Laurie's Blogs.


Jan 2024

Neck Pain, Eye Pain, and Manual Therapy to the Rescue

Laurie Edge-Hughes, BScPT, MAnimSt, CAFCI, CCRT, Cert. Sm. Anim. Acup / Dry Needling

Terrible picture of Laurie, no makeup, bad hair, comfy clothes....looks like a bag lady... doing C1 assess and treat.

It has been really stupidly cold here this past weekend.  Overnight lows down below -40 C/F.  Oh man, it is draining – even being inside!  [Thank goodness for oil and gas heating.  Thank goodness for my wood burning fireplace.]  Now, I didn’t have it bad compared to hubby who had to fix the water for one of the houses on the ranch and feed the cows.  I only did my ‘chicken chores’ and brought firewood up to the deck.  But the cold just gets through to your bones and I have been so achy!  It’s been hard to sleep.  I wake up sore and can’t get back to sleep.


An ache has been in my neck.  

Left suboccipital pain.  

Pain behind my left eye.  

Pain with eye movements. 


My initial treatment strategies were to wear a PEMF loop at the back of my neck.  I tried stretching.  I tried massage and myofascial release techniques on my neck.  Oh, and I tried myofascial release techniques on my eyes as well.  (Eye lids closed… and it did seem to have a wee effect – I’ve never tried that before.)


However, what made the most difference, and an instantaneous difference, was manual therapy.  The interesting thing about the upper cervical spine is that you can treat this region on yourself.  Sitting or standing square and facing forward, feel the position of C1, does one side feel more anterior than the other.  Feel C1, and assess the same thing.  Then with a pressure on the wing of the atlas or the transvers process of side that feels more posterior, rotate your head away from that side.  For me, I got a soft little click and voila, instantly, I could feel relief.  It felt a wee bit like a flushing of blood flow into the area.


I’m not sure why my tense achy body got all locked up overnight… but the relief from the manual therapy was very much welcomed.


Taking it to the dogs.

This is why learning manual therapy is so important.  I’ve blogged about this before.  It’s a cornerstone of physical therapy.  It should be core curricula.  If it can make an instantaneous difference to my neck, my eyes, and even my vision, and energy level (forgot to add that), then how can it be glossed over in canine rehab education and practice.


So… Yes, I’m a broken record… but please learn some manual therapy techniques for spinal mobilizations.  It is likely to make a significant difference to your patients!


Stay warm!

Until next time…  Cheers!