What’s Causing Your Annoying Neck Pain?

What's Causing Your Annoying Neck Pain?

Chiropractic Raleigh NC Neck Pain

There are seven cervical vertebrae in the neck. Our chiropractic clinic can teach you about the structure of the neck.

In between the vertebrae are the cervical discs or shock absorbers of the spine.

The cervical vertebrae sit on top of each other and form joints on each side called the facet joints.

Injury, inflammation, degeneration, arthritis can all cause the discs and facet joints in the neck to generate neck pain.

The first cervical vertebrae C1 is called the Atlas. It sits on top of the vertebrae below, C2, and allows for rotation to occur in the head and neck.

There are many muscles and ligaments that run up the spine and attach in between and around all seven of the cervical vertebrae into the back of the skull, or the occiput.

Where Does Neck Pain Come From?

Neck pain can come from one or many of the structures of the neck listed above.

The facet joints can be prime generators of neck pain. The facet joints over many years can grind on each other causing arthritis to build up in the joints.

The facet joints also have joint capsules and a nerve supply which can be a pain generating source.

The joint capsules can become entrapped in between the vertebrae causing neck pain.

The joint capsules can also become structurally injured in an accident like whiplash, which can permanently disfigure the joint capsule leading to chronic neck pain.

The cervical discs in the neck can also become injured or degenerate, causing neck pain.

This can happen over time or with an acute injury.

Often times there will be nerve pain associated with a disc-related injury or condition. When nerve compression is present in the neck there is oftentimes radiating pain into the arms and hands.

When Should You See A Chiropractor For Neck Pain?

  • If the neck pain is unresolved after a few days.
  • If you have radiating pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms or hands.
  • There is an unresolved headache associated with your neck pain.
  • There is a fever associated with your neck pain.
  • After a sudden injury like a car accident or fall.

There can also be some more rare but serious causes of neck pain including cancer, tumors, infections like meningitis, and even bone infection.

Chiropractic Care For Neck Pain And Headaches?

Chiropractic care for neck pain and headaches includes manual therapy which includes spinal adjustments and muscle work to loosen up tight joints and muscles in the neck.

Your chiropractor may also use physical therapies for neck pain such as electrical muscle stimulation or ultrasound therapy which help bring down pain, inflammation, and promote healing.

Other treatments often used by Chiropractors include therapeutic stretching and strengthening exercises, or traction therapy to decrease built-up pressure in the neck which may come from aging discs or build-up of arthritis in the neck.

Most chiropractors will also help you address the cause of your neck pain, exploring things like your workstation, pillow, or poor posture.

If your neck pain seems more serious your Chiropractor will likely utilize an X-ray or MRI study to determine certain causes of neck pain.

Neck pain ranks in the top five disorders in the U.S., affecting an estimated 16% to 75% of all individuals at any given time.

Can a Chiropractor help when you have neck and shoulder pain?

Neck and shoulder pain are often related.

The muscles around the neck attach around the shoulder blades in the upper back.

Another source of neck and shoulder pain is from a pinched nerve in the neck.

The nerves that feed your muscles and skin in your arms and hands come out of your neck and run down your shoulder into the hands.

When the nerve is pinched in your neck it will cause neck pain and shoulder pain.

If you are experiencing neck pain with pain and numbness in the shoulder, arm, and hand you may very well have a pinched nerve in your neck.

Should your Chiropractor use neck pain exercises?

Chiropractors will utilize a variety of modalities to treat your neck pain.

Combining chiropractic adjustments with neck pain exercises has been shown to decrease pain faster, increase healing times, and has been proven to work better in multiple studies.

The Orthopedic Journal Spine found "for chronic neck pain, the use of strengthening exercise, whether in combination with spinal manipulation appears to be more beneficial to patients with chronic neck pain than the use of spinal manipulation alone".

The Takeaway

In most cases, neck pain will resolve in a short amount of time with a conservative chiropractic treatment plan.

In more severe cases, an ongoing treatment plan is needed.

This may include diagnostic testing, co-management between multiple healthcare professionals, chiropractic X-Rays, and in some cases even surgery.

Chiropractic neck pain exercises and therapies should combine with chiropractic adjustments for optimal benefits.

If you have any additional questions about chiropractic neck pain treatments please feel free to get in touch here.

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Raleigh, NC 27607

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