NECK PAIN TREATMENT
The neck is vulnerable to injury, in part due to its biomechanics. Actions that affect these biomechanics include extended sitting, repetitive work motions, poor postures, muscle fatigue, poor sleeping positions, accidents, sports injuries, falls, blows to the body or head, normal aging, and everyday wear and tear. Neck pain can be very painful, limiting, and can have a variety of causes.
Typical Causes Of Neck Pain
Injury and Accidents: Whiplash trauma from car accidents or slips and falls can be common mechanisms of injury to the neck. A forced movement of the head and neck in any direction with resulting “rebound” in the opposite direction is known as whiplash. The sudden change in motion injures the surrounding soft tissues of the neck, head, or shoulders. Muscles react by tightening and contracting, creating muscle fatigue. This ultimately results in inflammation, pain, and stiffness. Severe whiplash can also be associated with injury to the cervical vertebrae joints, inter-vertebral discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerve roots.
Growing Older: Degenerative disorders result with the aging process. Long term effects 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, affecting joint motion.
- Spinal stenosis causes narrowing to the nerve’s passageway through the vertebrae bone. This compresses and traps the nerve roots. Stenosis may cause neck, shoulder, and/or arm pain with associated numbness and tingling when these nerves are unable to function normally.
- Degenerative disc disease can causes a reduction in the height of inter-vertebral discs. Discs that sustain continued physical stress thin over time and dehydrate. This may lead to a disc bulge or herniation, causing tingling, numbness, and pain in nerves that run into the arm.
Daily Life: Poor posture, obesity, and weak muscles often disrupt proper biomechanics, causing the neck to bend forward to compensate. This predisposes the neck muscles to constantly contract in order to balance these forces, leading to muscular fatigue. Repetitive poor motions cause muscles to tighten and contract, resulting in pain, fatigue, and stiffness. Postural stress and further wear and tear can contribute to chronic neck pain with symptoms extending into the upper back and the arms.
Our Clinical Approach
During your first visit, your doctor of chiropractic will initially discuss, in detail, your history.
- When did the pain start?
- What have you done for your neck pain?
- Does the pain radiate or travel to other parts of your body?
- Does anything reduce the pain or make it worse?
Your doctor of chiropractic will perform both musculoskeletal and neurological exams. In the physical exam, your doctor will observe and evaluate the bones and joints, the soft tissues and muscles, and nerve functionality independently.
This includes examining your posture, joint range of motion, reflexes, muscle strength and coordination, while noting movements that cause pain or restriction. A check of your shoulder area is often included due to its direct involvement. Specific tissue dysfunctions will be identified and recommendations for care will be made on the first visit. Every option will be discussed to help make an informed decision.