Understanding Neck Pain Causes, Diagnosis, & Treatment
The neck is the most fragile section of the spine.
It is protected with the weakest spinal muscles, and due to its high mobility, it is the most unstable part of the spine. This incredible neck mobility allows our eyes to have a high degree of ability to scan our surroundings.
On the other hand, this mobility also creates a high risk of instability for spinal vertebrae and high possibility of wear and tear in the neck, naturally causing neck pain.
“Winning the war against neck pain changes the overall health of the patient.” – Sam Nijmeh D.C.
One of the most common areas of wear and tear and joint inflammation (aka, arthritis) in the human spine is C5/C6 joint of the neck (5th vertebrae down from base of the skull). Thus, severe wear on the neck can easily cause spinal misalignments (subluxation) of the bones.
In time, these misalignments begin to affect the spinal discs and cause Degenerative Disc Disease of the involved joint. Afterward, spinal nerves can easily be pinched by these degenerative changes and create severe neck pain amongst other health issues.
At First Chiropractic we take neck pain seriously (i.e., neck pain symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, and relief). The possible diagnoses for neck pain is a long list. It can be as simple as a muscle spasm or as serious as a disc herniation that may lead to surgery.
X-rays are almost always needed to rule out or rule in the possibility of disc degeneration. We also prefer to do electromyography scanning and thermography to check the muscle and nerve function.
The treatments for neck pain vary greatly at our office. The primary reason for that is the fact that many people do not like their necks to be manually adjusted by a chiropractor. Hearing the sound of an adjustment makes some people cringe. It is absolutely imperative for the doctor to go over the treatment before performing the neck adjustment.
First Chiropractic Provides These Neck Pain Adjustment Techniques To Ensure Patient Comfort:
- Diversified Cervical Adjustment (usual manual adjustment)
- Seated adjustment
- Supine adjustment (Rotatory Break Adjustment)
- Prone Adjustment
- Impulse Technique Adjustment (using a special electrical adjusting tool)
- Activator Method Adjustment (using a non-electrical adjusting tool)
- Thompson Drop Table Technique
It is almost impossible to win the “neck pain war” without patients changing their home and work ergonomics, learning some stress management techniques, completing spinal soft tissue therapy, core muscle stretch and strengthening, and assessing sleeping habits.
All of our new patients are required to attend an orientation talk that is specifically designed to address some of the issues noted above, such as home and office ergonomics and sleeping habits. All neck pain patients are scheduled for massages, core muscle exercise training, and more.
Winning the war against neck pain changes the overall health of the patient. Neck diseases can easily lead to numbness in hands, loss of arm strength, headaches, and even in some cases difficulty swallowing, anxiety attacks, depression and more.
Do not ignore your neck pain. Do not minimize your neck pain by saying, “It’s only stiffness”, “It’s not pain; it’s just some discomfort”, “It’s just normal neck pain”, “It’s just because I use computers so much”; you get the picture!! In a couple of years the stiffness becomes discomfort, then low grade pain, then pain managed by Advil, then you seek help to only find out you were dealing with a progressive disc degeneration.
The good news is that a lot can be done to alleviate…even eradicate neck pain if we just begin aligning the spine and improving joint mobility. But without a beginning, the end is inevitable. With good gentle adjustments, core muscle work, and proper ergonomical changes, you can be like some of our patients who are now enjoy a pain-free, drug-free, and surgery-free life.
I look forward to helping you get neck pain relief, including from “stiff neck”.
Dr. Sam Nijmeh D.C.