At some point your life you likely have experienced sharp, shooting neck pain when you turn your head to do a blind spot check in your car.
This is a problem.
It's even more problematic when you start avoiding doing these important safety checks because your pain is too severe. Before you have an accident, here's what you need to know when commuting is literally a pain in the neck (or head, or back, or shoulders).
Don't accept anything less than a full range of motion.
When you are evaluated for neck pain, one of the first things every doctor checks is range of motion, or how far you can rotate your head from left to right.
You should be able to turn your head so your chin is line with your shoulder without shrugging your shoulders, turning your body or having pain. Having anything less than a full range of motion is an indicator that there is a problem with the muscles, bones or nerves in your neck.
Neck pain sometimes isn't just neck pain.
If you are having neck pain during your commute, you might be tempted to think the problem is exclusively in your neck. Not so!
Sometimes problems in other areas of your body are manifested as neck pain. For instance, working at a desk all day with poor posture may contribute to poor alignment in your entire spine, not just in your neck.
Your commute may be when you experience neck pain, but its cause is likely rooted in the way you sit, work, stand, or walk. Everything from posture to weak abdominal muscles can contribute to your symptoms. That is why over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers offer temporary relief but do little to solve the underlying problem.
It's all about alignment.
As tempting as it might be to chalk up your neck pain to stress or needing a massage, the reality is that your commuting conundrum comes down to alignment.
Think about it this way.
Your entire central nervous system travels to every part of your body from your brain and your spinal cord. The majority of your peripheral nerves pass through one or more areas of your spine. When your spine is out of alignment, these nerves become cramped sending distress signals to your brain in the form of pain, numbness, tingling, or even burning.
Over time, if the bones are not realigned, the muscles begin to compensate for weakness or pain creating even bigger problems than before. If you fix the alignment problem, you fix the nerve problem which, in turn, fixes the muscular problem.
Chiropractic care is the best way to realign your spine and restore your neck's range of motion. The cervical vertebrae, the bones closest to the skull, are capable of moving in every direction. But if they are misaligned, their movement is impeded. By carefully and strategically realigning these bones as well as the rest of the spine, you will find your range of motion is restored and your pain is relieved at the source.
Stop relying on your mirrors and dumb luck to stay safe on your commute. Let CORE Chiropractic help you stay safe out there.