Your neck, also known as your cervical spine, supports the full weight of your head throughout its wide range of movements. And because your cervical spine is flexible enough to move your head in just about every direction, it’s highly susceptible to dysfunction, pain, and injury.
If you suffer from neck pain, whether acute or chronic, chances are it stems from a variety of common causes. Because a chiropractor is trained to address dysfunction, misalignment, and pain throughout all segments of the spine, chiropractic care can improve your symptoms significantly.
Below, the experts at Bomberg Chiropractic share some of the most common causes of neck pain and how chiropractic care can help.
Accidents and Injuries
Sudden, forceful movements in any direction can cause the neck to lurch in one direction and immediately rebound in the opposite direction. This highly common occurrence is known as whiplash, and it can happen in a wide variety of situations, including auto accidents and competitive sports.
Whiplash can cause intense neck pain because it forcefully and suddenly overstresses the muscles in the neck, which causes them to tighten and contract. When the neck muscles remain contracted over a sustained period, they become fatigued, resulting in pain, stiffness, and reduced mobility. Severe whiplash can even result in injury to the spinal discs, intervertebral joints, nerve roots, muscles, and ligaments in the neck.
With the rise of the smartphone came a new spinal condition known as text neck. This source of neck pain stems from looking downward for prolonged periods, which overstretches the tissues in the neck. Text neck is not a medical diagnosis; rather, it’s simply a term used to address this type of repetitive stress injury to the neck.
Neck pain can also develop from other forms of poor posture, including sustained hunching of the upper body. Failing to hold the head in an upright position directly over the neck — known as forward head posture — can also result in chronic neck pain. Experts assert that for every inch the head moves forward, it places 10 pounds of additional stress on the joints, discs, and soft tissues in the neck.
Muscle strain is a highly common cause of neck pain characterized by neck stiffness and poor mobility. Strain can occur as a result of a wide variety of activities, including:
● Side sleeping while clutching a pillow tightly
● Sleeping on your stomach with the arms stretched out in front of you
● Sleeping with a pillow that doesn’t adequately support the neck
● Working at a computer for prolonged periods
● Holding a phone between the ear and shoulder for prolonged periods
● Heavy lifting
● Accidental falls
● Repetitive motions that affect the neck
While there are many causes of neck strain, sometimes, the exact cause of a person’s strain is unknown. Even if the cause of neck strain is unknown, a chiropractor can successfully diagnose the condition and deliver the appropriate treatment(s) to reduce inflammation and pain and restore mobility.
Over time, the cartilage in between a person’s joints can start to deteriorate. This progressive condition is known as osteoarthritis, and the body often responds to it by creating bone spurs that negatively affect joint mobility. Bone spurs can cause significant pain with movement of the neck because they can place pressure on the nerves that stem from the cervical spine.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease a condition that causes the intervertebral discs to slowly deteriorate. As the discs wear down, they can bulge or even herniate, which places excess pressure on the nerves that run through the cervical spine.
When a bulging or herniated disc pushes on the cervical nerves, it can result in neck pain that is often accompanied by one or more of the following symptoms:
● Tingling that extends to the shoulder, arm, or hand
● Numbness in the arm or hand
● Pain that extends from the neck into the shoulder, arm, or hand
Though a chiropractor can help alleviate pain and poor mobility associated with degenerative disc disease, the condition itself has no known cure. Chiropractic care is a gentle, non-invasive treatment option for managing the ongoing complications that can result from the condition.
How a Chiropractor Addresses Neck Pain: 5 Effective Treatments
When you visit a chiropractor to address your neck pain, your practitioner may use a variety of treatments to reduce inflammation and pain, alleviate muscle tension, and restore mobility. Some of the most common chiropractic treatment for neck pain include:
● Chiropractic adjustment. Adjusting the cervical vertebrae helps realign the spine to its proper position. This helps alleviate pressure on the nerves in the neck and restore healthy cervical posture.
● TENS therapy. Low-frequency electrical stimulation overrides pain signals from the muscles and nerves to the brain. It also stimulates injured or strained neck muscles, which helps expedite the healing process.
● Movement-based massage. This form of massage effectively addresses painful muscle adhesions, scar tissue, and trigger points in the neck.
● Instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy. Using special instruments, a chiropractor may perform soft tissue mobilization to treat muscle tension and poor mobility in the neck.
● Therapeutic exercises. Along with standard chiropractic treatments, a chiropractor typically sends neck pain patients home with a series of therapeutic exercises they must practice regularly. These exercises are designed to reduce pain and restore mobility with continued practice.
Do You Suffer From Neck Pain? Let Bomberg Chiropractic Help
If you suffer from neck or back pain, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Bomberg Chiropractic. We specialize in a wide variety of treatments designed to relieve pain and restore mobility and we serve the entire Twin Cities metro area. To schedule an appointment or learn more about how we can help you, please call our New Hope, MN office today at 763-450-1755 or send us a message, and we’ll be in touch.