Nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population will suffer from neck pain at some time in their lives. According to one survey, neck pain is the third main type of pain in America. Lower back pain holds first place. Although pain is felt in the neck, not all neck pain originates there. Sometimes other areas of the spine are the cause of neck pain. About 10% of the population has the experience of neck pain at least once each year.
The chiropractic approach to neck pain is to locate its underlying cause. This begins with a complete case history and thorough examination. Special attention is given to the structure and function of the spine, and its affect on the nervous system.
Factors That Cause or Contribute to Neck Pain
Neck pain can be caused by:
- Bone or joint abnormalities such as Cervical Spinal Stenosis. This condition is an abnormal, progressively narrowing of the bone channel that surrounds the spinal cord. This process may lead to pinching of the spinal cord, resulting in neck pain.Click for additional information for “Cervical Spinal Stenosis“.
- Poor posture. Tilting the head forward (to read the computer screen), slouching and sitting with rounded shoulders for hours, while at a desk, causes pain in the neck, shoulder, and back. Holding the phone between the shoulder and ear is another example of poor posture, and possibly the reason for your neck pain. Click for additional information for “A Patient’s Guide To Proper Posture“.
- Weak abdominal muscles can disrupt spinal balance as well, causing other muscles to compensate for the spinal imbalance. Click for additional information for “Chronic Abdominal Pain“.
- Stress and emotional tension cause muscles to tighten, and this leads to stiffness and pain.
- Injuries from accidents, contact sports, and horseback riding can cause muscle and bone damage. Click for additional information for “Whiplash and Pain“.
- Degenerative diseases such as Cervical Osteoarthritis and Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease. The first condition is a type of arthritis (inflammation of the joints) in the neck that leads to loss of joint cartilage. The second ailment is deterioration of the cervical disc(s). These discs in the neck, are located between the seven cervical vertebrae (bones), and allow for smooth movement. The discs also act as the body’s shock absorbers. Click for additional information for “Chronic Back Pain From Degenerative Disc Disease“.
- Muscle strain. Neck muscle strain is the result of overstretching and tearing of the tissue. It is most often caused by “Whiplash”, a common injury that occurs in car accidents. “Whiplash” is when the head or neck suddenly and forcefully moves in one direction, and then rebounds just as suddenly and forcibly in the opposite direction. The intensity of the pain of muscle strain will vary based on the severity of the injury. Click for additional information for “Whiplash and Pain“.
- Obesity causes an increased risk of osteoarthritis, which can affect the cervical bones. Obesity also disturbs the spinal balance, which causes the neck to bend forward to compensate for the imbalance.Click for additional information for “Osteoporotic Fracture“.
What does a chiropractor do for neck pain ?
Chiropractic is the largest alternative form of medicine. This alternative treatment method centers on diagnosing and treating mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine. The primary treatment technique in manual therapy involves manipulating the spine, other joints, and soft tissues. Chiropractic care also includes ultrasound (sound waves introduced into the muscles), diathermy (heat production in a part of the body using high-frequency electric currents), electrical stimulation (the use of electric impulses), and other therapies. Treatment may also involve patient counseling about exercise, health, and lifestyle.
The theory of chiropractic is that a properly aligned musculoskeletal system, especially the spine, will relieve pressure on the spinal nerves and help the body to heal itself without surgery or medication. Chiropractic specializes in back and neck pain treatment. Research has revealed that chiropractic is helpful in treating:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Elbow pain
- Knee pain
- Foot pain
If your chiropractor diagnoses your condition as possibly requiring medication or surgery, you will be referred to an appropriate If your chiropractor diagnoses your condition as possibly requiring medication or surgery, you will be referred to an appropriate medical doctor.
What do chiropractors do for neck pain ?
The focus of Chiropractic is treating or rehabilitating an injured musculoskeletal system using manual manipulation and other treatments, instead of medications and surgery.
To alleviate your neck pain, your chiropractor may use a combination of techniques such as cervical spinal manipulation, and cervical spinal mobilization.
Cervical spinal manipulation is the well-known high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) thrust. Using this method, chiropractors position the patient in a certain posture, and then using their hands, they apply a sudden and controlled force to a particular joint. This manipulation creates a “pop” sound. That “pop” is a release of gas that occurs when the joint is pushed a little past its passive range of motion point.
Cervical spine mobilization is the more gentle joint adjustment, or low-velocity, low-amplitude (LVLA) technique. One position used with cervical spine mobilization requires that the patient lay down, face-up, while the chiropractor manually moves the patient’s neck vertebra from side to side, left to right, then right to left, alternating this pattern with a figure eight motion. The patient’s head is also moved forward, and backward, and turned side to side at intervals. This smooth, non-thrust stretch is used to reduce areas of limited motion.
Cervical manual traction is when the patient is laying face-up or seated, and the chiropractor pulls the neck gently, forward and backward, to stretch the cervical spine and reduce tightness. Another treatment method involves gentle hand manipulation using a pumping action on the spinal discs.
Other neck pain treatments consist of therapeutic exercises, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound.
Chiropractic is an effective way to relieve your neck pain. It is not an invasive procedure like surgery is, and it does not have all of the adverse reactions that medications have. t tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.