Neck pain is the second most common reason people seek chiropractic care, next to low back pain. Neck pain is very common and most of us suffer from some sort of neck pain daily, weekly, or monthly. There are several common neck pain/complaints that affect us everyday.
Think about how many times that you have woke up with a "catch" in your neck. Almost every one of us can recall countless times. This is typically caused by sleeping in a position that your body is not used to. The joints and surrounding soft tissue can become
inflammed and lock that area of the neck up to prevent increased injury. Most people take over-the-counter pain meds, take a day off of work, go to the medical doctor for pain meds, etc. But just think about this... if the problem is with a fixated joint causing inflammation to the soft tissue, wouldn't it be better to get that join "adjusted" so that there is no more fixation and the inflammation can go away? That is what your chiropractor can do.
Another leading cause of neck pain is degenerative joint disease, or arthritis. Often times we injure our necks in sports, car accidents, falls, etc and get over the pain, but the injury is still there and slowly degenerates the joints, bones, and tissues. Over several years we start having chronic neck pain that slowly gets worse and our range of motion becomes less and less to the point where we decide, one day, that its time to get it checked out. By the time most people choose to seek care, the problem IS chronic and will not go away with a pill, a shot, or surgery. At that point a regimen of therapy is required to rehabilite the problem. Treatment would include gentle "adjustments" to the neck bones to free up the joints and hands on therapy to the soft tissues. Just as it took time to get this bad, it will take time to heal, but you will get a reduction in pain and an increase in your range of motion. Remember what is was like to turn your head to back up the car?
Do you ever experience a numbness or tingling going down your arm or into your hands? Have you been told that you have "carpal tunnel syndrome"? Does the numbness get worse when you lean your head a certain direction or when you lift your arm over your head? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you could be suffering fromthoracic outlet syndrome. Thoracic outlet syndrome is a condition where the nerves get compressed in the neck/upper back or between the collar bone and 1st rib. This compression results in numbness and tingling in the arm, hands, fingers and can commonly get misdiagnoses for carpal tunnel sundrome. Common causes of thoracic outlet syndrome include physical trauma from a car accident, repetitive job stresses/duties, poor posture, injuries from sports, certain anatomical defects (such as having an extra rib), and pregnancy. Most of these conditions are fairly simple to treat through chiropractic care. An "adjustment" to the neck/upper back can free up the impinged nerves and light stretching can help prevent re-occurances. The doctor will also go over what you can do at home or work to prevent this from happening again.