Neck Pain: Causes, Symptoms & How Chiropractic Can Help
Neck pain can be a major annoyance and inconvenience. Neck pain can also limit your participation in your favorite activities and lower your quality of life. Any one of your neck tissues or structures (e.g., muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, spinal discs, or vertebrae) can all be a pain generator that inhibits your neck movement, causes you major discomfort, or keeps you from performing at your best. Read on to learn more about neck pain risk factors, causes, and symptoms, and how Dr. Mike Sorensen (chiropractor Redmond, Oregon) addresses this health problem using natural, effective treatments.
Neck Pain Risk Factors
Your neck muscles, along with your other neck tissues and structures, support the weight of your head and allow for a significant amount of neck movement. However, this high degree of motion makes your neck vulnerable to injury. Certain risk factors may increase your chances of developing neck pain, including:
- Poor posture (holding your neck in a forward, or craned, position)
- A poorly designed workstation
- A sedentary (i.e., inactive) lifestyle
- Poor sleeping setup (e.g., inappropriate pillow)
- Stress and emotional fatigue
- Age (people over 30 are more likely to develop neck pain)
- Previous car accident / whiplash injury
Common Causes & Symptoms
Strain and tension on the ligaments, muscles, and joints in the neck and upper back are some of the most common causes of neck pain. Certain everyday activities may lead to strain on the neck and its supporting structures, including:
- Placing your computer monitor too high or too low
- Twisting your neck while exercising
- Keeping a poor posture while watching television or reading
Additional causes of neck pain include:
- Herniated or bulging spinal discs
- Cervical spine joint dysfunction
- Narrowing of your spinal canal (aka spinal stenosis)
- Osteoarthritis (aka degenerative joint disease)
In some cases, neck pain may be a symptom of a more serious health problem. Seek Dr. Sorensen’s help as soon as possible if you experience any of the following:
- Neck pain accompanied by upper extremity numbness or tingling
- Reduced grip strength, inability to hold onto objects, or difficulty using doorknobs
- Shooting, stabbing, or burning pain in your shoulder or down your arm
Neck pain may be accompanied by other symptoms, including:
- Neck stiffness
- Upper back pain
- Shoulder pain
- Reduced neck range of motion
A Closer Look at Posture
Poor posture is a major contributor to neck pain in our society. A craning forward of the neck even just a few degrees can place major strain on your neck tissues, causing muscle imbalances and other problems that in turn may lead to cervical spine joint restrictions and dysfunction over time. To get a sense of what perfect neck posture feels like, stand with your back to a wall and place the back of your head against the wall, keeping your gaze level. In this position, your cervical vertebrae are properly stacked and your head and neck are in a safe, neutral position.
How Can Chiropractic Help?
Neck pain is a health problem that typically responds well to natural approaches, especially chiropractic care. In fact, chiropractic care can be a life-changing treatment for neck pain and problems. Dr. Mike Sorensen, a top Redmond, Oregon chiropractor, uses the following treatment methods as part of a comprehensive chiropractic approach to neck pain:
- Cervical Joint Adjustments: To eliminate joint fixations and restore normal joint motion in the cervical spine.
- Soft Tissue Work: To help balance neck muscle tone and promote healing of injured tissues.
- Heat/Ice Therapy: To help reduce inflammation, relax tight muscles, and decrease pain.
- Electrical Stimulation: To help treat muscle spasms and strains, stimulate the release of natural pain relievers, and promote soft tissue healing.
- Inter-Segmental Traction: To help reduce cervical spine adhesions and improve circulation to the spinal discs.
- Therapeutic Exercises: To supplement in-office treatments for long-term health benefits by retraining and strengthening supportive structures in the spine.
If you suffer from neck pain, call today to schedule your appointment with Dr. Mike Sorensen, Redmond, Oregon chiropractor. 541.516.1045.