Neck pain affects millions of individuals every year. Whether neck pain is acute or chronic, statistics show that approximately 80% of adults are affected by some kind of neck pain condition. The neck supports the entire weight of your head, it allows you to move your head in a wide range of directions, and provides you with flexibility. It is precisely because of these functions and the location of the neck, that it can be quite prone to pain and injury. If for any reason a person begins to experience neck pain, daily activities begin to suffer, as does the overall quality of life.
Neck pain can be caused in a variety of ways including: car accidents (often resulting in whiplash); injuries to the neck itself; osteoarthritis; spinal stenosis; sleeping in a poor position; and even from poor posture. You can damage, injure, or “pinch” a nerve in a variety of ways: overstretching the nerve, constricting the nerve, or compressing it. Car accidents or direct injuries to the neck will often over stretch the nerves. Disc bulge or spinal stenosis can constrict the nerves. Arthritis with boney growths will compress the nerves.
Neck pain symptoms where nerves and muscles are involved typically involve one or more of the following types of pain: dull ache, stiffness, tingling, numbness, burning, or weakness. Headaches often accompany neck pain. Problems in the neck can also affect the nerves that control your balance, which can lead to clumsiness or tendency to fall. Symptoms vary, depending on the location of the problem in the cervical region. When symptoms do occur, they often start gradually and worsen over time.
Treatment of neck pain depends on the cause. For the vast majority of people, neck pain can be treated conservatively. Recommendations which may help alleviate symptoms include applying heat or cold. Other common treatments could include medication, body mechanics training, ergonomic reform, or physical therapy. When there is a specific condition causing chronic neck pain, individuals usually start on the conservative end of the treatment spectrum and work their way to the surgical end of the spectrum.
Chiropractic care is a conservative approach. It is also a very safe and successful approach to relieving neck pain. In many cases, doctors of chiropractic will recommend neck adjustments also known as cervical manipulation. This is a very precise technique that is done by hand and applied to the joints of the neck. Neck adjustments will help restore your normal range of motion, increase spine mobility, and improve normal spinal curves. Patients who undergo such treatments often note a reduction of neck pain, stiffness, and a better flexibility in their neck.