What is Neck Pain?
Acting as a bridge between your head and your torso, which allows for motion of your head, your neck is made up of seven vertebra and is supported by many muscles and ligaments. Neck pain most often occurs when the joints, muscles and ligaments in the neck become irritated or inflamed.
Neck pain can range from minor and easily ignored, to excruciating and debilitating. When combined with other symptoms it can also indicate immediate medical attention is needed. Common symptoms of neck pain include:
- Stiff neck with limited range of motion
- Concentrated sharp or stabbing pain
- General soreness or tenderness
- Radiating pain, that can eventually lead from the neck to shoulders, arms, fingers and head
Although everyone experiences neck pain now and again, it is not something that should be tolerated. Approximately 17 percent of the adult population is suffering from neck pain and discomfort at any given time. In many instances this is caused by sleeping in an abnormal position, poor posture, falling or injuries from sport or whiplash. In rare cases, it can be caused by growth abnormalities, infections, tumors and even cancer.
In any event, neck pain can be serious and should be attended to immediately with Chiropractic neck pain treatment.
How Can with Chiropractic neck pain treatment Help Those with Neck Pain?
Neck Pain and Chiropractic neck pain treatment.
Our neck, also called the cervical spine, begins at the base of the skull and contains seven small vertebrae. Incredibly, the cervical spine supports the full weight of your head, which is on average about 12 pounds. While the cervical spine can move your head in nearly every direction, this flexibility makes the neck very susceptible to pain and injury.
The neck’s susceptibility to injury is due in part to biomechanics. Activities and events that affect cervical biomechanics include extended sitting, repetitive movement, accidents, falls and blows to the body or head, normal aging, and everyday wear and tear. Neck pain can be very bothersome, and it can have a variety of causes.
Here are some of the most typical causes of neck pain:
Injury and Accidents: 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 intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerve roots. Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash.
Growing Older: Degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease directly affect the spine.
Osteoarthritis, a common joint disorder, causes progressive deterioration of cartilage. The body reacts by forming bone spurs that affect joint motion.
Spinal stenosis causes the small nerve passageways in the vertebrae to narrow, compressing and trapping nerve roots. Stenosis may cause neck, shoulder, and arm pain, as well as numbness, when these nerves are unable to function normally.
Degenerative disc disease can cause reduction in the elasticity and height of intervertebral discs. Over time, a disc may bulge or herniate, causing tingling, numbness, and pain that runs into the arm.
Daily Life: Poor posture, obesity, and weak abdominal muscles often disrupt spinal balance, causing 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 contribute to chronic neck pain with symptoms extending into the upper back and the arms.
Chiropractic Care of Neck Pain
During your visit, your doctor of chiropractic will perform exams to locate the source of your pain and will ask you questions about your current symptoms and remedies you may have already tried.
People experiencing neck pain often turn to chiropractic care for help. Some swear by chiropractors, saying the work they perform not only relieves pain, but also often addresses the source of their aches, twinges, and throbs. There are more than 60,000 licensed chiropractors in the United States today, and about 8 percent of American adults and 3 percent of children have had chiropractic care to treat their pain, according to a recent survey. That’s a higher percentage than those who use other alternative therapies like yoga, massage, and acupuncture.
Chiropractic: How Neck Pain Is Treated with Chiropractic neck pain treatment
The word chiropractic is from the Greek words for hand (cheir) and action (praxis) — practitioners primarily use their hands to treat muscle, joint, and nerve pain by adjusting the spine and joints. Adjustments involve the chiropractor applying controlled but sudden force to a joint, pushing the joint beyond the range in which it normally moves. This is intended to loosen up joints that move poorly or painfully due to tissue damage or scarring caused by either trauma or repetitive stress. An example of trauma causing neck pain is whiplash, while a repetitive stress injury could be from consistently poor posture.
For neck pain in particular, Chiropractic neck pain treatment, called cervical manipulation, loosen up the joints of the cervical vertebrae in the neck, and this can reduce pain caused by pinched nerves and muscle spasms.
Chiropractic: Finding a Practitioner
Chiropractors are trained to diagnose patients through physical exams as well diagnostic tests. Treatment plans may include neck exercises to do on your own and suggestions for a healthier lifestyle; chiropractors do not prescribe neck pain medication as part of their treatment. Practicing chiropractors in the United States are required to receive a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from a properly accredited college. Admission to a chiropractic college requires three years of undergraduate work. Chiropractic college is a four-year program, during which the chiropractors-in-training will learn in the classroom and provide hands-on care to patients. For specialized training, chiropractors undertake an additional two- or three-year residency.
Every state has its own regulations for chiropractors that cover the techniques they are able to practice; some may perform acupuncture, for instance. To find a chiropractor in your area, ask your primary care physician for a recommendation or contact the American Chiropractic Association.