Updated: Jan 22
In any given year, around 30% of U.S. adults will experience neck pain and it is the fourth most common type of acute and chronic pain. While most incidences of neck pain will go away relatively quickly on their own, they can seriously interfere with your life while you are experiencing them. There is also a subset of people who experience chronic neck pain. A chiropractor can help to relieve many causes of neck pain, without the use of medication or surgery,
What causes neck pain?
Neck pain is caused by a wide range of causes. Most often, neck pain isn't something to be too worried about (although it can be very painful) but it can sometimes be caused by a more serious condition.
Injuries - sometimes the cause of neck pain is obvious as it is the result of an injury such as whiplash or a sports injury.
Muscle strain - the muscles in your neck can be strained by sleeping in an odd position, poor posture (especially when using technology), or even grinding your teeth.
Nerve compression - the nerves in your neck can become compressed through conditions such as a herniated disk, which can cause pain.
Osteoarthritis - as we age, the cushioning cartilage between our vertebrae becomes worn down, which can cause pain, stiffness, swelling, and the development of bony growths.
If along with your neck pain, you have a fever, a headache, nausea, fatigue, a change in your mental state, coordination issues, or unexplained weight loss, you should see a doctor immediately as it could be an indication of something very serious such as meningitis or cancer.
How can a chiropractor help with neck pain?
For most causes of neck pain, a chiropractor is in a ideal position to help. Chiropractors are expert in the spine, and this includes the cervical spine that makes up the seven vertebrae of the neck. They will first conduct a physical examination and take a thorough medical history. They may also order tests, such as X-rays or MRI scans.
On the basis of these investigations, your chiropractor will create a treatment plan to help relieve the pain in your neck. Along with spinal manipulation, chiropractors can use a range of treatment methods to fully treat the root cause of your neck pain. One review looked at 41 studies of the effectiveness of chiropractic care for neck pain, and found good evidence for many of these treatment options, including:
stretching, strengthening and endurance exercise
They also found that a combination of treatments was usually better than a single treatment alone, and this is exactly what you will receive from a chiropractor.
While neck pain is quite common and usually isn't a sign of something serious, it can be extremely painful and can reduce your ability to go about your normal life. Chiropractic care can be an effective treatment for many of the causes of neck pain, helping to improve your mobility, reduce your pain, and improve your quality of life.