Your cervical spine connects your brain stem to your spinal cord. It is an area rich in blood vessels and other soft tissue, such as ligament and tendons. Neck pain is slightly less common than back pain, but no less important or treatable.
Common causes of neck pain include, but are not limited to:
A sprain of the muscles, ligaments, or tendons in the neck area usually causes acute neck pain. Vehicular accidents, repeated carrying of heavy items (such as luggage), or awkward sleeping positions are often the culprits. Most minor ligament or tendon injuries in the neck will subside with proper care, including rest, ice or heat application, and rehabilitation such as chiropractic care and physical therapy.
One common symptom of chronic neck pain is an ache that radiates down the arm, sometimes into the hands and fingers, accompanied by numbness or tingling. Foraminal stenosis, a condition caused by degenerative changes in the neck joints, involves a herniated disc or a pinched nerve. This, in turn, causes chronic neck pain.
Stress can affect any area of the body, but it can have a profound effect on the neck. When stress affects the neck, it can cause muscle tension that radiates upward into the head causing headaches and migraines. It can also radiate downward, tightening the shoulders and causing tension and stiffness that disrupts blood flow to the entire area. When the muscles begin to tighten, blood flow is diminished to all of the affected areas. Eliminating the stress through chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, and massage therapy restores balance throughout the area and relaxes the tissues. When balance is restored, the pain gradually disappears and the flexibility returns.
Chiropractic adjustments to the neck can be performed in different ways. Traditional manipulation is one way. Another way chiropractors use to adjust the neck and back is with the use of an activator. Both methods are effective and can easily correct most structural and musculoskeletal abnormalities. Many doctors use both methods. Traditional manipulation allows the doctor to actually feel what is going on inside the structure of the neck. This provides them with valuable insight as to what is causing the pain, as well as what they need to do to elicit an effective healing response. When it comes to the neck, the chiropractor will use all of the tools at their disposal to ensure their patient's needs are met.
The neck is one of the most vulnerable areas of the body when it comes to injuries. It is the sole support and stabilizing mechanism for the head. The muscles and spinal structure of the neck must protect the spinal column at all times, all the while allowing for movement in almost every direction. Muscles in the neck and shoulders are constantly balancing and stabilizing the head, preventing it from moving unnaturally. The muscles that support the head must be kept strong, flexible and stable at all times. Chiropractic adjustments keep the neck strong and maintain balance to all areas of the upper body.
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