Neck Pain Treatment
For some, neck pain goes away on its own after a few days without neck pain treatment. But for others, the pain can linger and often get worse for months and years without proper neck pain treatment. It can become chronic, annoying, and in some cases debilitating. Neck pain can make even the most simple of movements involving the neck, head, and shoulders excruciatingly difficult.
It is a challenging condition to diagnose, treat, and study because there are many things that can cause neck pain – all with similar symptoms.
We treat many causes of neck pain. From whiplash to arthritis to disc herniation to muscle strains and sports injuries. We are able to relieve pain from most mechanical issues related to the neck. And most importantly, make long lasting corrections. A thorough physical examination performed first by our doctor is a crucial first step.
During your visit, your doctor of chiropractic will perform exams and x-rays to locate the source of your pain. Before beginning care we will create a customized Corrective Care Plan to get you pain free.
According to the New York Times (January 3, 2012):
“Seeing a chiropractor relieves neck pain more effectively than relying on pain medication.”
When Should You See a Chiropractor for Neck Pain?
See a chiropractor for neck pain if…
- Your neck pain or stiffness does not improve after a few days
- You cannot look to the right or left without severe neck pain
- You feel like you must use over-the-counter pain medications just to make it through the day and are using it regularly for neck pain treatment
- You’re worried that your pain may have a serious cause
- The cervical pain started in the neck but has moved to numbness or tingling in your hands or wrists
- Neck pain started within a few days of a car accident
- Your neck pain is worse when you first wake up in the morning but then begins to feel a little better as the day progresses
Your chiropractor will conduct a thorough consultation and examination – asking you questions about your symptoms, the history of your neck pain, what types of movement make it worse and which things make it feel better.
During the exam your chiropractor will check to see how well you move your neck. He will look for tenderness or numbness and tingling in your arms or hands.
Seeing your chiropractor for neck pain is always a good choice if you are aware of a specific movement (abnormal motion) that resulted in neck pain such as lifting, falling or a whiplash injury.
Injuries resulting from abnormal motion often cause muscles to become overextended and the vertebra in our neck to shift out of alignment.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries to the neck. It occurs when the neck experiences a sudden movement forward and backward or from side to side. This sudden movement overstretches and tears the tendons and ligaments in the neck.
A sudden forced movement of the head or neck in any direction and the resulting “rebound” in the opposite direction is known as whiplash. The sudden “whipping” motion injures the surrounding and supporting tissues of the neck and head. Muscles react by tightening and contracting, creating muscle fatigue, which can result in pain and stiffness. Severe whiplash can also be associated with injury to the joints, discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerve roots. Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash.
When you are stressed, you become tensed. So your blood pressure and heart rate rise. This floods your body with stress hormones which tightens your muscles. When you are often stressed, the constant tension causes your muscles become sore, weak, and loaded with painful trigger points.
Your neck is made up of vertebrae. Between each of the vertebra are nerves and discs. There are gel-like pillows that provide a cushion between each vertebrae.
So if one or more of your vertebra shift out of alignment, they can “pinch” the nerves that run between them causing neck pain.
Vertebrae Can Shift Out of Alignment When…
- You consistently have poor posture (such as sitting hunched over your phone all day)
- Your neck is stuck in an awkward position for a long period of time. Such as painting your ceiling.
- You continually sleep on your stomach or use a flat pillow
- Your neck is forced beyond it’s normal range of motion (like if you fall off a ladder or get whiplash from a car accident)
Muscle strains are a common cause of neck pain for many people. So repeating the same movements of your neck can strain and pull on the muscles and nerves in your neck. Even subtle things that we do day to day like staring at the computer, texting, or watching TV can add up and cause neck pain.