Chiropractic Neck Pain Treatment:

Chiropractic is very effective in the diagnosis and treatment of over 95% of most neck pain. The first and most important thing in the treatment of any ailment, is proper diagnosis, correctly and accurately identifying what the problem is and what caused the problem in the first place.
A Chiropractic Physician is one of the most highly qualified doctors to do just that examine and accurately diagnose your condition. With the proper diagnosis, planning the best treatment for you so that you are on the road to a quick and complete recovery is much easier.
Your neck contains muscles, tendons, ligaments as well as a portion of your spine otherwise known as the cervical spine. The neck begins at the base of the skull and contains the seven small vertebrae known as Cervical one through Cervical seven. Incredibly, the cervical spine supports the full weight of your head, which is on average about 12 pounds. While the cervical spine can move your head in nearly every direction, this flexibility makes the neck very susceptible to pain and injury.
The neck’s susceptibility to injury is due in part to what is known as biomechanics. Activities and events that affect cervical biomechanics include extended sitting, repetitive movement, accidents, falls and blows to the body or head, normal aging, and everyday wear and tear. Neck pain can be very bothersome, and it can have a variety of causes.
Neck pain can result from a variety of causes, ranging from overuse injuries and whiplash to diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, disc pain and inflammation, infection and meningitis.

MUSCLE STRAINS:

Overuse, such as too many hours hunched over a steering wheel, often triggers muscle strains. Neck muscles, particularly those in the back of your neck, become fatigued and eventually strained. When you overuse your neck muscles repeatedly, chronic pain can develop. Even such minor things as reading in bed or gritting your teeth can strain neck muscles. Properly identifying this condition and the causes in your specific case leads your doctor to choose the right treatment, therapies, exercise and ergonomic recommendations for you.

INFLAMED AND WORM JOINTS:

Just like all the other joints in your body, your neck joints tend to experience wear and tear. These conditions can vary with age, occupation, past history of injuries, all which can cause osteoarthritis in your neck. These conditions tend to affect two main types of joints in the neck. Facet joints and disc joints are both possible sources of your neck pain. Proper treatment including correct postural training and positioning, stretching, Chiropractic adjustment including soft tissue treatments and physiotherapy are all very effective in treating the vast majority of these conditions.

NERVE COMPRESSION:

A variety of problems in your neck’s vertebrae can reduce the amount of space available for nerves to branch out from the spinal cord. Examples include:

Stiffened disks

The cushioning disks between your vertebrae may be injured or become dry and stiff, narrowing the spaces in your spinal column where the nerves exit. Proper treatments to enhance improved range of motion and decrease pain and spasm all go a long way in treating this chronic condtion. Gentle traction or spinal decompression therapy can both be quite helpful in treating this as well.

Herniated disks

This occurs when the inner gel-like material of a disk protrudes through the disk’s tougher outer covering. The protrusion can press on nerves exiting the spinal column. This could cause arm pain and weakness as well as pain in the muscles and neck itself. Traction and Spinal Decompression Therapy again can actually improve the spacing and flexibility of discs as well as help discs heal and reduce the protrusion without surgery.

Bone spurs

Arthritic joints in your neck can develop bony growths that may press on nerves. Spurs generally develop as part of the process or condition, osteoarthritis.

Spinal stenosis

Spinal stenosis causes the small nerve passageways in the vertebrae to narrow, compressing and trapping nerve roots. Stenosis may cause neck, shoulder, and arm pain, as well as numbness, when these nerves are unable to function normally.

INJURIES:

Motor vehicle accidents, particularly, Rear-end collisions often result in whiplash injuries, which occur when the head is jerked forward and then backward, overstretching and tearing the soft tissues of the neck beyond their limits. The sudden forced movement of the head or neck in any direction and the resulting rebound in the opposite direction is again known as whiplash. The sudden whipping motion injures the surrounding and supporting tissues of the neck and head. Muscles react by tightening and contracting, creating muscle fatigue, which can result in pain and stiffness. Severe whiplash can also be associated with injury to the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerve roots. Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash.

DISEASES:

Neck pain can sometimes be caused by diseases, such as:
  • Rheumatoid arthritis. After the joints in the hands and the feet, the joints in the neck are the next most commonly affected by rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Meningitis. This infectious disease causes the lining of the brain and spinal cord to swell. One of the most common symptoms of meningitis is neck pain and stiffness.
  • Cancer. Rarely, neck pain can be caused by cancerous tumors in the spine. The cancer may have traveled to the spine from other parts of your body.
Again, it is important to see a physician in order to obtain a proper examination and diagnosis of your neck pain. A Chiropractic Physician is a well trained specialist and may be consulted to help get you started on the path back to pain reduction and improved health.

CHIROPRACTIC CARE FOR NECK PAIN:

During your visit, we will perform an examination in order to locate the source and cause of your pain. We will ask you questions about your current symptoms and remedies you may have already tried. It is a very important step to obtain answers to the following questions:
  • When did the pain start?
  • What have you done for your neck pain?
  • Does the pain radiate or travel to other parts of your body?
  • Does anything reduce the pain or make it worse?
We will also perform a physical and neurological exams. In the physical exam, your doctor will observe your posture, range of motion, and physical condition, noting movement that causes pain. We also will palpate or feel the area of your neck that is in pain. We will note the features including neck curvature and alignment, and feel for muscle spasm.A check of your shoulder area is also in order. During the neurological exam, your doctor will test your reflexes, muscle strength, other nerve changes, and pain spread.
In some instances, we will advise and order that certain tests be performed in order to help diagnose your condition. We may also suggest and take an x-ray that could can show narrowed disc space, fractures, bone spurs, or arthritis. A computerized axial tomography scan (a CT or CAT scan) or a magnetic resonance imaging test (an MRI) can show bulging discs and herniations. If nerve damage is suspected, your doctor may order a special test called electromyography (an EMG) to measure how quickly your nerves respond.
As Chiropractic Physicians, we are generally considered conservative care doctors; Our scope of practice does not include the direct use of drugs or surgery. If we determine as your chiropractor that your diagnoses is in our professional opinion a condition outside of our conservative scope, we will consult with you and refer you to the appropriate medical physician or specialist. We may also ask for permission to inform your family physician of the care you are receiving to ensure that your chiropractic care and medical care are properly coordinated.

NECK ADJUSTMENTS:

A neck adjustment (also known as a cervical manipulation) is a precise procedure applied to the joints of the neck, usually by hand. A neck adjustment works to improve the mobility of the spine and to restore range of motion; it can also increase movement of the adjoining muscles. Patients typically notice an improved ability to turn and tilt the head, and a reduction of pain, soreness, and stiffness.
As your treating Chiropractic doctor, we will develop a program of care that may combine more than one type of treatment, depending on your personal needs. In addition to manipulation, the treatment plan may include mobilization, massage or rehabilitative exercises, Physiotherapy or something else.

RESEARCH SUPPORTING CHIROPRACTIC CARE:

One of the most recent reviews of scientific literature found evidence that patients with chronic neck pain enrolled in clinical trials reported significant improvement following chiropractic spinal manipulation.
As part of the literature review, published in the March/April 2007 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, the researchers reviewed nine previously published trials and found high-quality evidence that patients with chronic neck pain showed significant pain-level improvements following spinal manipulation. No trial group was reported as having remained unchanged, and all groups showed positive changes up to 12 weeks post-treatment.