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How common is neck pain?

Neck pain is a common problem in a busy city like New York. Studies show that approximately two-thirds of the Westernized population suffer from neck pain at some point in their lives (Binder 2007).

What are the causes of neck pain?

Acute neck pain, in cases of trauma like car accidents or sports injuries, is usually caused by a whiplash injury to the cervical region of the spine. Whiplash or whiplash-associated disorders (WAD) is the result of impulsive stretching of the spine due to a sudden, propulsive force directed to the patient’s back: this force causes the head and neck to snap backwards and then forwards. Symptoms of a whiplash-associated disorder include neck pain that may extend to the upper or lower back, pins and needles and/or numbness to the arms and fingers. Whiplash-associated disorders are graded from mild subjective pain and stiffness, to fracture, dislocation and injuries to the spinal cord.

Sometimes, there is no apparent cause of acute neck pain. For example, patients commonly complain of waking up with a stiff neck, a condition called Torticollis (wry neck). Torticollis is caused by muscle spasms in the neck that cause pain and severely limit the ranges of motion. 

Chronic neck pain is often the result of muscle tension that is caused by prolonged sitting, poor working posture, poor circulation, and lack of exercise. Muscle tension develops in the upper back, shoulders and neck areas, which not only causes muscles to ache, but also restricts spinal joint movements. Over time, poor joint mechanics result in disc protrusion and osteoarthritis, which may cause nerve impingement.

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What is the chiropractic treatment approach for neck pain?

  1. Reduce Pain - For both acute and chronic pain, the goal of treatment initially would be to reduce the pain, or to “break the pain cycle”. As the pain level is reduced, the muscles will relax, reversing the pain cycle

  2. Restore normal joint mechanics - Depending on the examination findings, your chiropractor will adjust (manipulate) the vertebral joints that are misaligned (subluxated). This may take place on the first treatment or on any subsequent treatments as deemed necessary.

  3. Improve flexibility and strength – To prevent future injuries, it is important to improve the flexibility of the joints and muscle strength. Your chiropractor will advise you on appropriate stretching and strengthening exercises according to your physical needs and fitness level.

  4. Lifestyle adjustments – Other factors like exercises, diet, working posture, sleep etc. may play a vital role in the development and otherwise prevention of neck pain. Your doctor will work with you to identify lifestyle adjustments that will help you maximize the quality of your health.

The right neck pain treatment for you and even a cure might be closer than you think. There is a host of specialist clinics across New York which can help you find out the cause of your neck pain and provide effective relief with your own tailored treatment plan. Got any questions? Feel free to ask our friendly team for assistance.

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Pain Care Chiropractic, PLLC