Every year, millions of Americans report experiencing neck pain. It is estimated that 70-75% of adults will deal with neck pain at some point in their lives.
With these numbers, it’s not a surprise that nearly 25% of all chiropractor visits are due to neck pain.
Many people that experience neck pain, whether it is chronic or not, tend to visit their family doctor first. Depending on the doctor, they would likely be prescribed some type of pharmaceutical such as a muscle relaxant. Unfortunately, for many people experiencing this kind of pain, the treatment often stops there.
Those wishing to receive a more holistic approach to deal with their neck pain often visit a chiropractor.
Chiropractors have become very popular in the past several decades, and with their expertise end guidance, have allowed countless patients to live pain-free lives.
How do chiropractors treat neck pain though? What exactly are their methods? In this article, we will explain just that.
First of all, it’s important to understand how chiropractors perceive and treat the body.
Chiropractors are trained to see the body as it is…incredibly complex and interconnected. The muscular-skeletal system interweaves all parts of your body, which means that you cannot isolate one section. It is all part of one thing.
For instance, if you’re having trouble with your neck, then treatment may be needed on the shoulders or upper back. Chiropractors understand the complicated mechanics of the human body and are able to follow the pain and trace it to its origin, where it can be treated.
On your first visit to the chiropractor, you will be given a complete evaluation. Your entire spine will be evaluated closely, as spinal issues can cause pain all across the body.
Your chiropractor will also talk with you about other aspects of your health which play a big role in your well-being. These include…
- Stress management
For example, if you come into the chiropractor with complaints of neck pain, they need to know what kind of job you do, how do you spend your day, and how you hold your posture, among other things.
If you are sitting at a computer desk all day, holding your neck with improper posture, that can be a big red flag.
Your medical history will also be discussed, and imaging such as x-rays or MRIs may be performed, to get a clearer idea of what’s going on.
So how exactly do chiropractors treat neck pain? Here are some of the common methods.
Also known as spinal manipulative therapy, this modality involves placing a quick jolt of pressure on the specified joint. A popping sound is often audible during this treatment. This is an ancient practice that yields great results.
There are several different types of manual therapy available to the chiropractor, such as joint stretching, therapeutic massage, instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy, and trigger point therapy, just to name a few. These therapies involve the chiropractor physically manipulating a part of the patient’s body. Chiropractors receive extensive training on this type of therapy, as it can become dangerous if the practitioner does not have adequate training.
Chiropractors often use a TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machine to help relieve pain. This machine uses small electrical impulses, transmitted to your body through small, sticky pads placed on the affected area. These are perfect for neck pain, as the pads fit nicely on the neck muscles, and allow them to be stimulated.
Ultrasound therapy involves using sound waves to create deep heat that permeates into the body. It has a warm, relaxing, and soothing effect on the muscles. They are known to be especially effective with muscle spasms and stiffness. Ultrasound therapy is especially enjoyable and experienced by many chiropractic patients, as most chiropractors have an ultrasound machine in the office.
Trigger point therapy
Muscles in the neck are often tightly knotted together with facia, a web-like substance that cuts all of our muscles. What is colloquially known as a muscle knot is actually a mass of facia, created as a stress response two things such as poor posture. Trigger point therapy involves placing pressure, often with the fingers or elbow, on a specific point of the body in order to break up the facia. This is often incredibly uncomfortable for the patient, although it’s not supposed to be actually painful.
If you are experiencing neck pain or any other issues, please feel free to contact us at 205-637-1363 for a consultation.