Review on March 31, 2009
Muscle tension of the neck is often experienced by menopausal women. Dr. Allan Binder, consultant rheumatologist of Lister Hospital, reviews the efficacy of the treatments to alleviate muscle tension of the neck.
Binder prefaces that few treatments for muscle tension of the neck have been assessed in high quality but suggests the evidence for commonly used ones. Stress management and posture advice has proved useful for some patients. Yoga, pilates and the Alexander technique have also been known to improve neck posture. Binder also suggests the use of one pillow at night may decrease muscle tension of the neck.
He reviews evidence that various exercise regiments are more effective than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or muscle relaxants when treating chronic muscle tension of the neck. He makes notes of a controlled trial revealing that exercise plus infrared heat was no more effective than electrical nerve stimulation plus heat at relieving pain. Both were better than heat alone for relieving muscle tension of the neck.
Recent studies have suggested that exercise, mobilization physiotherapy and manipulation are more effective than less active treatments though they may be more expensive. Greater efficacy with all three combined needs further study. This is true for most of the alleviation methods for muscle tension of the neck. He summarizes that muscle tension of the neck relief is still an area that a great deal more of research. In the meantime, menopausal women, hang in there and continue researching and using other treatments.
- National Institute of Health.