Neck Pain Relief
Along with low back pain, patients seeking neck pain relief makes up much of what chiropractors see on a daily basis. Neck pain can occur on its own or it may refer into the upper shoulder area or up into the head and cause headache as well. In a study produced by Sihawong et al. in 2011, they found that neck pain was common in 43-69% of office workers!
Neck pain is often due to joint dysfunction in that area of the spine – meaning that the joints are not moving properly and resulting in firing of pain fibers in the joint. Muscle spasm can occur as well and may be a result of the joint dysfunction, or the spasm be a cause of it. Sometimes pain can creep up on someone who habitually has poor posture with their shoulders rounded and head forward, as occurs with too much computer time. Fortunately this can be easily dealt with and does not have to become a way of life. Clinical practice guidelines produced by a review of the relevant literature dictate that chiropractic care is most effective when used in conjunction with soft tissue therapy, exercise and patient education.
A very common condition that people deal with is called acute torticollis. It often occurs when someone sleeps improperly and then wakes in the morning with a very sore neck and shoulder, possibly headache too. Other ‘mechanisms of injury’ include having a cool breeze blow on them for several hours during sleep, or vigorously drying one’s hair with a towel. Regardless of the cause, this is usually dealt with in 2-4 visits. To try and get some neck pain relief, application of moist heat such as a hot water bottle or hot tub jet, can promote circulation and aid the treatment process. In some cases neck adjustment is not even required due to involvement of 3 muscles on each side of the upper back that run up the neck: spine adjustment of this area, along with soft tissue (muscle, tendon and ligament) techniques effect a cure.