Neck Pain

Neck pain can be caused by strained muscles, inflamed discs, pinched nerves, or irritated joints. It is often complicated by incorrect posture, lack of stability or muscle imbalances.

Neck Pain

What causes neck pain?

Neck pain can be caused by an injury or, in some instances, may come on with no explanation. Some of the common causes of pain can be from muscles, joints, nerves, or the discs between the spinal bones. There are also contributing factors that can make it difficult to fully recover from neck pain, such as poor posture or weak muscles.

How is neck pain diagnosed?

Qualified chiropractors and spine specialists start by asking questions such as how long the pain has been present, what makes it feel better or worse, when it hurts the most, etc. Getting as much information about the pain can help determine the source. 

Next, orthopedic exams help narrow down which spinal structures are most likely contributing to the pain. Orthopedic tests involve assessing ranges of movements that stress or take the stress off joints and muscles. The response to each of these tests collectively gives the chiropractor more information regarding the injury.

Imaging techniques such as x-ray and MRIs are sometimes necessary if the pain does not respond to treatments. However, most cases of neck pain resolve or are managed with appropriate treatment and do not require imaging.

What is the best treatment for neck pain?

The best treatment for neck pain will depend on the injury and other personal factors such as age, diet, stress levels, and overall health status.

Acute neck pain is usually inflammation-based and may do well will NSAIDs, ice, and a couple of rest days. Combining therapies such as spinal manipulation, myofascial release, and acupuncture can improve healing and relieve pain for more persistent or chronic neck pain. Finally, rehabilitation is necessary for developing strength and resilience to prevent recurrences of neck pain. 

The best chiropractors and spine specialists take a holistic approach to neck pain, such as looking for misalignments or imbalances in all body areas. An excellent example is understanding that tight shoulders or a restricted rib cage contribute to perpetuating neck pain. Combining traditional treatments with personalized therapies will ensure the best chance of success.

Disc bulges in the neck

A disc bulge will occur when the outside layers of a disc start to unravel and separate, creating pathways for the gel-like fluid in the middle to come out. When the fluid comes out far enough, past the outside border of the disc, it's called a disc bulge. Disc bulges can cause pinched nerves, creating pain and discomfort in the neck and shoulder blades. Check out our disc bulge page for a complete understanding of disc bulges.

Treatment for disc bulges in the neck

Spinal decompression provides significant relief for pain caused by disc bulges in the neck. In the beginning phases, reducing inflammation by using NSAIDs, corticosteroids, ice, and rubs is also helpful. The next step in treating disc bulges is a care trial with myofascial release, stretching, or spinal manipulation. Most importantly is to begin rehabilitation as quickly as possible to support neck posture and alignment for long-term success. 

Muscle strain in the neck

Muscles can get strained after having too strenuous of a force on them. The strenuous force can be from lifting too heavy, lifting improperly, or moving too suddenly when not prepared. Smaller forces over a long time are another type of strain in the muscles that cause trigger points.

Strains in the neck can feel debilitating because there is a reminder of the injury with every head or neck movement. Although this type of neck pain takes some time to heal, there are excellent treatment options to reduce the pain and speed up recovery.

Treatment for muscle strain in the neck

Myofascial release and percussion massages help loosen muscles and promote circulation for pain relief and healing benefits. Gentle stretches are valuable in regaining mobility and confidence with moving. Finally, spinal manipulation is used to release joint restrictions and reflexively relax surrounding muscles. 

Other passive therapies that can be helpful at the beginning of a muscle strain are interferential (electro current) therapies, ice, heat, and muscle rubs. 

Arthritis in the neck

There are many types of arthritis, the two most common being osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis of the neck can result from degenerative disc disease or facet joints. It is so prevalent as we get older that it's sometimes called the gray hairs of the spine. Although neck arthritis is prevalent, it is still frustrating to deal with the pain.

Treatment for neck arthritis

Osteoarthritis of the neck cannot be cured or reversed. However, there are many options for managing the pain and increasing mobility. An integrative approach, utilizing stretching and myofascial release, is often helpful in reducing symptoms. Other therapies promoting healing and improving movements are chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, and rehabilitation. 

Chiropractor that treats neck pain

Holistic chiropractors that utilize several forms of therapy are an excellent option for treating and managing neck pain. A personalized approach should consider the cause of neck pain and other misalignments and imbalances within the body. In addition to offering a variety of therapies, our office also gives individualized recommendations for speeding up recovery on your own.

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