Chiropractic care for neck pain relief can produce excellent results! In fact, each year thousands of Americans seek neck pain relief one way or another. It is estimated that two out of three Americans will suffer from neck pain at some point in their lives.
Whether it is the result of injury, strain, overuse, or degenerative conditions makes no difference to the neck pain sufferer, it still hurts. Neck pain relief can be elusive or hard to come by.
Getting to the cause of the pain can be confusing. Simply taking medicine or pills to numb the nervous system may temporarily provide some pain relief from neck pain. However, getting to the cause of the problem and approaching it from a holistic perspective is best in the long run.
Some neck pain can be self-limiting of course but is not the problem. Pain is your body’s warning signal that something is wrong.
Neck pain may warn us of the presence of a severe condition that may lead to loss of work or worse. Sometimes if the cause is not detected and corrected in time, surgery may be eventually necessary. Spinal surgery is expensive and often does not provide better long term relief than less invasive methods. And treatment for neck pain and back pain costs around 90 billion dollars per year! Don’t become a statistic in the neck pain treatment jungle.
Understanding Neck Pain Causes
Below is a list of common causes of minor neck pain we see in our chiropractic office:
- Improper sleeping position
- Improper posture at the computer/desk
- Improper posture during work or exercise
- Sports related mild strain
One very common cause of neck pain is joint dysfunction in the spine. When the spinal vertebrae become misaligned, “fixated” or stuck together, it can cause uneven wear and tear leading to pain. Spinal dysfunction often referred to as “spinal subluxation” causes local tissue irritation. It can cause uneven wear and tear on the joints, discs, nerves and surrounding tissue eventually leading to degenerative disc disease and local osteoarthritis. Chiropractors are the only profession trained to detect and correct spinal subluxation.
As mentioned above, neck pain may have many causes. My patients report: “I must have slept on it wrong” or “I just woke up with a crick in my neck.” Some other causes of neck pain can be obvious trauma such as a sports injury or auto accident. Some neck pain may be caused by accidents or problems from our much younger years. We go through life not realizing there is a problem until we wake up with serious pain.
Understanding the Warning Signs Your Neck Pain is Sending You
If neck pain is persistent do not ignore it!
Typical warning signs of potentially serious neck pain include:
- Persistent neck pain that will not go away
- Any radiation, tingling or numbness into the shoulder, arm or hands
- Muscle weakness or atrophy
- Limited mobility or range of motion. For example, you cannot turn your head effectively to look for oncoming traffic
If you experience any of the symptoms in the list above, I suggest you seek help with a qualified health professional. Preferably a chiropractor who is trained in the analysis of the spine, the spinal joints, and discs as well as the various problems in the next that the chiropractor may be highly effective at helping.
This is someone who is familiar with these problems and can help you get to the source of your problem. We see this type of problem almost every single day in our office and are quite familiar with the many causes and treatments for neck problems. Dr. Whittington is experienced and knowledgeable in the chiropractic care of neck pain.
Can a Chiropractor Help Relieve Neck Pain?
There are many situations where a chiropractor can make a measurable impact. Below are a few examples:
Degenerative disc disease or herniated cervical disc are serious problems that can lead to neck pain and headaches. Diagnosing and working with spinal dysfunction that may lead to these issues is important in getting to the cause of neck related problems.
Migraines and Cervicogenic Neck Pain
Headaches are often times found along with neck pain. This is called “cervicogenic” neck pain and is extremely common, even with migraines. No amount of medicine is going to cure your headaches or migraine headaches if you do not address the cause. Knowing not only the cause but how far it has progressed and what effect the problem is having on the surrounding tissue and nerves is the first step in neck pain relief and healing.
Car Accidents and Whiplash
Some causes of whiplash or “acceleration/deceleration” injury can be falls, sports injury impacts or auto accidents. In this situation, the head is usually thrown forward and or backward and can result in soft tissue tearing and injury. Usually, the person with a whiplash type injury will have extremely sore muscles around the head, neck and shoulder area. The whiplash sufferer may have a multitude of symptoms including dizziness, jaw pain, and headaches. Chiropractic can help people with whiplash.
Degenerative Disc Disease
I have put this one after whiplash, because in my opinion, one of the common causes of neck degeneration is past trauma including whiplash. In this situation, the vertebrae of the neck may start to spur. The discs or cushions between the vertebra begin to dry out and lose their elasticity. Since the discs are designed to cushion the vertebrae and allow for flexible movement and protection, those suffering from degenerative disc may have many symptoms. Stiff neck, neck cracks or pops on movement, limited movement or range of motion are just a few.
If it has progressed far enough, radiating pain or “radiculopathy” may occur where the patient gets pain or numbness down the arm perhaps as far as into the hand. If it is more progressed, there may be a weakness that can result in “dropping” things from the hand like a coffee cup etc.
Disc degeneration is a serious condition and should not be taken lightly. If one has radiating pain or “drops” they should consult a professional as soon as possible. Chiropractors can help with pain associated with degenerative neck discs.
Home Care Options for Finding Neck Pain Relief
For minor neck pain relief try the following:
- Rest at the end of the day lying on your back with a towel rolled up about the size of your forearm. Place it carefully in the small curve of your neck and rest comfortably for about 10-15 minutes. This will often give neck pain relief for minor neck pain sufferers.
- Use ice especially if you have had a recent injury or strain. Heat may feel better, but ice is never harmful. Leave it on no longer than 15-20 minutes per hour. I highly recommend ice if you have any radiating pain at all. With radiating pain-do not use heat.
- Gentle neck and shoulder rubs can help. This can be done by a professional or simply a caring family member.
- Of course, chiropractic care is advised in the instance of any joint problem in the body. The neck is especially vulnerable to spinal joint dysfunction due to its unsupported nature and the weight of the head resting upon it.
- If these methods do not work, consult a qualified chiropractor experienced in neck problems like
Do You Need Professional Help With Neck Pain?
Headaches, neck pain, shoulder pain and radiating pain are treated successfully and effectively with chiropractic care. In our office, we see these conditions every day and have excellent results with these types of cases.
Give us a call at 828-298-0011 and we will be happy to discuss your particular situation to see if we can help you too.