Hopefully, everyone already knows that Chiropractic should be your “go to” option for help with neck pain. Everything from the “crick” in the morning to severe disc-related pain can be first evaluated and treated by a chiropractor.
In our office, neck pain is the most common complaint when new patients see us for the first time. Since nearly all of our patients spend most of the work time sitting at a computer, it makes sense that this would become the area affected.
Sitting at the computer for extended periods leads to your head beginning to jut forward, causing more strain on your neck and upper back. This will initially lead to stiffness and then to recurring pain. Often, you’ll initially get relief by using ice and over-the-counter medications.
If that doesn't work, some people move on to some type of massage by either rubbing on their own neck or using the services a licensed massage therapist. In either case, the cause of the problem (the vertebra out of alignment) is not being addressed. That's where chiropractic care can help, and it can help you a lot more than you realize.
Whether it's the muscle that pulls the spine out of alignment, or the spine moving out of alignment that causes the muscles to tense up is difficult to tell. Either way, moving the vertebra back into place does allow the muscles to relax and allow the vertebra to stay back in alignment and alleviate pain.
Once we begin chiropractic adjustments, we will also recommend home stretches and exercises to help the keep the spine in place. This will also make your neck stronger and help prevent future episodes. These additional recommendations will make a big difference in how quickly you recover and how long your results will last.
Neck pain can also be caused by trauma, like a rear-end collision that happens during a car accident. In this case, the road to recovery can take a little longer. Any trauma can effect the neck, so it's important to be properly evaluated should this happen to you.
Any soft tissue injury (anything not bone, like muscles, ligaments, and tendons) will take weeks to heal. During that time period, it's very important to get your spine adjusted and back into alignment.
Keeping the spine aligned during the healing process helps you fully recover from injuries associated with the car wreck. Without the spinal alignment, you may find yourself with a neck that "just hasn't been right since the accident" and we don't want that for you.
Patient with a neck condition may also experience additional radiating symptoms of pain, numbness, or tingling going into their upper back or down their arms and even into their fingers.
Once a neck problem has gone from being a localized problem, to a radiating problem, you know that it is becoming worse. It's not as if this means you can't act on your problem conservatively with chiropractic care, but it can mean that time is running out.
Patients not responding to conservative treatment will be referred for MRI examination and/or sent to a medical specialist to consultation and treatment.