Due to various factors nearly everyone will experience neck pain at some point in their lives. Many people resort to drug therapies which can be harmful in the long run, and aren’t designed to correct the underlying issue causing the pain. Chiropractic is a non-invasive, non-surgical and drug free way to alleviate pain and correct many factors which cause neck pain.
Neck Pain Causes
The neck is made up of seven vertebrae which are designed to move in nearly all directions, a complex muscular structure, carotid arteries, jugular veins, cervical and cranial nerves, and the portion of your esophagus known commonly as the “visceral column”. With all of these complex structures, and as the major support for the head, the neck is susceptible to pain and injury for many reasons:
- Accident/Injury- Whiplash injuries are caused by hyperextension of the neck in any direction, causing strain or sprain to the soft tissues. Whiplash is a non-medical term and encompasses a whole host of issues. Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash however, contact sports, blows to the head, sudden change in direction, slips and falls, and less severe repetitive strain injuries can all cause whiplash injuries.
- Daily Living- Poor posture is a major cause of neck pain, as is stress and fatigue. Underdeveloped abdominal muscles and extended periods of sitting at computers can cause neck pain issues.
- Aging- Osteoporosis, stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), and degenerative disc disease are all factors of aging that contribute to neck pain.
There are several tests that will be done to determine the best course of action in treating your neck pain. You’ll be asked a series of questions regarding the nature of the pain and any steps you may have taken to alleviate it. Range of motion is a common test which determines how much, if any, restricted movement is being caused by the issue and physical assessment noting posture, spine curvature, and feeling for muscular spasms. Beyond those, X-ray, MRI, and EMG are other tests that may be ordered depending on the severity of your symptoms.
Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain
Once a diagnosis has been made, there are several options to treat the condition causing the neck pain. Cervical manipulation, also known as “neck adjustments” are one of the key facets of chiropractic care for neck pain. Manual adjustment of the neck is intended to increase range of motion and increase mobility of the spine. It often frees up the muscles that are affected by the misaligned vertebrae as well as adjoining muscles. Many patients report less pain and greater movement ability after receiving manual adjustment treatments for their neck pain.
The various other alternative medicines available through chiropractic care will also be applied, as necessary, to return you to optimal health. These may include acupuncture for pain relief, applied kinesiology for body mechanics, hypnotherapy to enhance the natural healing processes, and nutrition and exercise counseling. A combined-care plan can be your best drug and surgery free option to optimal and pain free health.