Chiropractor for Neck Pain
Neck pain? Neck stiffness? Consider seeing a chiropractor for neck pain, here’s why.
Where does neck pain come from?
- Most neck pain or stiffness comes from tight sore muscles and malfunctions within the moveable spinal joints, known as facet joints.
- The spacers and shock absorbers separating each spinal bone, called discs, may also cause pain if they are injured or becoming arthritic.
- Nerves in the neck can become irritated causing not only neck pain, but also pain that travels down an arm or into the hand.
What causes pain and stiffness in the neck?
- Chronic poor posture from working at a computer, staring down at hand held devices, or sitting watching TV can cause pain.
- Neck pain from car accidents is a common source of a painful stiff neck, as are sports injuries, and slips and falls.
- Degenerative changes, arthritis, due to aging or from past traumas commonly causes neck pain for people above the age of 40, but can afflict even people in their 20’s due to previous injuries as a child or teen.
How does a chiropractor know what’s causing my neck pain?
Chiropractors have very specialized training in how your spine works. A good chiropractic doctor will ask you about past injuries and your current onset of symptoms. He or she will then perform a routine examination of your neck, the same as an orthopedist and a neurologist checking fro joint motion, muscle tension, tenderness, reflexes, muscle strength, etc. Additionally, your chiropractor will do a chiropractic spinal analysis to locate areas within the spine that are malfunctioning. This is unique to chiropractors and there are many different methods, but the result is the same: pin-point the root mechanical cause of your neck pain. Most chiropractors will want to take or send you out for x-rays. This is to rule out major problems like fracture, dislocation, tumor, etc but also to observe your spinal alignment and mechanics. Alterations in the alignment of your spine cause malfunction and pain and are often overlooked by medical physicians who lack training in biomechanical x-ray analysis.
How will my chiropractor treat neck pain?
Your care will depend on the exact nature of your problem, how severe it is, how long its been around, your occupation and recreational duties, etc. No two patients are alike.
The most common neck pain treatments are:
- Chiropractic adjustments (spinal manipulation); movement of the stuck spinal joints to unlock them
- Physiotherapy modalities such as heat, ice, electrical stimulation, cold laser therapy, exercises, neck stretching, neck traction and others
- Home care for the neck is a vital part of chiropractic treatment, your doctor of chiropractic will give you homework to do including stretching exercises, application of heat and/or ice, postural exercises, lifestyle modifications, diet, etc. Chiropractic treatment is a partnership between you and your doctor, and both are responsible for your recovery.
How long will I have to go to the chiropractor for neck pain?
Chiropractic neck pain treatment can last a few sessions to several months in the case of a car accident injury. Your doctor will go over a treatment plan ahead of time explaining the rationale for care and answer any questions. A reputable chiropractor will always give you choices in care from short pain relief care to longer term rehabilitation care. You should not be pressured into accepting a care plan that you are uncomfortable with.