Do you feel any stiffness, tightness, soreness, or sharp pain in your neck? You might need to pay more attention to what your body is trying to tell you.
Your neck (cervical spine) serves as the coordinated network of nerves, bones, joints, and muscles.
It supports the weight of your head, so it’s no surprise that it’s vulnerable to injuries and conditions that cause pain and mobility issues.
Neck pain occurs at any age, but it’s a more common complaint among adults. About 15% of American adults experience this kind of pain for at least one full day. It is often associated with facial and shoulder pain, headache, upper extremity numbness, or tingling.
While neck pain usually goes away after a few days or weeks. Immediate medical and chiropractic care is needed if the condition persists longer or becomes severe.
In this article, you’ll find out more about the causes of neck pain and how a neck pain chiropractor can help your body overcome and heal.
The 8 Common Causes of Neck Pain?
So, what are the common causes of neck pain? Here’s a list of the factors that you want to pay attention to:
- Muscle strain. Long hours of using gadgets or reading a book in bed often strain your cervical muscles. Prolonged muscle strain is among the top causes of neck pain.
- Poor posture. Slouching or hunching over a computer screen for long periods is a common cause of neck pain.
- Sleeping at an awkward angle. You’re likely to experience a stiff neck if you fall asleep with your head held or twisted at a bad angle.
- Wear and tear of joints. Wearing down of joints usually happens as you age or due to osteoarthritis.
- Nerve compression associated with disc injuries or conditions such as bulged or herniated disks.
- Repetitive motions. Physical activities such as dancing and swimming lead to the overuse of muscles, tendons, and ligaments and can cause neck pain.
- Injuries such as whiplash.
- Diseases such as arthritis, meningitis, cancer, spinal infection, spinal cord compression, tumor, and other severe health conditions
Neck Pain Symptoms
If your neck pain involves compression, then you may experience tingling, numbness, and the like. It’s typically in your best interest to seek medical attention immediately. Alternatively, there are other non-compression-related challenges. Here is a look at what your symptoms may look like:
- Muscle tightness, soreness, and spasms
- Reduced head mobility
- Stiff neck
- Sharp or stabbing pain
- Radiating arm and shoulder pain
- Trouble gripping or lifting objects
- A lack of improvement of chronic neck pain, even after having taken prescription medication
Home Care Treatment for Neck Pain
Here are the self-care measures you can do to relieve neck pain:
- Heat and cold packs (though we primarily recommend ice to help reduce nerve inflammation)
- Home exercises and gentle stretches (contact our office for effective and easy exercises and stretches)
- Over the counter medicines
- Focus on maintaining good posture
- Take frequent breaks if you work at a desk or travel long distances
- Do not tuck your phone between your ear and shoulder; consider a headset instead
History has shown that chiropractic adjustments have shown to be very effective to relieve neck pain. This is especially true when paired along with massage or physical therapy, or acupuncture.
Can Neck Pain Be A Sign Of Something Serious?
Should you be worried about neck pain?
The answer can depend on multiple factors in addition to any other personal health factors that may be occurring:
How did the neck pain begin?
Is the pain severe?
How long have you been dealing with it?
Some signs and symptoms associated with pain in the neck may indicate pressure on nerve roots. Ask your doctor to provide medical advice and a diagnosis if you experience the following:
- Severe or chronic neck pain that persists for several days
- Pain from trauma or an accident
- Radiating pain spreading down arms or legs
- Pain accompanied by headache, fever or chills, numbness, tingling, or weakness
Your doctor might use imaging tests to diagnose the cause of the pain in your cervical spine such as:
- X-ray to reveal what the structure looks like
- CT scan to produce detailed-cross sectional views of your cervical spine’s internal structures
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to create detailed images of bones, soft tissues, spinal cord, and the nerves
Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain at Cornerstone Family Chiropractic
What to Expect During Your First Visit
Whether you are coming in for preventative care or severe or minor neck pain challenges, you may be concerned about what that first visit may look like. After all, you are putting your trust in someone to readjust your spinal canal manually. So here’s a quick look at the process:
- You fill out our new practice member form. This can be done online and would save you about 15 minutes.
- There’s a one-on-one session that helps us understand your health goals and what may be the cause of any sore or painful areas. It’s about ensuring we are specific in our action plan for you.
- A comprehensive examination takes place using state-of-the-art equipment to localize what the neck pain may be a symptom of.
- Chiropractic postural x-rays may be performed based on assessment results. There can never be too much of a confirmation where chronic pain is concerned.
- A Report of Findings is scheduled, during which you learn about your customized care plan.
- Your plan is executed and helps rid you of neck pain in the most efficient way possible.
A chiropractor may help reduce your neck pain through chiropractic neck adjustments.
The process tends to involve a detailed and thorough examination to determine the cause along with a precise adjustment process.
The idea is to take pressure off the nerve. When this happens the adjustment can yield immediate effects such as: loosening up the joints (increase overall range of motion), reduced pain, reduced muscle spasms, and a feeling of overall relief.
Most chiropractic adjustments are temporary and an individualized care plan should be in place until the issue is completely resolved or reached the point of maximum improvement.
Other chiropractic techniques may be employed also to lessen joint restrictions, misalignments, and inflammation. The end goal is to eliminate neck pain and improve your condition noninvasively.
[Read: What To Do After Chiropractic Adjustment: Post-Procedure Guide]
Chiropractic Care Helps You Prevent Neck Pain, Too!
Don’t get the misconception that you must wait until you’re developing neck pain or neck stiffness to visit the chiropractor. During the comprehensive assessment process we provide, we complete a physical exam to understand the state of your neck muscles and cervical spine.
We may find that you have no severe neck injuries, pinched nerves, or other conditions of grave concern. However, we can also help you avoid neck pain in the future, especially if you periodically or constantly practice poor posture.
Minor or severe neck pain may be the result of a cumulative effect and not a single event that constitutes a medical emergency.
[Read: Chiropractic Adjustment Benefits: 10 Advantages of Chiropractic Care]
Be Neck Pain-Free Starting Today
If your neck hurts constantly, there could be many reasons why. Repetitive strain can weaken neck muscles, you may have a herniated disc, or there may be a serious nerve disorder, especially if the pain is accompanied by numbness.
If you’re in Prescott, AZ, and find yourself experiencing neck pain symptoms, call Cornerstone Family Chiropractic today! Our approach is designed to effectively localize and relieve pain.
As a trusted and highly preferred chiropractic facility in Prescott, AZ, we also cater to those who want to prevent neck pain. Depend on the extensive expertise we offer, and let help you get ahead of the curve.
We go beyond helping you relieve the discomfort by establishing a plan geared towards ensuring you never get to that point in the first place. Schedule an appointment to consult with our expert chiropractor.
Do you have any questions about neck pain? Ask us in the comments section below, and we’ll answer your questions right away!