The neck, also known as the cervical spine, contains seven small vertebrae and starts at the base of the skull. Amazingly, the neck supports the head’s full weight (around 12 pounds on average). However, while the neck can help the head move in several directions, this flexibility also makes it more prone to pain and injury.
The susceptibility of the neck to injury is partly due to biomechanics. Events and activities that can affect the biomechanics of the neck include repetitive movements, falls, accidents, ageing, falls and blows to the head or body, extended sitting, and everyday wear and tear.
Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain
For neck pain treatment, chiropractic is considered one of the most effective options available. In fact, a study published in Spine journal analysed the patterns, prevalence, and predictors of chiropractic utilisation among the general population in the United States.
Researchers found out that “Back pain and neck pain were the most prevalent health problems for chiropractic consultations and the majority of users reported chiropractic helping a great deal with their health problems and improving overall health or well-being.”
Upon your visit, your chiropractor will perform examinations and will ask questions about the symptoms you are experiencing as well as the remedies you have tried. For instance:
- When the pain started
- The remedies you have tried
- Whether or not the pain radiates or travels to other parts of the body
When needed, your chiropractor will also perform neurological or physical exams. During the physical examination, your chiropractor will check your neck’s range of motion, posture, and physical condition. In addition, movements that cause pain will also be taken into account.
Your chiropractor will also check the curvature and alignment of your spine and look for muscle spasms. The shoulder may also be assessed. During the neurological exam, your muscle strength, reflexes, and other nerve changes will be looked into.
In other cases, chiropractors might order other tests to help diagnose the condition accurately and rule out other conditions. For instance, an X-ray might be performed to rule out bone spurs, narrowed disc space, or arthritis.
A CT scan or an MRI may also show herniations or bulging discs. If nerve damage is suspected, a special test known as electromyography or EMG may be done to measure how the nerves respond.
Neck adjustment, also known as cervical manipulation is one of the possible treatment options available for people with neck pain. Cervical manipulation works by restoring the range of motion and improving the spine’s mobility. It has also been known to help increase movement of the adjoining muscles.
After cervical manipulation, patients often report reduction of soreness, stiffness, and pain as well as an improved ability to turn and tilt the head. In addition, your chiropractor will also develop a program of care that combines certain types of treatment, tailored to the patient’s needs. Other treatment plans can include mobilisation, rehabilitative exercises, massages, etc.