A Pain In the Neck – But Not Always A problem In the Neck

16 Feb, 2024

Neck Pain: Look Past the Pain

Do to our lifestyles in this day and age, neck pain is a common complaint affecting millions worldwide. Often, the initial instinct is to blame the pain location itself – the muscles in the neck. No one can blame you for thinking this and while this seems logical, the truth is more perplexing. Neck pain can often be a symptom of a deeper issue, originating far away from the site of discomfort.

The Fascial network

Imagine your body as a network of interconnected highways – these highways are your fascial lines patterns, a continuous web of connective tissue that surrounds and supports your muscles, organs, and bones. Just like traffic jams way ahead of you can impact your morning commute, myofascial restrictions (tightness or adhesions) in seemingly unrelated areas like the hips or knees can send ripples of tension upstream, ultimately manifesting as neck pain.

Example of links between the arms and neck

Tom Myers, founder of Anatomy Trains, highlights this interconnectedness in his work. He identified specific fascial lines that link seemingly disparate body regions. Restrictions in these lines can pull and tug on distant muscles, creating imbalances and leading to pain that appears localized, like neck pain.

muscle compensation

Not all muscles work in the same capacity all the time. In some movements, some are designed for dynamic movement, while others provide postural support and vice versa. When muscles designed for movement (kinetic muscles) are weak or inhibited, the burden falls on postural muscles (tonic muscles). This compensatory action could lead to chronic tension and eventually, pain.

Imagine a seesaw: when one side is heavier, the other side compensates to maintain balance. Similarly, weak kinetic muscles in the hips or core force the neck muscles to overwork, leading to stiffness and pain.


Muscle pain, including neck pain, is often blamed on “inflammation.” While inflammation plays a role, it’s crucial to understand it’s not the root cause. Inflammation is a symptom, not the disease. It’s the body’s attempt to heal the underlying issue, like the smoke rising from a hidden fire.

Addressing the true source of the “fire” – myofascial restrictions, weak muscles, or compensatory patterns – is essential for lasting pain relief.

more work is still needed

While massage can provide temporary relief, it’s important to remember it’s not a long-term solution for neck pain or any other body pain for that matter. A holistic approach that addresses the underlying causes is key.

  • Fascial Release Techniques: Techniques like Deep Myofascial Cupping, MediCupping, Graston, fascial scraping or myofascial release to name a few can help address restrictions in the fascial lines, alleviating tension and restoring proper movement.
  • Addressing Compensatory Patterns: Movement specialists or physical therapists can assess and address compensatory patterns, retraining your body to move efficiently and reduce strain on the neck.
  • Strengthening Weak Muscles: Targeted exercises to strengthen kinetic muscles in the hips, core, and shoulders can significantly reduce the burden on the neck muscles, promoting better posture and pain relief.

Your health is your responsibilty

Don’t let neck pain limit your life. By looking beyond the immediate discomfort and exploring the interconnectedness of your body, you can identify the true source of the issue and take charge of your recovery. Remember, pain is a message. As the famous Dr. Perry Nickelston says “Pain is your body’s way of asking you for a change”. Listen to your body, explore the deeper causes, and embark on a journey towards lasting pain relief.

Call to Action:

I’m here to help! Contact me at 917-455-0559 or email me at MikeSantana2010@Gmail.com. Together, we can explore the root of your pain and create a personalized plan for lasting relief.