What is Neck Pain
There are seven vertebrae (back bones) in your cervical spine that connect the base of the skull to the rib cage and are surrounded by a network of muscles, joints, blood vessels, nerves, tendons/ligaments, and soft tissue. In addition, there are structures such as your wind pipe, blood vessels, thyroid gland, and lymph nodes. For a relativity small delicate area of our body, there can be several sources for neck pain.
The muscles and joints in your neck are what allow you to shake, nod, hold, and turn your head at different angles. In between the vertebrae are intervertebral discs, or the shock-absorbers which help cushion your movements. The discs are made up of a fibrous, outer cartilage and an inner gel, making it resemble a jelly doughnut.
What Causes Neck Pain
Neck pain may be mild or severe, numbing or burning, in your neck or in your hand. The most common causes of neck pain occur when there is strain or injuries to the soft tissues including the muscles, tendons and ligaments surrounding the vertebrae in your neck. This can happen for a number of reasons.
Daily life can take its toll on your body. The way you're living could be causing your neck pain. Poor posture, obesity, and weak abdominal muscles often disrupt the spine's balance, causing your neck to bend uncomfortably to compensate.
Stress and emotional tension can cause muscles to tighten and contract, resulting in pain and stiffness.
Lifting a heavy object incorrectly or even normal activities such as gardening, tennis, and even golf can all potentially put a strain on your neck.
Sit too long at your desk, staring at your computer can cause the muscles to contract.
Falling asleep in an uncomfortable position only to wake up with a stiff neck.
Auto accidents can cause whiplash, a sudden forced movement of the head or neck in any direction and the resulting "rebound" of the head or neck in the opposite direction. Muscles react by tightening and contracting, creating muscle fatigue that results in pain and stiffness. Severe whiplash can also involve injury to the intervertebral discs, joints, ligaments, muscles, and nerve roots.
Besides injuries that occur in normal daily life, neck pain may also be caused by age-related disorders, such as arthritis (cartilage in vertebrae deterioriates) or spinal stenosis (the narrowing of nerve passageways located between the vertebrae or of the spinal canal).
Aging can literally be a pain in the neck. That’s because degeneration of the cervical vertebrae occurs in nearly everyone as they age. Arthritis symptoms include chronic pain, muscle weakness, numbness, stiffness, headaches and loss of balance.
More info on Causes of Neck Pain
How can chiropractic treat neck pain
Elite Chiropractors will take you through a thorough examination to determine what is causing you Neck Pain. Once we’ve determined that chiropractic care can help, we will devise a neck pain treatment plan prior to therapy. Our chiropractors may use a combination of spinal manipulation, manual therapy, and other techniques as part of your treatment plan for neck pain.
Spinal Manipulation Techniques
- Flexion-distraction technique is a gentle, hands-on spinal manipulation that involves a pumping action on the intervertebral disc instead of direct force.
- Instrument-assisted manipulation uses a hand-held instrument to apply force without thrusting into the spine.
- Specific spinal manipulation helps restore joint movement using a gentle thrusting technique.
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy uses special instruments to diagnose and treat muscle tension.
- Manual joint stretching and resistance techniques can help reduce neck pain and other symptoms.
- Therapeutic massage can help relax tense muscles.
- Trigger point therapy is used to relieve tight, painful points on a muscle.
- Inferential electrical stimulation uses a low frequency electrical current to stimulate neck muscles.
- Ultrasound sends sound waves into your muscle tissues to help stiffness and pain in your neck.
Stop suffering from neck pain now! Schedule an appointment for one of our chiropractors to exam your neck.