About Neck Pain
If you’re one of the many Australians that suffers with neck pain, you will be pleased to know that our proven Chiropractic approach may offer the solution you have been searching for.
Neck pain is very common with about one in 10 people having it at any given time. This comes as no surprise when we consider the activities of modern life such as sitting in front of a computer, watching prolonged periods of television and an increasing incidence of poor posture – particularly forward head posture.
Problems within the neck can also cause headache, shoulder pain, TMJ or jaw pain, pins and needles in the hands, carpal tunnel syndrome and upper back pain.
If you regularly experience any of the following, we encourage you to contact us for a thorough assessment:
- persistent neck ache first thing in the morning
- neck stiffness when reversing in the car
- clicking neck noise when turning
- constant aching neck muscles
- tingling in your hands or fingers
Causes of Neck Pain
By far the most common cause of neck pain relates to the effects of poor posture. In order to understand the impact of poor posture, we must first consider why spinal alignment within the neck is so important.
Your head weighs about 5 kgs and in normal alignment it is very carefully balanced on top of your seven neck bones (vertebrae). Your muscles work very hard to maintain this position and can easily withstand short periods of variation. The problem arises when we assume awkward positions for prolonged periods, the fine balance is disturbed and the nerves, muscles, joints, ligaments and discs of your neck become strained and irritated. In fact, the tension in your neck and shoulder muscles doubles for every 2-3 cm’s that your head is forward!! Over time, the neck strain and pressure accumulates to a point where it becomes chronic and even the smallest changes in posture cause significant effects. Coupled with the stresses and demands of modern life, it’s no surprise why neck pain is so common.
Other common causes of neck pain include whiplash, arthritis and sporting injuries.
Treatment for Neck Pain
Thankfully, Chiropractic offers a very effective treatment for neck pain. After conducting a complete history, orthopaedic, neurological and spinal examination, your Chiropractor will recommend a course of care that aims to reduce pressure, restore movement and prevent recurrence. Typically, your Chiropractor will recommend the following:
- postural advice and how to avoid further strain
- a series of spinal adjustments to restore proper movement to the neck joints
- massage to tight neck muscles
- neck exercises to encourage improved movement
- neck strengthening exercises
- heat/ice therapy to help manage your neck pain
- recommend a contoured pillow to provide correct support while sleeping.
Please contact us to arrange your comprehensive neck pain assessment…we look forward to hearing from you!
What is a whiplash neck sprain?
A whiplash neck sprain occurs when your head is suddenly jolted backwards and forwards in a whip-like movement usually caused in motor car accidents known as a “rear-ender”. These movements generate considerable force, typically causing the neck to move far beyond the normal range of movement and causes damage to the delicate supporting structures of the neck. Whiplash is effectively a sprain of the joints in the neck – Chiropractors refer to this as a vertebral subluxation.
Whiplash can also result from forceful sporting injuries that cause similar stress to the neck joints, ligaments, muscles and discs.
Who gets whiplash neck sprains?
Whiplash neck sprains are common. About 2 in 3 people involved in car accidents develop neck pain (with or without other injuries). Many people are surprised with the onset of neck pain following even minor car accidents some hours following the accident. It is important to note that even minor car bumps can cause enough whipping of the neck to cause symptoms. Less commonly, whiplash can result from everyday mishaps such as jolting your neck when you trip of fall.
Symptoms of Whiplash
Whilst the symptoms of whiplash will vary, the following represent the most frequently noticed effects of whiplash.
- Pain in the neck
- Head feels too heavy for the neck
- Reduced neck movement
- Neck stiffness
- Pain into the shoulders and arms
- Tingling in the arms and fingers
- Dizziness, headache, blurred vision and pain on swallowing
- Irritability and difficult to concentrate
Treatment for Whiplash
Chiropractic management of whiplash is extremely effective. All Chiropractic care initially consists of a through history, orthopaedic, neurological and spinal examination to determine the exact location of your neck pain. Diagnostic imaging such as Xray, CT or MRI scans may also be required to fully assess any damage.
Treatment consists of reducing pain and inflammation and stabilizing your neck to prevent further damage. Ice is perhaps the best natural anti-inflammatory modality and it is also very soothing when your neck is painful.
If you are able to support your head and neck, it is especially important to keep your neck mobile rather than immobilizing it in a soft cervical collar. Studies have shown that you are more likely to make a quicker recovery if you do regular neck exercises, and keep your neck active rather than resting it for long periods in a collar.
As your pain decreases, and your stability improves, your chiropractor will massage and gently adjust your spine to help improve your neck function and reduce nerve pressure.
Some other helpful advice is to avoid poor neck posture during your daily routine and to use a firm supporting contoured pillow when sleeping.
Whiplash responds very well to Chiropractic care, with most people experiencing significant improvement within weeks of beginning care.
Please call us for you comprehensive whiplash assessment. We look forward to hearing from you!