Causes of Neck Pain
Growing older: as you age, conditions such as spinal stenosis and degenerative disc disease tends to affect the spine resulting in neck pain.
Injury and Accidents: Whiplash is among the leading cause of neck injury and is commonly a result of automobile accidents.
Degenerative disc disease: This condition affects the intervertebral discs making them stiff and reduces elasticity. As years progress, the discs tend to herniate resulting in numbness and pain which extends to the arms.
Spinal Stenosis: This condition narrows the nerve passage causing them to lose function resulting in pain in the neck, shoulder or arms.
Lifestyle: Research shows that obesity and poor sitting posture can cause disruption of the spinal's balance. This in turn causes the neck to bend forward adapting to the new position of the spinal cord causing neck pain. Emotional tension and stress cause stiff muscles resulting in pain.
How Neck Pain is Diagnosed
During your visit with the chiropractor, they will perform an array of exams to locate the source and cause of pain. You will also be answering questions concerning the symptoms, length of the pain, and home remedies used in order to determine the best treatment approach.
The doctor will perform a neurological and physical exam on you. They will also feel your spine and observe its alignment and curvature. On the neurological examination, the doctor will test for muscle strength, reflexes among other nerve changes and pain spread. Moreover, your doctor can request for an X-ray, MRI, CT or CAT scan to observe the disc spaces and bulging, fractures, arthritis, or bone spurs.
Treatments for Neck Pains
A neck adjustment (also known as cervical manipulation) is a precise, manual, hands-on treatment procedure used on the neck's joints. Cervical manipulation is used to improve the functionality and mobility of the neck as well as increase it’s range of motion. In turn the treatment restores movement of the adjoining muscles.
Instrument assisted manipulation: Use of handheld instrument to apply force on the spine.
Flexion-distraction technique: A hands-on spinal manipulation that involves pumping action on the intervertebral discs rather than direct force.
Therapeutic massage: Helps relieve pain, reduce stress, and work on a specific problem—such as a frozen shoulder.
Ultrasound: This technique works by sending wave signals into your muscle to ease the stiffness and alleviate neck pain.
Trigger point therapy: Technique used effectively to relieve painful points on the muscles of the neck.
Therapeutic exercises: This will help improve the general motion and functioning of your neck to alleviate pain.