This may have never occurred to you, but your neck is an incredible thing. If you think about it, it houses a rock-hard cage — the cervical vertebrae — that contains and protects the top of the spinal cord, connecting your brain to the rest of your body. In addition, our neck, also known as the cervical spine is able to support the full weight of your head, which on average is around 11 pounds. Despite this, your neck has the ability to move your head in nearly every direction which makes it extremely prone to pain and injury.
Most Common Causes of Neck Pain:
- Whiplash is a forced, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck. Whiplash injuries typically happen in a rear-end auto accident, but can also occur from a sports accident, physical abuse, or other trauma.
- Growing older may lead to degenerative disorders like osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease.
- Osteoarthritis is a common joint disorder that causes progressive deterioration of cartilage. In response, the body reacts by forming bone spurs that affect joint motion.
- Spinal Stenosis occurs when the spinal column narrows and causes pressure on the spinal cord or the nerve roots as it exits the vertebrae.
- Degenerative disc disease can cause a reduction in the elasticity and height of intervertebral discs. Over time, a disc may bulge or herniation, causing tingling, numbness, and pain that runs into the arm.
- Poor posture, obesity, and weak abdominal muscles can interrupt spinal balance which can cause the neck to bend forward to compensate. Stress and emotional tension can cause muscles to tighten and contract, resulting in pain and stiffness. Postural stress can lead to chronic neck pain with symptoms extending into the upper back and the arms. (ACA)
How Chiropractic Care can Help with Neck Pain
When visiting your chiropractor, they may use a combination of spinal manipulation, manual therapy, and other techniques to determine the best treatment plan for your neck pain.
Listed below are some common spinal manipulation techniques your chiropractor may use:
- Flexion-distraction technique is a gentle, hands-on spinal manipulation that includes a pumping action on the intervertebral disc instead of direct force.
- Instrument-assisted manipulation uses a hand-held instrument which gives your chiropractor the ability to apply force without thrusting into the spine.
- Specific spinal manipulation can assist in restoring joint movement by using a gentle thrusting technique.
Manual therapies may also be used by your chiropractor to tend your neck pain. These include:
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy uses special instruments to diagnose and treat muscle tension.
- Manual joint stretching and resistance techniques can help minimize neck pain and other symptoms.
- Therapeutic massage can help relax tense muscles.
- Trigger point therapy is used to alleviate tight, painful points on a muscle.
Other therapies that may be used can include:
- Interferential electrical stimulation uses a low-frequency electrical current to stimulate neck muscles.
- Ultrasound sends sound waves into your muscle tissues to help stiffness and pain in your neck. (spine universe)
The treatments that are listed above are merely examples of possible chiropractic treatments for neck pain. Your actual treatment plan will depend on the diagnosis your chiropractor gives you. Your chiropractor should thoroughly explain your treatment options so that you have a clear understanding of what will happen.
Our Methods for Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain
We get positive results with our chiropractic care because we require our new patients to get an examination and consultation by one of our physicians before we start manual adjustment. The exam can range from a simple assessment, for healthier necks, to a digital x-ray to get a more specific understanding of the condition.
The initial consultation is set aside to discover the root of the issue, and get a rough idea as to the amount of injury we may be dealing with. We are also looking for any “Red Flags”, or potential problems down the road.
We don’t rush in and begin making spinal adjustments until we have a full understanding of your medical background. In our 20 years of practice, we find that this approach gives our patients not only positive results, but also results that will last.
Vancouver residents who are suffering from neck discomfort or pain are welcome to visit us for a consultation to determine the cause and best treatment option to safely correct problems in the neck area. Our main goal is to help you obtain long-term pain relief and better overall health through our services. Please visit www.nwinjuryrehab.com or call (360) 573 – 1933 to schedule your appointment!