Neck pain is referred to as cervical pain. Neck pain is often due to stress or strain and irritation of the muscles, ligaments, facet joints and intervertebral discs in the cervical spine region. This can develop after a traumatic injury or over time secondary to poor posture, lack of exercise or repetitive stress, such as prolonged sitting and driving.
Postural stress or repetitive strain and irritation of the neck, upper back and shoulder region is common in today’s society, often leading to cervical spine stiffness and facet joint restriction.
If the neck pain and spinal stiffness is ignored, additional conditions may develop including:
Chronic neck pain or upper back pain
Degenerative joint disease
Spinal disc protrusion or herniation
In cases of a disc protrusion or herniation, a cervical spinal nerve can get pinched or compressed and inflamed causing arm pain, numbness or tingling and muscle weakness.
At Livingston Chiropractic spinal and extremity adjustments are carried out to help to restore normal motion, balance musculature and reduce pain.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Your neck is made up of vertebrae, and between each of the vertebra are nerves and discs (gel-like pillows that provide a cushion between each vertebrae). If one or more of your vertebra shift out of alignment, they can crowd or pinch the nerves that run between them causing neck pain.
Vertebrae can move out of alignment when:
You consistently have poor posture, such as sitting hunched over your telephone or computer all day
Your neck is stuck in an awkward position for a long period of time, such as painting a ceiling
You continually sleep on your stomach or use a flat pillow
Your neck is forced beyond it’s normal range of motion, such as if you fall off a ladder or get whiplash from a car accident.
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries to the neck. It occurs when the neck experiences a sudden movement forward and backward or from side to side.
This sudden movement overstretches and tears the tendons and ligaments in the neck.
How Can Neck Pain Be Prevented?
Maintain good posture when your sit or stand
Move your computer monitor to eye level
Change your habits. Take frequent short breaks throughout your day, especially if your job requires that you sit for long periods of time
Use a firm pillow and sleep on your side or on your back
Learn to recognise your signs of stress and take steps to relieve stress in your life on a regular basis
Try regular exercises throughout the day and each week to maintain proper movement in your neck.
When Should I Consider Chiropractic Care?
We recommend you consider care with Livingston Chiropractic for neck pain when:
Your neck pain or stiffness does not improve after a few days
You cannot look to the right or left without severe neck pain
You feel like you must use over the counter pain medications just to make it through the day and are using it regularly to treat your neck pain
You’re worried that your neck pain may have a serious cause
Your neck pain started in the neck but has moved to numbness or tingling in your hands or wrists
Your neck pain started within a few days of a car accident
Your neck pain is worse when you first wake up in the morning but then begins to feel a little better as the day progresses.
Is Chiropractic Treatment Right for Me?
During your first appointment Astrid will take a detailed medical history and examine you before discussing your condition and your suitability for chiropractic care. If it is considered that chiropractic would not be right for you then you would be referred to your GP.
As part of your treatment Astrid will give you some guidance on stretches and exercises you can do at home. A supple body is a pain free body and stretching and working your muscles will help with your recovery.
A new patient appointment lasts around 45 minutes and includes a treatment following your examination, if considered appropriate.
In addition to a new patient appointment we offer free spinal screenings. This is a 15 minutes appointment where Astrid will discuss your medical history and examine you and then explain the suitability of chiropractic for your condition but no treatment will be carried out. See our Free Spinal Screening page for more details.