Neck pain is an extremely common condition, especially in those over the age of 50. Pain of the neck is the second most common reason for one to seek chiropractic care. There are many reasons why neck pain occurs. Some of the most common reasons include whiplash, spinal arthritis, herniated discs, muscle spasms, and poor posture. Even stress can lead to discomfort and decreased mobility. Some less common, but more serious causes of neck pain are infection, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), and rheumatoid arthritis.
The are many reasons for Neck Pain. Poor posture & Arthritis are two of the most common.
In today’s world it’s difficult to have perfect posture all the time. Between sleeping, using electronics, working, and driving, it’s no wonder more people are suffering from poor, painful posture. Over time the affects of poor posture build up causing a cascade of muscle imbalances that contribute to pain and other progressive symptoms like osteoarthritis.
Slouching when sitting or standing, leaning to one side, tilting head forward to look at a phone or computer, and rounded shoulders are some common examples of poor posture. Chiropractic can help coach you through these pitfalls many people succumb to as we age. Correcting posture through spinal manipulation and muscle strengthening exercises are just a few ways Smart Pain Solutions can help with neck pain. For more information on posture as we age, check out our “Postural Aging” blog post.
Arthritis is often associated with age. Usually, by the age of 35 or 40 years of age, subtle signs of arthritis and spinal degeneration can be detected on x-rays. The degree of spinal degeneration can vary significantly between individuals. Genetics and previous injuries are other reasons why one person may have more signs of arthritis than another. Tight, stiff joints which are worse in the morning is a typical sign. Maintaining motion in these arthritic joints is the best defense against this condition.
Progressive arthritis can lead to more a more serious conditions like spinal stenosis. This is when the nerve pathways of the spine have become occluded by the bony spurs that developed over time. An indication of this can be pain, as well as numbness and tingling or “shooting” down the arm or leg. This condition is often manageable early on with proper treatment such as chiropractic and exercises. A good initial screening for arthritis is an x-ray. When weakness develops, an MRI and surgical consultation is most likely the next step of care.
Chiropractic along with several other complementary approaches can help alleviate active cases and reduce future episodes of neck pain and inflammation. Your first defense does not have to be drugs and injections. In fact most insurances want to you attempt a trial of conservative care, such as chiropractic or physical therapy prior to authorizing addition test and/or procedures.
Neck pain is the second most common condition seen in a chiropractic office. Common causes include things such as posture, an injury, and arthritis. The doctors will discuss the onset, symptoms, and pain patterns to determine what assessments can and should be done.
Combination of Dry needling, Active Release through jaw, suboccipitals, upper trapezius muscles, manual stretching and mobilization of jaw, Chiropractic adjustment through neck and upper back. Trial of care 2x/week for 2 weeks. Additional self management strategies such as a night guard or stretching may be recommended depending on the case.
Postural assessments, palpation, possibly X-rays, and tests of motion and mobility will be done to diagnose where the neck pain is coming from and why.
During treatment some progress/change should be noted at each visit. If no progress is being made after 2-3 visits a re-evaluation may be necessary leading to a change in plan. If the treatment is working, visits may extend past 2 weeks to achieve maximum medical improvement.