lady in front of computer holding neck

NECK PAIN

Neck pain is one of the common reasons for someone seeking chiropractic care. If you want to learn how chiropractic care can treat neck pain, read on.

The cervical spine or your neck, provides support and movement to the head. The biomechanics of the neck does mean there is a risk of injury, whether it is through repetitive motions, wear and tear or sudden movements.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF NECK PAIN?

Neck pain refers to any pain in the neck area and includes:

  • A stiff neck
  • Sharp pain in the neck (often localised to one spot)
  • Overall soreness
  • Radiating pain (pain radiates along a nerve from the neck to the shoulders and arms)
  • Tingling, numbness or weakness or a pins-and-needles sensation
  • Trouble with gripping or lifting objects
  • Headaches

POSSIBLE CAUSES OF NECK PAIN

There are a range of causes of neck pain which tend to affect the joints, muscles and nerves in the cervical spine. While the initial pain may subside within a few days, there can be a nagging discomfort left behind.

SPRAINS AND STRAINS

Strains and sprains is one of the most common causes of neck pain, where a muscle, tendon or ligament has been irritated by overuse or over extension. Common causes of neck strains and sprains include:

TEXT NECK

We live in a tech-obsessed society. People leaning forward to look at their computers. Looking down constantly at our phones. It seems innocent, but this posture of hunching over and looking down at our phones is adding additional pressure to our neck and spine.

Overtime, this hunched position may cause long term damage to the spine through muscle strains, pinched nerves and herniated discs. It also disrupts the signals that transmit from the central nervous system to the rest of the body hindering the bodies ability to heal quickly and operate at optimal performance.

POOR POSTURE

Did you know that the adult head weighs around 5kg? It’s a lot of weight for your neck to carry.

When someone has poor posture, they tend to tilt their head forward. When the head is tilted for longer periods of time, it causes the neck’s muscles, tendons and ligaments to work harder. This additional work through the neck may result in pain and discomfort.

WHIPLASH

Whiplash is a common injury caused by the head jerking backward then forward, it is commonly caused by a car accident but can also occur from activities such as rollercoasters and bungee jumping.

SLEEPING IN THE WRONG POSITION

Waking up in the morning with a “crick” in the neck may be due to sleeping in awkward positions that over extend the neck. Understanding good sleeping posture along with quality pillows and mattress is important.

CHRONIC NECK PAIN

Neck pain is typically diagnosed as chronic when it continues for more than 3 months. Chronic neck pain will stem from issues in the cervical spine either with a joint or disc. Some common causes of chronic neck pain include:

CERVICAL HERNIATED DISC

A cervical disc is the cushions between the vertebrae in your neck. A herniated disc means this cushion will bulge or leak out from the disc’s protective layer, causing irritation, inflammation and press on nerves in the neck. A cervical herniated disc can result from aging or injury.

CERVICAL OSTEOARTHRITIS

As you age your joints will wear down, this is no exception to the neck. Osteoarthritis can deteriorate the cartilage in the cervical joints causing your body to form bone spurs that limit the joint motion and trigger pain.

CERVICAL DEGENERATIVE DISC DISEASE

It is natural for wear and tear to occur in the cervical spine over time. As you age the discs gradually lose hydration and lose the cushioning effect between the vertebrae. Significant disc degeneration in the neck can lead to a herniated disc, pinched nerve and arthritis.

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HOW CAN CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENT HELP?

Persistent neck pain can disrupt your daily activities and work schedule, as well as disturb healthy sleeping patterns. About one in five Australians regularly suffer from neck pain, with 50 per cent likely to be affected by it at some point in their lifetime. While neck stretches and ice may help to relieve inflammation, chiropractic care may be necessary for symptom relief on a long-term basis.

A chiropractor can use their education, expertise and experience to assess the cervical spine pain and discomfort. To diagnose and treat neck pain, Dr Adam Gee will typically perform an initial assessment which involves a history of your pain and symptoms, a posture check and where relevant, may request an x-ray. Once we have a complete picture of the problem then we can advise on the appropriate care plan.

At Advanced Chiropractic, our goal is to help you to overcome pain and discomfort through chiropractic treatment. If you’re experiencing neck pain, contact our team today to book your initial consult.

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