Many people associate chiropractic adjustments with the treatment of just lower back pain. They maybe convinced that chiropractic adjustment is effective in reducing or eliminating back pain, but does it work with neck pain?
The spine of your body consists of 26 vertebral bones from the base of the skull or cervix down to the rectum or tailbone area. Seven of these vertebral bones are the tiny cervical vertebrae in the neck area. They are also referred to as the cervical spine. It is amazing how the small bones in your necks can support your head, which weighs an average of 12 pounds. The neck is flexible and can move to almost all directions. The neck’s flexibility makes it very susceptible to injuries and pain. Many activities and other factors can harm the neck, for example, repetitive movement, extended sitting, falls, blows to the head, accidents, and aging. Neck pain can bring much discomfort and can affect our work and life.
Causes of Neck Pain
The following are some of the causes of neck pain:
Repetitive movements especially of the neck and head for an extended period of time, as in some exercises, and twisted position of the neck during sleeping cause strain to the the affected muscles in the neck. Sitting for extended periods of time does not engage the vertebral muscles and bones and slows body metabolism.
Injury from Falls and Accidents
A sudden and violent movement of the head and neck in one direction will cause them to rebound in the opposite direction, injuring the tissues supporting them. This injury is called whiplash and can also cause muscle fatigue resulting in pain. Although whiplash affects the neck and head primarily, it can also bring injury to the surrounding joints, disks, muscles ligaments and nerve roots in the vertebrae.
Growing old causes degenerative disorders such as spinal ostenosis, osteoarthritis, and degenerative disk disease that have direct impact to the spine. Osteoarthritis, a joint disease, causes progressive deterioration of the cartilage. Spinal stenosis causes the narrowing of nerve passage in the vertebrae, resulting to pain in the neck, shoulder and arm. Degenerative disk disease, caused by the reduction of the elasticity and height of intervertebral disks may result in disk herniation leading to numbness and pain along the areas of the spine and into the arm.
Weak abdominal muscles from poor posture and obesity y upset spinal balance that will cause the neck to bend forward to compensate for it. Postural stress can result to neck pain and may even extend to the upper back and arms.
Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain
In a chiropractic visit for neck pain treatment, the chiropractor will ask you questions to help identify the factors leading to and the cause of your back pain. After that, the chiropractic doctor will perform physical and neurological examinations to observe and note the movements that cause pain. An x-ray may be conducted to diagnose conditions of your neck and spine. A few other tests, such as computerized axial tomography (CAT) or magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI) to check disk bulge or herniation may be done.
Cervical adjustments or manipulation will be performed by the chiropractor to correct abnormalities in the cervical spine or the neck. This precise manual procedure aims to improve the mobility and range of motion of the spine and the adjoining muscles.
The chiropractor’s treatment and follow up plan will prescribe a complete care program that will include the frequency and manner of treatment in your subsequent visits, as necessary.
After one or a number of chiropractic sessions, patients typically notice significant improvements in their ability to turn and tilt the head, and relief from neck pain, and conditions like stiffness and soreness.