What’s my neck got to do with it?


Where the neck meets the head is a complex little area. The delicate, small, cervical vertebrae, or bones of the neck, balance the relatively humongous occiput and rest of the skull, housing the o so heavy brain.

This area is home to a number of blood vessels and nerves running a torturous path between the top of the neck and the head in some cases folding back on themselves as they enter the skull. They are surrounded and supported by a number of small, but mighty muscles (the sub occipitals) which do their part to support the skull, which can itself equate to the weight of a bowling ball (if you’ve been bowling you’ll recall how achy carrying the ball for a short amount of time can make your fingers feel – imagine doing that job all day long!).

So it will come as no surprise that tension tightness and restrictions, arising at the top of the neck can cause a multitude of problems. Tightness through the sub occipital muscles (‘the small but mighty muscles’) can impinge upon the nerves and blood vessels and can result in discomfort, headaches, nausea and dizziness.

The greater occipital nerve often has a lot to answer too for as tension and dysfunction around this area can send pain from the back of the head to the front of the eyes.

The top of the neck is also the point where the spinal cord meets the brain stem, and it’s safe to say a lot goes on here! Cranial nerves providing sensation and power to the basically everything facially, blood vessels, etc. not to mention power, sensation etc supplied to the rest of the body.

All of this passes through a small hole in the occipital (the bony part at the back of the head) from the neck (inside and out) – if you like, the ‘spaghetti junction’ of the body. And just as with a road network, congestion can happen when things don’t flow as freely as they should, or blockages get in the way.

At b2, our manipulative practitioners are trained to diagnose, treat and help you manage your way out of spaghetti junction like congestion in your body. So if you’re suffering with a pain in the neck (who’s not a family relation?!!), then why not give us a call or book an appointment with us and see if we can help.

Renata qualified as an Osteopath from the British School of Osteopathy in 2001 (now the University College of Osteopathy).
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