints to take care of that last 10% of my recovery.

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The moral of the story is, we’re all older than we think we are. Okay not really. The moral is that if you are dealing with pain you don’t have to. Think about giving dry needling a try, even if you are skeptical or afraid of needles. You will be pleasantly surprised by how effective it is and how much better you feel after just one treatment.

Interesting in dry needling? Call and make an appointment here at OrthoCore Physical Therapy to see how it can help YOU!