Is chronic neck pain preventing you from performing basic, everyday tasks? Have you tried prescription opioids or over-the-counter (OTC) medications to alleviate tension headaches or whiplash? Do you have osteoarthritis in your neck or back?
For Neck Pain Relief Today
Whether you simply woke up this morning with a stiff neck or you have suffered from neck soreness for years, chiropractic treatment can provide neck pain relief.
What Causes Neck Pain and Stiffness?
Your neck, also called the cervical spine, begins at the base of your skull. It is made up of seven small vertebrae that protect your spinal cord and provide support, structure, and flexibility for your neck.
Most often, neck pain occurs when one (or several) of the joints, muscles, tendons, or ligaments in your neck becomes inflamed or irritated. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but here are some of the most common causes of neck pain:
- Aging: The joints that connect the vertebrae in the spine are lined with cartilage. As we get older, that cartilage fades away. Simultaneously, the discs in our spine lose water and become narrow. This deterioration puts pressure on the joints and causes inflammation—resulting in back and neck pain. Some of the most common degenerative disorders are osteoarthritis, cervical spondylosis (arthritis of the neck), spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease.
- Auto accidents: Roughly two-thirds of people involved in a car accident develop symptoms of whiplash—a sudden, forced extension of the head or neck in one direction and the subsequent flexion in the opposite direction. This “whipping” motion causes neck muscles to tighten and contract and become fatigued, resulting in pain and stiffness. Sometimes these symptoms don’t appear for two to forty-eight hours after the accident and left untreated, can cause chronic pain and other health issues.
- Sleeping wrong: When your head and neck aren’t properly supported or your neck remains twisted or bent for a prolonged period of time while you sleep, you can expect to wake up with a stiff neck. Your pillow could be the culprit: too thick and the natural curvature of your spine is lost; too thin and your spinal curve is exaggerated. Your sleep position—especially if you sleep on your stomach—can also cause unnatural strain on your neck muscles and unnecessary pressure on your back. Sleeping on your back or your side will help you avoid twisting your head to one side, straining your muscles.
- Sports injuries: Playing sports can put a lot of wear and tear on the muscles, ligaments, and joints—especially those in your neck. Hard blows to the head or shoulders that fling the neck forward or backward can cause whiplash, just like an auto accident. People who play contact sports need to take extra care to protect their necks because even minor neck pain can lead to serious injuries.
- Spinal imbalance: Postural stress (poor posture), obesity, and weak abdominal muscles disrupt the natural curvature of the spine. To compensate, the neck bends forward. This puts the spine in an unnatural position, placing stress on the joints, muscles, and vertebrae. In addition to chronic neck pain, spinal imbalances can cause pain, numbness, tingling, and other symptoms in the upper back and the arms.
- Stress and emotional tension: Psychological stress can manifest itself physically—and the neck is one of the most common sites in the body where we feel its effects. It’s not all in our heads, though. When we are stressed, our muscles tend to tighten and contract. This tightening and contracting can also lead to pain and stiffness in the neck.
- Technology: As the use of computers, smart phones, iPads, tablets, and video games has increased, neck and back pain complaints have skyrocketed. And the term “text neck” is now widely used to describe the repeated stress and pain in the neck that results from excessive texting on handheld devices. When the neck is bent forward for an extended period of time, it puts an enormous amount of strain on it—and it can cause pain in the back or chronic pain in the neck as well.
While most people experience neck stiffness and soreness from time to time—and some people tolerate it for years—it’s not something you should ignore.
How Chiropractic Care Can Relieve Your Neck Pain?
Chiropractic care is a safe, natural way to alleviate your neck pain and stiffness—and improve your overall health and wellbeing.
During your first visit, your chiropractor will ask questions and perform an assessment to determine the root cause of your neck pain and the best way to treat it. If necessary, x-rays will be taken to further evaluate your situation. Your personal care plan may include a combination of manipulation, therapy, and other techniques. Below are some of the most common chiropractic approaches for treating neck pain.
- Neck adjustments: Using their hands, a chiropractor works on the joints of the neck to improve mobility of the spine and neck and reduce soreness and stiffness.
- Dry-needling: This involves using solid needles to stimulate and break muscular knots and bands.
- Cervical traction: A modality that is used to gently stretch your neck and separate the disc and joint surfaces in your cervical spine.
- Therapeutic exercises: Whether you do these on your own or your chiropractor stretches your joints manually, exercises can improve your range of motion and prevent your neck pain from getting worse.
- Electrical stimulation: This safe and non-invasive therapy uses a low-frequency electrical current to stimulate neck muscles.
- Massage therapy: Therapeutic massage is a great complement to chiropractic adjustments. It not only feels good and relieves mental and emotional stress, but also relaxes tense muscles in the neck.
- Spinal manipulation: A chiropractor will use this is a hands-on technique to apply a degree of force to the spine, helping to restore movement and spinal realignment.
- Ultrasound therapy: By sending sound waves into your muscle tissues, ultrasound can ease neck pain and stiffness.
Don’t wait until your neck pain becomes an even bigger . . . pain in the neck. Call us to get neck pain relief today.
At All Star Chiropractic, our goal is to help our patients recover from back pain, neck pain, lack of mobility, joint issues, range of motion issues, and more—without the use of prescription drugs. We believe in taking a holistic “whole-body” approach to your health. We don’t want to just temporarily fix your pain—we want to determine and treat the root cause so you live an active and pain-free life.
Call one of our locations today to schedule an appointment, or to learn more about how chiropractic care can help you.