Soft tissue techniques for the neck

It is important to test general neck movement first to determine which movements are restricted and also to differentiate between true soft tissue restrictions and a neuromuscular lesion.

Remember that many neck pain syndromes are simply a result of a thoracic spine that is stuck in flexion. Refer to my last post on the Thoracic spine for testing and treatment of this region.

Once you have cleared the Thoracic spine move on to testing the Cervical spine. All movements should be easy with no shaking or compensatory movement. If you find a restriction move onto PNF techniques to see if an improvement can be gained.

If no significant improvement occurs you will need to use hands on manual therapy to release adhesion’s in the soft tissue and joints.

Here are some general techniques for the neck including soft tissue release with rotation, traction, occiput atlas glide, joint mobilisation with rotation and assisted stretches with client participation. It is also very important to give your clients a home exercise program which compliments the good work done in the therapy room. In this case some gentle stretches to maintain neck rotation.