Neck pain is one of the most common complaints by Americans today. Our society of sedentary people sitting at a desk for 8 hours or more, or bent over a computer or video game all day, has resulted in a veritable epidemic of neck pain and associated conditions.
Causes of Neck Pain
Because the neck is a complicated and intricate structure that extends out to other structures in the body, a comprehensive exam and X-rays are typically needed to determine the exact cause of your discomfort.
Bear in mind, too, that an injury or stress in one area often leads to additional problems in another-like a kind of domino effect. For instance, pain in your shoulder often radiates to the neck area, and will only worsen as it continues to go untreated.
Here are a few of the most common causes of neck pain:
Injury: If you’ve been injured in an auto, work, or recreational accident, get help at once. Since injury can affect muscles, ligaments, bones or discs around the neck, symptoms may not start immediately, but instead may grow gradually over a period of days or even weeks. That’s why it’s important that you get a proper diagnosis and treatment before the damage becomes worse.
Awkward or Incorrect Sleeping Positions – If you fall asleep in an awkward or uncomfortable sleeping position, it can wreak havoc on your neck. Chiropractors are Posture Specialists and can help you to get the kinks out, while providing you with valuable advice on how to sleep so that your pain does not return.
Emotional and Physical Stress – Stress in life can cause muscle tension and set off a vicious cycle of pain. As muscles contract, fatigue can cause muscle aches or pain. Pain and discomfort can lead to sleeplessness with its associated problems such as irritability, depression, and reduced immune function. And so the problems perpetuate.
Diagnosable Problems -Occasionally, your neck pain may be caused by diagnosable disorder such as osteoporosis, slipped disc, and scoliosis. The sooner these problems are identified and treated, the sooner you’ll be on the road to recovery. It’s important that you seek proper professional care to determine the cause of your pain and begin any necessary treatment.
Common Treatment for Neck Pain
Common treatments of neck pain include everything from neck braces to surgery. REMEMBER: Pain is NOT the natural state of the body, nor is it a “normal” side effect of aging. Pain is the body’s way of telling you something is wrong! The best solution is to identify the cause of your pain and correct it-not simply mask the symptoms.
Many of the following treatments can be effective, however, be aware that some have associated risks of which you should be aware. For this reason it is best to consult with a trusted health care practitioner, especially if pain is severe or prolonged.
Rest – Avoid overusing the painful area for the first few days after an injury. Then slowly reintroducing exercise and movement will begin to speed recovery.
Ice – Immediately after an injury, ice your neck for about 15 minutes at least 3 to 4 times a day to reduce or prevent inflammation and swelling. If pain continues, see a health care professional.
Drugs – Non-prescription pain relievers such as acetaminophen (i.e. Tylenol) or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS (i.e. ibuprofen) may be helpful for temporary relief, but are NOT advisable for chronic pain or long term use. Tylenol has recently been linked to liver disease and ibuprofen to bleeding ulcers. Doctors often prescribe stronger drugs for pain, but of course, these have other risky side effects including mental or physical impairment, behavioral effects, and addiction. Extreme caution should be used when undergoing any chemical therapy for pain.
Surgery – Most neck pain problems can be treated effectively without costly and risky surgeries. Doctors agree that neck surgery should be utilized only in certain rare cases, and only after conservative treatment has been exhausted. For this reason, other more natural, less invasive treatments should be explored before choosing surgical intervention.
Chiropractic – Chiropractic is a natural form of treatment that operates on the premise that the body is designed to heal itself. Chiropractors actually have more training than a traditional general or family care physician. Chiropractors use gentle spinal adjustments to correct spinal misalignment and relieve pressure on sensitive nerves. They often combine this form of treatment with other non-invasive modalities such as muscle stimulation, massage and physical therapy to relieve symptoms and rebuild core strength and maintain permanent correction. The chiropractor’s goal is always to correct the problem, not simply hide the symptoms.
At New City Chiropractic Center, we have been treating neck pain and its associated problems effectively for over 30 years. Our gentle approach will get you feeling better soon, without any dangerous or addictive drugs. Most neck pain symptoms can be treated naturally without risky surgeries or dangerous drugs by working with your body’s innate healing powers.
Read about who gets better results: Chiropractors or Medical Doctors.
Stop the cycle of neck pain. Contact our office today by call (845) 634-8877 for a complimentary evaluation. You owe it to yourself to take control of your health today!