Neck Pain Treatment Using Chiropractic
Neck Pain Causes & Treatment
What causes neck pain?
The neck is a fairly sensitive area and the second most common issue patients come to see us about. The cervical vertebrae are tightly packed and there are nerves and veins running through and in between the structure. Some people develop issues through their professional life. Like the office clerk who holds the phone between their cheek and shoulder or the chef who is always bent over the chopping board. Others develop neck pain through sport injuries or accidents which can cause a sudden and dramatic change in the structure.
Neck pain usually develops as a result of irritation of the nerves or excessive tension in the muscles and tendons supporting the cervical area. Very often people who have neck pain, suffer from a misaligned neck which causes it to tilt to the side or anterior (forwards) tilting of the head. Perhaps you’ve heard the expression: text neck?
Any of the above can increase the pressure to the neck muscles and may cause compression of the discs and vertebrae. The neck area will then become sore, inflammation typically sets in and mobility and range of motion may be reduced.
How neck-pain can be diagnosed?
A lot of people self-diagnose neck pain as they can feel it, it’s always there. It’s a kind of pain you can’t stretch out of, it returns and keeps the muscles feeling tight or sometimes causes them to spasm. They report the feeling of having an impinged nerve.
As chiropractors we absolutely listen to what the person has to say as this is an important part of the diagnosis process. We also assess your previous history. However we want to verify the patient’s assertion by measuring and testing to see if what the patient reports corresponds with the results of the chiropractic check-up. It’s also important to get quite specific as this will give us the right information for delivering the highest level of care. Neck pain is quite a generic term, it doesn’t tell us much, so we will work on pin-pointing the problem with as much precision as we can.
In order to achieve this we will conduct all the necessary mobility, range of motion and neurological tests to make an appropriate diagnosis. We will also check for inflammation along the vertebral segments using a neuro-scope and take pictures and x-rays (if clinically required). We combine all measurements and data for a robust root cause diagnosis.
What are the symptoms of neck pain?
The most common neck pain symptoms that our patients come to see us about are:
An achy and sore neck.
Stiffness in the neck.
Pain that Radiates.
A very sharp pain.
Tingling, numbness, or weakness.
Reduced range of motion especially when turning the head.
Loss of strength of control when gripping or lifting objects.
Having a hard time moving the neck.
We also see patients who are suffering from whiplash typically after being involved in a car accident or serious sport injury.
Effective neck-pain treatment
To effectively treat a neck pain it’s important to correct any structural imbalance and restore proper function of the muscles supporting the neck. Having good alignment, with the help of chiropractic adjustments, will correct the shape of the cervical structure and promote all vertebrae to move properly. By bringing any misaligned vertebrae into alignment the inflammation will reduce and nerve impingements are allowed to disappear.
Our experienced team of chiropractors are qualified and trained to provide you with specific exercises and stretches should this be required.
Other changes may involve improving your desk setup and making some improvements to certain habits such as lifting your phone up rather than brining your head down all the time. Speak to one of our chiropractors next time you come in for an adjustment.
Should I be concerned it may be more than just a neck pain?
If in doubt it’s always a good idea to check with your GP as well, especially if you have concerns. We will always conduct a full initial check-up to arrive at a root cause diagnosis. As primary carers If we discover anything that is a concern during our check-up, we can refer you to a specialist as well.
Do you think I should change my pillow?
We get asked about pillows a lot, and it’s definitely a good idea to invest in a quality pillow to ensure you have the right level of support for your neck. Speak to your chiropractor about this particularly if you’re concerned. If you get someone to take a picture from the side of the bed, holding the camera level, from a fairly low vantage point just above the mattress, whilst you’re laying on your pillow it will help us give you some guidance. Also remember that some providers of orthopaedic pillows can give you free in-store advice.
I may have whiplash, can you help?
In most cases we’re able to help. To be completely sure we will do an initial chiropractic check-up first. We can take structural x-rays (if clinically required) and if you have any imaging yourself such as MRIs please bring them to the first visit so we can take it into account. Using skilful palpation techniques our experienced chiropractors can establish mobility and range of motion issues and identify imbalances along the cervical vertebrae.
Aside from the neck we would do full chiropractic assessment which includes a postural analysis, posture pictures, weight distribution measurements and use of a neuro-scope to identify points of inflammation. Neurological tests can determine muscle weaknesses and imbalances caused by nerve impingement. The reason for looking at your entire structure instead of just focusing on the neck is that all body parts connect and interact with each other.
Will I be able to go back to work after you adjust my neck?
Yes in most cases you can. Initially you may prefer to see us at a time just after work so you have a bit of time to rest after the adjustments to let things settle. Some of our clients come to see us during lunch time whilst at work. In this case you just want to be mindful of your neck throughout the day and keep it the best possible position you’re able to. You can use cold if you feel a bit achy in the form of ice, gels or similar products to be found alongside the deep heat and other muscle rub section.
Does it hurt to have your neck adjusted?
Most of our patients report a very pleasant feeling when the neck is being adjusted. A feeling of peaceful tranquillity and joy may take place as the body releases endorphins. Now in some rare cases there maybe a slight discomfort but the relief is still pretty immediate. As vertebrae that are stuck get released, the neck might feel a little bit sore after being adjusted please don’t worry. This is perfectly normal. Just use heat or cold to ease the ache and let things settle. This is due to the fact that tiny muscles and joints are made to perform a type of structural movement they may not be used to. Also as muscle function restores to healthy levels some muscles that were previously underperforming could feel a bit fatigued from the sudden increase in exercise. This is a normal part of the corrective process.