Modern living often entails hours of driving and hunching over workstations. There are many things we do every day that put pressure and stress on our necks. It is not surprising that neck pain is the second most common condition that chiropractors treat. While neck pain is less common than back pain, millions of people experience neck pain and related arm pain at some stage in their lives and therefore seek chiropractic care.
Neck pain can result from abnormalities in the movement and integrity of the joints of the spine, or from damage to the soft tissues around the spine like muscles, ligaments, and nerves. The complex relationship of all of these supporting structures means that it is often a combination of factors that leads to a problem in the neck. The common phrase ‘it’s just muscular’ isn’t often true. The most common causes of neck pain that chiropractors diagnose and treat are from either an acute injury or prolonged wear and tear. In many people, problems with the neck are also the source of their pain in the upper back, shoulders and arms. Neck problems are also the source of many headaches.
When neck pain is caused by muscle strain, you may have aches and stiffness that spread to the upper arm and forearm. Shooting pain that spreads down the arm into the hand and fingers can be a symptom of a “pinched nerve” or nerve entrapment in the neck. When a nerve is “pinched” in the neck, numbness, weakness and pain in the hands or arms may be felt. An accurate diagnosis by your chiropractor is important to determine the precise cause of your symptoms and how to correct and stabilise the problem to promote healing and recovery.
Injuries to the neck caused by a sudden movement of the head backwards, forwards and sideways are referred to as “whiplash”. Whiplash is most commonly suffered as a result of a road traffic accident. An impact or collision causes the head to suddenly jerk back and forth beyond its normal limits.
Whether from a car accident, sporting injury or an accident at work, whiplash and neck injuries of any kind warrant a thorough chiropractic examination.
Wear and tear, osteoarthritis or joint degeneration occur due to imbalances in the body and the accumulation of stresses and trauma over time. Throughout your life, the spine is required to withstand the considerable weight-bearing strain, purely as a result of the pressures of daily living. This weight-bearing strain is significantly increased by poor spinal posture. The overall effects of degenerative changes of the spine lead to a feeling of stiffness and reduced spinal mobility. Every part of our body needs the right care to remain healthy. Our spine is no different. The better the spinal care, the less degeneration is likely to occur.
Chiropractic diagnosis and management is usually very effective for neck pain.