Your neck is an integral area of everyday movement, and sharp pains can prevent you from functioning properly in your day-to-day life. Neck pain also causes debilitating and extremely uncomfortable sensations, especially if the pain stretches from your neck down to your shoulders. Fortunately, many people are able to find relief from their neck pain every year through the help of a chiropractor and physical therapist at Midland Sports Rehab and Freeland Sports Rehab!
Common symptoms of neck pain
When someone experiences neck pain, it typically runs from the base of their skull to the top of their shoulder blades, finally settling in the back of the neck.
The pain can vary in severity, from a constant dull ache to sharp and stabbing pains. Neck pain can sometimes include additional symptoms, including but not limited to:
- Loss of sleep due to pain and discomfort.
- Numbness or tingling into the upper extremities.
- Arm weakness.
- Inability to fully stand up or sit up straight.
- Stiffness and muscle tightness in the upper body.
- Discomfort and pain when remaining in the same position for too long.
There are a number of reasons why neck pain may occur. The best way to be 100% sure of why you’re experiencing neck pain is to see a chiropractor for an appointment.
Reasons you’re experiencing pain in your neck
Neck pain is most commonly caused by an injury to the tissues or bone structures in the neck; however, certain degenerative conditions can also lead to neck pain.
Some common conditions that give you a pain in your neck include:
The muscles in your neck can become strained by overuse. Even something as simple as sitting at your desk all day with your neck craned toward the computer screen can lead to a strain in your neck muscles.
Certain diseases and ailments can result in neck pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis and meningitis.
If you have a herniated disc in your neck, or narrowing of the foramen (space where the nerves exit the spine), the nerves that branch out from your spinal cord can become compressed. In some cases, nerve pain can even extend from the neck all the way down to the hands and fingers — a condition known as “radiculopathy.”
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that result in neck pain, typically sustained by an automobile or high-impact sports collision. This is known as a “strain” injury, causing the head to whip rapidly back-and-forth, thus affecting the soft tissues in the back of the neck.
How can a chiropractor find the problem?
Treating neck pain begins with establishing a diagnosis. Neck pain can stem from insufficient core strength and weight gain due to inactivity, which in turn often causes poor posture. Other possible causes include degenerative disc disease and arthritis, or injuries such as whiplash after a car accident.
Your chiropractor will provide a likely cause of your neck pain, often after asking a series of diagnostic questions and perhaps ordering an x-ray or MRI. Depending on their findings, they may begin to treat you through a series of adjustment appointments.
Neck adjustments, or cervical manipulation, involves applying strategic, healing pressure to the joints affecting your neck. Not only do these adjustments ease pain, but they also allow patients to move their necks more freely than they previously had.
Among the adjustments your doctor of chiropractic may employ to treat your neck pain are:
- Cervical drop, in which the head of the table on which the patient is lying is lowered at the same time the practitioner makes a gentle thrusting motion on the neck region.
- Cervical manual traction, for which the patient either lies facing up, or is seated on the table, while the chiropractor gently stretches the neck upward.
- Cervical mobilization, a method that involves the practitioner strategically moving the head in various positions in order to reposition the neck vertebrae.
These techniques are helpful for many seeking help for neck pain. Studies show that most patients with chronic neck pain report partial or complete pain relief.
Call our clinic today for an appointment
Whether your neck pain shows itself as difficulty when trying to sit up straight in your chair at work or tilting your head down to tie your shoes, a chiropractor can help get you back to a normal, pain-free function.