||Chances are, you've experienced or are experiencing a "stiff neck" or "sore neck". Given the complex mechanics and function of the neck, it's no wonder that
"neck pain" is so common. The neck supports your head, which may 10 pounds or more, and needs to bend up and down and turn side to side.
Many may think that occasional minor "neck stiffness" and pain is nothing to worry about and that it will simply go away on it's own. However, recurring pain and stiffness are the first signals that something serious may be wrong and that you need to seek to seek professional
The Cervical Spine
The cervical spine (neck) is made up of bones called vertebrae. The seven vertebrae in the neck, which doctors number C-1 to C-7, make up the cervical spine. These vertebrae protect the spinal cord, the major nerve pathway from the brain to the rest of your body. Between the each vertebrae is a fibrous cushion called a disc which helps the bending and flexing of the head.
Problems With The Neck
A sudden injury such as a fall or a car accident may cause damage to the neck. Often, though, damage occurs slowly over time from poor posture wear and tear and believe it or not even emotional stress. Another cause is spinal imbalance, which occurs when the head is not balanced over the rest of the spine. Muscles supporting the unbalanced weight of the head quickly become fatigued. Spinal imbalance can be both a symptom and a cause of stress on your neck.
Injuries and imbalances can cause cervical vertebrae to move out of their normal position. Soft tissues (such as tendons and ligaments, and muscles can become inflamed or worn out. The discs separating and cushioning the cervical vertebrae can
herniate (bulge), or even rupture (burst). Nerves can be damaged or irritated from misaligned cervical joints or bulging or ruptured discs.
Finally, the neck changes as we age. Arthritic changes in the spinal bones such as spurs (abnormal bony growths), disc degeneration (breakdown of the discs), and muscle or ligament deterioration may change the normal, healthy curve of the neck and cause irritation of nerves in the spine resulting in pain.
Symptoms of Neck Problems
Problems with the neck can lead to symptoms of pain and reduced range of motion.
"Neck problems" can also lead to pain in the face, shoulder, wrist and numbness and tingling in the arm, hands and fingers. And even seemingly unrelated conditions can be due to neck problems: headaches, vision disturbances, difficulties with concentration or memory, ringing in the ears have all been associated with problems in the neck.
Treatment for Neck Pain
Standard medical treatments for neck pain include muscle relaxants, painkillers, and tranquilizers. These medications only mask pain; they do nothing for the underlying cause of your pain. If these medications don't give relief, then more drastic measures may be recommended such as surgery or injections. In many cases,
"chiropractic treatment" can help ease pressure on the nerves and prevent the need for surgery. For most patients, surgery should be considered as a last option when more conservative treatments fail.
Researchers reporting in the British Medical Journal compared the cost-effectiveness of treatment of neck pain by chiropractic care, traditional physical therapy, and medical care for 183 people. The results of the study were that the folks treated with chiropractic got better faster and at a lower cost than more traditional treatments! You owe it to yourself to try the treatment that has been shown to be more effective.
Alexandria-Arlington VA Auto Accident Injury Chiropractor, Dr. Leslie Holcombe, approach to treating your neck pain doesn't just involve treating the symptoms.
The goal is to find the source of the problem and correct it. By correcting the source of the problem, the body can heal itself naturally. Neck pain often responds dramatically to the restoration of normal biomechanical spinal function and motion through conservative chiropractic techniques and care.
Dr. Holcombe's primary tool in treating spinal malfunction is the use of specific chiropractic adjustments (spinal manipulation). Applying a precisely directed force to a spinal joint that is out of position or not moving properly helps gradually restore it to a more normal position and function. Depending on each individual condition, Dr. Holcombe will use hers hands or a special low force adjusting instrument to deliver a quick, therapeutic thrust to the affected joint
Impulse Adjuster. Other adjustments may require a slow constant pressure to a specific area for release.
Holcombe also uses physical modality therapies to compliment adjustments to speed recovery and healing. These often include heat and/or cold compresses, muscle stimulation, traction, massage therapy and rehabilitative exercises to strengthen and retrain
weakened or injured neck and back muscles due to falls, trauma or auto
accidents. Lifestyle changes such as review of office ergonomics, eating a healthier diet, nutritional supplements and reducing stress may also be suggested. [Read More]
When to Seek Help For Neck Pain? ..... TODAY!
DON'T CONTINUE TO SUFFER!! While some patients seek chiropractic care only when the pain is unbearable, this crisis approach often costs more in the long run- in time, stress and money. Most neck problems are often more easily treated within the first month of the onset of symptoms, Dr. Holcombe believes it's never too late to get help. The sooner you seek professional chiropractic care, the sooner you'll find relief from your pain.
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DISCLAIMER: No individuals, including those under our active care, should use the information, resources or tools contained within to self-diagnose or self-treat any health-related condition. Diagnosis and treatment of all health conditions should only be performed by your doctor of chiropractic or other licensed health care professional.