Annapolis Chiropractor Discusses Neck Pain

Annapolis Chiropractor Discusses Neck Pain

Woman holding her neck

According to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, chiropractic care and exercise are more effective then medication in treating neck pain. The study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, included 272 patients with a recent onset of neck pain. The participants received three different types of treatment which included chiropractic care, exercise or medication. The results of the study showed that the chiropractic care group and the exercise group were twice as likely to be pain free when compared to the medication group. The chiropractic group also had the highest rate of success for treating neck pain when compared to the other two groups. This study is just one of many demonstrating the effectiveness of chiropractic care in treating neck pain.

Neck pain affects a large number of Americans. Some estimates show that more than 10% of the population suffers from neck pain. One of the reasons for these high numbers is because of the vulnerability of the neck. The neck does not have much support from the soft tissues in that area especially when compared to the mid back and low back. In addition to that, the neck has the job of holding up the head. The head is a ten pound bowling ball which is under the constant stress and strain of gravity. The neck also includes many delicate structures such as discs, nerves and soft tissue which make the neck vulnerable to injury. All of these factors make the neck an easy target for injury, which is why our Annapolis neck pain article was published.

The neck region is referred to as the cervical spine. There are several different regions in the spine and each has unique features. The cervical spine contains seven vertebrae or spinal bones. These bones sit one on top of the other with a spinal disk in between each bone. The spinal disks provide a cushion and space for the spinal nerves to exit the spinal canal. When these cervical spinal bones are in the proper alignment the spine forms a C shape, when looking from the side. This C curve is the proper alignment of the cervical spine and allows for normal healthy function of the spine and nervous system. One of the primary functions of the spinal bones is to protect the spinal cord from damage. The spinal cord has branches of nerves that exit the spinal canal and travel throughout the body controlling and coordinating your body. The spinal bones also serve as an attachment site for the muscles. This allows movement of the spine, head, neck and other parts of the body. As you can see there are a number of different delicate structures in the neck area that are susceptible to injury and may cause neck pain.

Next let’s examine some of the causes of neck pain. Neck pain can be caused by trauma, such as accidents or injury, or more chronic repetitive injuries. Some other examples of acute injuries include sports injuries, slips, falls and auto accidents. Other chronic or repetitive type injuries may be the result of poor posture, repetitive neck movements or bad sleeping habits.

When a patient presents with neck pain the source of the pain must be determined. The source of the pain is determined by first gathering a complete history from the patient. In the initial consultation the chiropractor will review the history and ask the patient questions regarding the neck pain. It is important that as much information as possible is communicated to the chiropractor so that the cause of the neck pain is properly identified. Once the consultation is complete then the chiropractor will perform an examination. An examination of the neck should include observation, range of motion, orthopedic testing, neurologic testing and possibly diagnostic testing, such as x-ray or MRI. These tests and exam procedures help the chiropractor make the correct diagnosis and recommend the appropriate treatment plan for a full recovery. One of the reasons chiropractic has been so successful in treating neck pain is because the chiropractor is looking for the underlying root cause of the neck pain, not simply masking the problem with medications. Another reason is because chiropractors treat the body naturally without using medications and surgery. Many patients come to the chiropractor because they want to do everything they can to avoid surgery.

Chiropractic treatment for neck pain includes the use of many different types of therapy. The most common procedure for a chiropractor to provide is the chiropractic adjustment. The adjustment is the hands on realignment of the spine and restoration of normal spinal motion. The adjustment is a gentle, natural and safe therapy to reduce pain and improve range of motion. Other therapies include traction, exercise, electrical stimulation, massage, laser and ultrasound to name a few. The therapy used in each office is dependent on the preferences of the doctor. At Living Health Integrative Medicine we deliver Chiropractic Biophysics in conjunction with other therapies. This analysis procedure and technique promotes the restoration of normal posture, spinal curvatures and alignment through the use of spinal adjustments, exercise, stretching and spinal remodeling traction. This procedure has shown to be successful at not only short term results but also long term wellness.

Annapolis Neck Pain Solutions

Once the neck pain is resolved and the cause has been fully corrected a plan may be established to prevent the problem from reoccurring in the future. This plan may include periodic spinal check-ups, maintaining proper sleeping posture, ensuring proper ergonomics at work and proper spinal support while driving. These are just a few of the many places that correct habits are important and can play a role in maintaining a pain free neck. Each individual, depending on their lifestyle, needs a customized plan for maintaining their results.

For articles on low back pain click here.

When it comes to having a healthy neck, there many items to consider. Some of them include proper spinal alignment, proper spinal ergonomics, proper bending and lifting techniques, regular stretching and exercise, stress management and a healthy nutrition plan. Each one of these plays a role in having a healthy and pain free neck.