Neck pain is quite regular among people. Mild ones could be a result of sleeping with a bad posture or working for long hours with the head bent down but it could be serious when the pain is due to other factors such as a damaged joint, irritated nerves or any disease. Your neck hurts bad when you make any movement with your head.
A stiff neck would recover itself in a day or two, but severe conditions would require urgent health treatment. What causes neck pain? Can you treat it at home? How can you prevent it? How bad should be the pain when you should consult a chiropractor? Read the following post to get answers.
Reasons of Neck Pain
- Strained muscle: Sitting before the laptop or smartphone for an extended period or reading books for a long time might strain you neck muscle and arouse pain. ‘
- Damaged bones or joints: If your joints near the neck damage there is a probability you experience unbearable pain. With age, these bones and joints deteriorate and hence neck pain becomes a chronic disorder.
- Irritated nerve: Bone spurs in the vertebra in the neck can press the nerve and cause irritations.
- Diseases: Certain diseases like arthritis can cause neck pains.
- Whiplash: Injury due to rapid movement in your neck
Treating Neck Pain at Home (initial steps)
Before going to a chiropractor, you might want to manage your neck pain at home. In the case of minor injuries or stiff neck, this will do the trick.
- Apply ice to the area that is paining. Swelling will be reduced due to the action of ice.
- Use a firm pillow instead of a soft one. Make sure your pillow isn’t very flat.
- Do light exercises with your neck to loosen the stiff muscles
- Avoid driving or any other exhaustive work.
If your home remedies don’t work, it is time to consult a professional.
Chiropractic treatment and Neck Pain
Chiropractic care is the most safe and favorite treatment when it comes to treating cervical disorders. Some types of neck related problems that chiropractic treats are:
- Cervical intervertebral disc injuries
- Cervical sprains
- Degenerative joint syndrome
- irritated nerves
When should you visit a chiropractor?
In the case, your pain doesn’t disappear within a few days, and you feel difficulty in moving your head from left to right and the agony becomes unbearable. Also, if met any car accident and your neck starts hurting after someday, you should consider looking for a doctor in chiropractic.
Your chiropractor will examine your spine thoroughly to find the cause of the pain. The doctor will observe your head movements, determine the restricted areas and ask you for any numbness or tingling in your hands. Be frank with your chiropractor and tell if you have any history of cervical damage due to an accident, whiplash or any other reason.
With the physical exam, an X-Ray and MRI will be carried out to diagnose the exact cause of your pain. Only after thoroughly examining you the chiropractor will advise you on the method of treatment you should opt. Severe conditions might make surgery necessary; this, however, will be told by the doctor only if your state goes beyond the limits of chiropractic treatment.
Techniques used by Chiropractors to treat Neck Pain
- Spinal manipulation – restored joint movement using gentle thrusts.
- Flexion-Distraction technique – manual manipulation of intervertebral disc using pumping action
- Instrument-assisted manipulation – using an hand-held instrument to apply force without thrusting the spine.
- Electric stimulation – Small amount of electric current is passed to stimulate cervical muscles
- Ultrasound – Loosening the stiff muscles using waves.
- Therapeutic massage – helps in relaxing muscles and reducing pain
- Trigger point therapy – This might be enforced to loosen tight joints and muscles.
Your chiropractor might implement more than one technique to provide better results depending on your antagonistic reports. With these techniques, your doctor will advise you to perform gentle exercises and control diet for the overall improvement in your neck and body as a whole.
How can you prevent Neck Pain?
- Always maintain good posture
- Avoid working long hours before computers, or take micro breaks if you have to work.
- Perform exercises daily and maintain a proper diet
- Use a firm pillow and make sure it isn’t flat.