Neck pain is a common complaint when patients come and see a chiropractor.
There are estimates that about 25% of the world population will present with some episode of neck pain leading to poor posture, headaches and migraine.
What is neck pain?
Neck pain is often described as an aching pain in the neck or shoulders which may cause headaches, migraines, or pain travelling down into the arm. Most neck pain is not caused by a specific disease and is usually a combination of muscular, joint, mechanical and postural pain.
Symptoms of neck pain
Reduced range of motion
Some causes of neck pain
Whiplash happens when your head suddenly moves in one direction and then back again. A common cause is a car accident in which the person’s car is hit from behind while it is stationary or slowing down. This type of injury can strain your neck muscles and cause ligaments in the neck to stretch or tear.
Ongoing overuse of your neck muscles from things like poor posture or use of poor ergonomic position at a computer long term can trigger neck muscle strain, causing chronic neck pain and stiffness. This may be associated with headaches, and restriction of neck movements.
As we grow older, our spine changes shape as we loose stability and control of the muscles that support our upright posture. This change, may cause degenerative arthritis - an age related disorder which can result in neck or spinal pain. The important thing to know is that there is great success in treating arthritic pain with active care. Chiropractors can help you manage your symptoms by prescribing exercises and advising you on the best management approach.
How do chiropractors help?
Sometimes we find that neck joints can become stiff or locked resulting in muscle spasm of some neck and shoulder muscles and weakness of others. This causes your neck posture to change, which overtime causes further deterioration of your normal neck mechanics. Ultimately you end up with a sore neck.
Strong recommendations are made in research for chiropractic management of your neck pain using treatments such as manipulation, manual therapy and exercise in combination with stretching, strengthening, and exercise to restore normal neck mechanics.
Ferrari, R., & Russell, A. S. (2003). Neck pain. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology, 17(1), 57-70.
Ahn, N. U., Ahn, U. M., Ipsen, B., & An, H. S. (2007). Mechanical Neck Pain Andcervicogenic Headache. Neurosurgery, 60(suppl_1), S1-21.
Bryans, R., Decina, P., Descarreaux, M., Duranleau, M., Marcoux, H., Potter, B., ... & White, E. (2014). Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with neck pain. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 37(1), 42-63.