A Pain in the Neck
Neck pain is a common health complaint. It causes discomfort in any of the structures in the neck including muscles nerve, bones, and the disks in between the bones.
Pain in the neck is often described as having a stiff neck, where you have difficulty turning from one side to the other. You may also feel weakness in your arm or hand, numbness and tingling especially if it involves neck pain.
The fact that our neck is so flexible and supports our head makes it vulnerable to injury. Health practitioners estimate that:
- one in 10 adults is experiencing pain and discomfort at this moment
- 50% – 85% of people will be bothered by neck pain again at some point in their lives
- at least one in 10 will find their neck pain disabling
The neck or the cervical spine is an intricate interlocking structure composed of vertebrae.
Because it is the least protected, it is more susceptible to trauma or injury, and disorders that do not only restrict motion but also produce pain in the neck.
Neck pain can either be temporary or chronic. Acute neck pain is a temporary condition that disappears with time and caused by soft tissue sprain from a sudden force. On the other hand, chronic pain needs medical diagnosis and treatment because the pain often radiates down the arm.
Abnormalities in the soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, nerves, bones and discs) due to injury or prolonged wear and tear are the common causes of neck pain. Infection or tumors can also cause neck pain but in rare cases. A variety of causes that lead to neck pain may include:
- Muscle strain (hunched for hours or poor posture)
- Wear and tear with age (osteoarthritis)
- Nerve compression
- Whiplash injuries
- Diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis or cancer)
Neck pain is normally linked to headache, facial pain, shoulder pain, and arm numbness or upper extremity paresthesias.
While the majority of neck pain episodes get better in time and can be addressed with non-surgical treatments, there are sensations that you need to be aware of because these can indicate a serious health problem and a health practitioner should be visited immediately. Symptoms of neck pain include:
- Muscle spasm – a sudden, powerful, involuntary contraction of muscles
- Muscle ache – pain felt up the middle of the back of the neck, or on one side only
- A crick in the neck where you may not be able to move your neck
- Neck stiffness that reduces range of motion
- Nerve pain – a sensation of pins and needles or tingling in the arms, may be accompanied by numbness, burning or weakness
- A dull aching type of headache which can radiate to the sides or front of the head
Chiropractic Adjustment for Neck Pain
Chiropractic care is a very effective treatment for nexk pain, especially for symptoms caused by wear and tear.
Chiropractic treatment is a non-surgical option that can help reduce neck pain symptoms. To diagnose neck pain, a chiropractor will evaluate your spine; perform exams to locate the source of the pain; ask you questions relating to your medical history and more, before deciding which approach is best for your type of neck pain.
Common questions that chiropractors ask their patients with neck pain are:
- When did the pain start?
- What home remedies have you tried for your neck pain?
- Does the pain radiate to other parts of your body?
- What specific activities reduce or make the pain worse?
Neck health problems can improve with chiropractic care. After a thorough physical and neurological examination, your chiropractor will develop a specific program with one or more type of treatment like manipulation, mobilisation, massage, rehabilitative exercises, and more depending on your needs.
To find out more or book an appointment, call (02) 9868 2509 today.