Modern life can place the muscles and joints of the neck under considerable stress. Desk work, driving for long periods, poor posture, auto accidents resulting in ‘whiplash’ can all cause restriction and pain.
Neck pain is rapidly becoming even more common in the last 15 years with at least 80% of the population suffering episodes of severe neck pain.
The lower neck and upper back joints and muscles support your head and it is here that neck pain starts. Neck pain may include the whole structure of the neck:
- bones (vertebrae),
- the discs between the bones,
- muscles, and
Problems affecting the neck also commonly cause headaches or lead to restriction or pain in the upper back, shoulders, and arm.
Research has shown chiropractic care to be effective in treating conditions commonly affecting the joints and muscles of the neck. All the conditions listed below are seen regularly in the clinic. This information is designed to help, it is not a substitute to seeing a chiropractor or other qualified medical professional. In order to diagnose a problem effectively a full case history, orthopedic examination, and neurological examination must be performed.
Some common symptoms of neck pain are:
- Stiff neck
- Sharp pain
- General soreness
- Radiating pain
- Pins and needles numbness, or weakness
- Loss of strength when gripping or lifting objects
- Tension headaches
Neck Pain Causes
Pain in the upper body is very common and can range from a mildly stiff neck through to chronic neck pain, but it is wise to get all issues checked out by a professional to find a cause so the correct treatment can be found to alleviate the symptoms.
Neck pain itself is also known as cervical pain as the neck is our common name for the cervical spine. There are a number of environmental factors and medical conditions that can be one of the causes of neck pain. Hence, it is the job of the chiropractor to find out which one is causing you an issue
There are certain risk factors that make you more likely to have neck pain or stiffness, particularly if you play contact sports, ride horses, or take part in motorsports. Having a collision or accident in the pursuit of these sports may result in a trip to the hospital where you may be instructed to wear a neck collar or have an MRI scan to assess the injury, and this will happen before you can see a chiropractor.
Certain infections can cause pain in the neck area due to the swelling of the lymph nodes, but more serious and thankfully rarer infections can also be at the root of pain, for example, tuberculosis or osteomyelitis, and neck pain is also one of the symptoms of meningitis. If any of these are suspected and the neck pain is accompanied by any of the other symptoms related to these diseases, then you should seek medical help immediately.
But for the majority of cases that are not related to serious infection, chiropractors are the trained professional can helps you to alleviate your neck and shoulder pain.
How an examination by a Chiropractor can help
A thorough examination can reveal the cause of neck pain and suggest the best approach for optimum results. A thorough examination should also determine if you’re a good candidate for chiropractic care. These tests may involve your ability to turn and bend. The muscle tone of the supporting muscles in the neck may be tested. X-rays to reveal the underlying structure of the spine may be requested. These and other tests are designed to identify the cause and location of your neck pain.
Can Chiropractic help?
The most common cause of neck pain is functional distortions in the spine resulting from vertebral subluxations. These subluxations can be associated with cases such as arthritis, whiplash, and joint instability. The body responds by tightening muscles in the neck, ‘splinting’ the joint to protect it from further insult. Chiropractic care may be able to help.
Degenerative changes such as bone spurs, disc thinning, and other forms of spinal decay are unfortunately permanent, however, it may be possible to bring about some pain relief. These types of problems respond more slowly and some type of on-going supportive chiropractic care may help.
Our response to stress is another common cause of neck pain e.g. deadlines, rush-hour traffic, over commitments, work pressures, family obligations, etc.
If the weakest link in our bodies is our neck, stress shows up there. While chiropractic care cannot reduce the stress of your busy life, it can help improve your ability to handle and tolerate it.
For more information, give us a call on (561) 296-8787.