Neck discomfort is a common problem in today’s world. Most people will experience pain, stiffness or difficulty turning the head for normal activities at some time in their adult lives. Usually, the discomfort is of short duration, but sometimes, neck pain can become a chronic problem that interferes with the performance of work duties and enjoyment of your social activities. Chiropractic care offers a number of techniques to reduce neck pain and restore normal function.
Neck Pain and Related Symptoms
Unfortunately, neck pain may not stop at simple discomfort in the back of the neck. The inflammation in tissues can cause worsening neck problems. Poor alignment can lead to sharp, painful muscles spasms in the neck muscles. The stiffness can worsen until it is impossible to move the head normally. Pain and spasms can radiate into the upper back and shoulders. Headaches can also occur as a result of compression of nerves in the neck. The discomfort can become a chronic problem that affects your ability to work comfortably, to engage in recreational activities and even to socialize normally.
Common Causes of Neck Pain
Injuries to the delicate structures of the neck and upper back are caused by a number of common problems:
- Sudden movements
- Holding the head at a particular angle for long periods, such as during computer use
- Deterioration of joints in the neck
- Nerve compression
- Injuries, such as from sports activities or auto accidents
- Diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia or cancer that often involve chronic pain throughout the body.
Chiropractic Care Focuses on the Musculoskeletal System
Chiropractic methods are designed to correct problems that lead to pain and poor function. Because the spinal column is the central structure in the human body, misalignments in the vertebrae or the discs that sit between these bones can lead to pain due to strained muscles or pinched nerves. Chiropractors study the structure of the spine and related structures for many years to understand how it functions together to provide normal, comfortable movement. When problems occur, such as neck strain or deterioration of the cervical vertebrae, special techniques are used to restore the normal positioning to relieve discomfort and provide an easier movement. These techniques may use specialized instruments, manipulations of tissue, and other methods to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and re-align structures to normal positioning. This is done without using strong medications or invasive surgery, which makes it a less stressful, yet equally effective way to deal with a number of physical issues.
Chiropractic Methods Can Help Relieve Stiffness and Pain
Understanding the cause of your neck pain can help your chiropractor determine the right care program for your needs and can also provide clues on ergonomic changes that will help to prevent further problems. The doctor will discuss your lifestyle, habits, and any injuries with you to determine these clues about function. A number of techniques can be used to alleviate neck pain:
- The chiropractor may use manual adjustment to bring the delicate joints of the neck and upper back into proper alignment for normal function. This is an important technique for reducing pressure on muscles and nerves, to restore your body to optimal mobility.
- Repetitive cervical traction may be used to loosen tightness in the neck and mid-back. Heat or cold therapy can help to relieve inflammation and tenderness in the muscle tissues of the neck and upper back.
- Graston technique uses special instruments to break up scar tissue and relieve restriction in the fascia of muscles.
- Acupuncture and dry needling can help to reduce pain and relax muscles.
- Cupping is an ancient technique that can be used to improve blood flow to affected tissues and facilitate healing.
- Your chiropractor can also recommend corrective exercises to strengthen neck and upper back muscles.
- The doctor will advise you on ergonomic measures at home and at work to reduce strain on the neck.
- Dr. Russell can also advise nutritional supplementation to hasten the healing of tissues.
Neck pain can be a debilitating condition that affects your daily life. Chiropractic methods offer a drug-free, non-invasive method of restoring normal function. Our practice offers chiropractic care for patients throughout the Birmingham, Alabama area. Call Integrative Chiropractic today at 205-637-1363 for an appointment to learn how chiropractic can improve your neck discomfort.