Craniosacral Therapy and Neck and Back Issues
People of different ages and with varied medical problems may have physical therapy recommended to them for a variety of conditions, including neck and back pain. One treatment option is craniosacral therapy.
Craniosacral therapy involves gentle manipulation of the bones in the neck, back, and skull to reduce pain and promote healing. Craniosacral therapy is hands-on but noninvasive. The gentle touch is thought to improve cerebrospinal fluid circulation and reduce tension in the central nervous system. Craniosacral therapy can be beneficial to help decrease headaches, neck pain, and improve better sleep quality.
Craniosacral therapy (CST) may help treat a variety of problems, including:
- Chronic neck pain
- Back pain
Various studies support the use of craniosacral therapy for different conditions. For example, a study published in the journal BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies found that CST significantly reduced the symptoms and frequency of severe migraines.
Craniosacral therapy helps place optimal force or pressure on the thoracic muscles, back muscles, and neck bone. That slight pressure, which promotes the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), may allow self-healing. The pain improves by creating stable musculoskeletal equilibrium. CST is used as a successful form of therapy for both children and adults without invasive techniques.
Techniques used in CST
There are different techniques used in CST depending on the condition treated. Techniques used may include:
CV4: Compression of the fourth ventricle is a technique used by craniosacral therapists. This type of cranial manipulation is used to improve the function of the nervous system. It can improve oxygenation to the cerebral tissue.
OCBR: Occipital cranial base release is also used as a method of craniosacral therapy. OCBR softens the muscle tissue in the sub-occipital region. It is used to treat neck pain, TMJ, shoulder pain, and headaches.
Although going for professional CST treatment is helpful, using a pillow based on the same concept provides a great compliment to therapy. Along with CST, using the right pillow can play a key role in preventing pain, maintaining correct posture, and getting a better night’s sleep.
At Kanuda Pillow, our pillows were designed by physical therapists. The unique contoured head resting design of Kanuda pillows keeps head and neck level to restore natural curve of the deck and its wedge extension supports upper spine, and provides light pressure in the right place to improve circulation and reduce muscle tension, which promotes more restful sleep. The design of Kanuda pillows, is in part, based on the techniques used in CST.
Approved by FDA/CE and endorsed by the Korean Physical Therapy Association, Kanuda pillow is the first of its kind to offer physiotherapy benefits to relieve any back, neck, and shoulder pain.
Who may benefit from craniosacral therapy?
An individual may benefit craniosacral therapy in a wide variety of situations, such as treating the following issues:
Treatment of acute conditions and injuries: Acute conditions, such as whiplash, a pulled muscle, or soft tissue injury, can occur due to trauma to the neck. Anyone that develops this type of acute injury can benefit from the concepts used in craniosacral therapy.
Chronic pain: Neck and back pain can last weeks, months, or longer. In some cases, the exact cause of the pain is not identified. Physical therapy can play a role in easing pain and possibly decrease the need for pain medication. Individuals with migraines may also suffer chronic pain. CST, along with using a pillow that promotes healing, is often helpful in decreasing the severity of headaches.
To avoid surgery: In some cases, physical therapy is used to reduce pain and improve functioning enough that surgery is not needed to treat a condition.
Poor sleep: Getting better quality sleep can improve immune system function, energy levels, and overall well-being. CST can help promote better sleep.
CST is helpful for people with the above conditions. But you don’t have to have a chronic medical condition or severe pain to benefit from CST. CST may also provide the following benefits:
- Improved concentration
- Greater energy level
- Decreased back pain
- Increased circulation
- Better quality sleep
- Decreased anxiety
- Improved immune system function due to better lymph flow
- Reduced fatigue
Breaking the Pain/Sleep Cycle
Poor sleep can often make the pain worse, and pain can prevent good sleep. Whether you have pain from headaches, neck pain, or a chronic condition, a vicious cycle can start.
You may have discomfort that prevents you from getting a restful night’s sleep. In the morning, poor sleep leaves you tired and less able to cope with pain. The combination of pain and fatigue can also lead to increased stress and overall decreased quality of life.
Breaking the pain/sleep cycle is critical to decreasing discomfort, getting better rest, and improving overall wellbeing. Using the right pillow that encourages the proper flow of CSF can help alleviate many of the issues that prevent getting proper sleep, so you can feel refreshed in the morning.