Receptor Techniques for Painful Necks
Massage General Courses

Receptor Techniques for Painful Necks

Author(s): Erik Dalton, Ph.D.

2CE credits 6 Lessons Text

Researchers have determined that structures, such as ligaments, fasciae, joint capsules and intervertebral discs, are innervated and can participate in normal neuromuscular reflexes. Some of these result in pain.

Myoskeletal therapy engages a joint’s receptor system. Improvement can be seen using any micro or macro movement that puts an activating force through the neuromyoskeletal system to affect cutaneous, as well as articular, receptors. This course describes how this process may be applied for the relief of chronic neck pain through several different techniques.

Manipulating nerve receptors in joints can be very effective in relieving spasms and pain. Soft-tissue specialists should have a basic understanding of these receptors and their relationship to neck pain and posture. This knowledge can be used to spawn new approaches to helping clients in need. When you finish this course you will be able to:

  • Define the types and role of receptors that are of greatest concern to massage therapists;
  • Describe the newly discovered role of receptors in soft tissue such as ligaments, fasciae and joint capsules;
  • Describe the three techniques for treating neck pain;
  • Define the mechanism in the muscle spindle that makes it of enormous therapeutic value in tonifying weak muscles;
  • Give examples of treatment (via receptors) for both weak and tight muscles of the shoulder as well as forward-head pain;
  • Explain the effects of joint dysfunction on neck pain;
  • List four other sites amenable to receptor techniques.

  1. Receptors
  2. Chronic Neck Pain
  3. Imbalance Technique
  4. Tight Muscle Technique
  5. Joint Dysfunction Technique
  6. Receptor Techniques for Painful Necks - mtj article pdf

Erik Dalton, Ph.D., is director of the Freedom From Pain Institute®in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He can be reached at: This article is derived from his workshop, “Receptor Techniques for Difficult Necks … Beat Pain at Its Own Game,” which was presented at the AMTA National Convention in 2002.