According to The Office for National Statistics (2014) the most common causes for absence from work were due to back, neck and muscle pain.
Osteopaths see a lot of people with neck pain, the cause of which can be due to a variety of reasons. Muscles, ligaments, discs and joints can all cause neck pain and it can also be caused by wear and tear changes within your neck (see our section on arthritic pain). Neck pain may also result in pressure on a nerve
Sometimes the pain is acute, other times it builds up over time and can lead to discomfort and you may find that your neck becomes difficult to move. For some people neck pain can start for no apparent reason. A common complaint is that people wake up in the morning with a stiff neck after sleeping awkwardly. It is also not unusual for people to suffer with neck pain due to postural problems for example sitting at a computer or driving for long periods of time.
Your osteopath will fully assess you and will look to see how you move your neck, they will then assess your neck to determine what they think is causing the pain. If they feel it is appropriate they can then plan a course of treatment with you which may involve massage and manual therapy which they will discuss with you at the time. They can also provide you with exercises and give advice on how to manage your neck pain. If necessary your osteopath will refer you to your GP or other professional if they feel that you would benefit from this.
If you work at a desk or computer, your osteopath can also advise you on how to set up your desk in order to help manage your neck pain.
Office of national statistics (2014) Full Report: Sickness Absence in the Labour Market, February 2014, available from: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lmac/sickness-absence-in-the-labour-market/2014/rpt—sickness-absence-in-the-labour-market.html [accessed on 30.11.15]
Patient info (2015) non specific neck pain. Available from http://patient.info/health/nonspecific-neck-pain [accessed on 30.11.15]