75% of the population will experience neck pain some time in their lives
Our patients usually seek care due to the following reasons
- Pain that gets worse after holding your head in one place for long periods
- Muscle tightness and spasms
- Decreased ability to move your head
- General soreness
- Tender to the touch
- Nerve pain going down the arm
- Arm nerve pain coming from the neck called radiculitis
- Degenerative conditions
- Disc injuries
- Facet joint injuries
- Whiplash injuries, which are sprains and strains of the neck ligaments and muscles
- Torticollis where muscles hold an initial spasm locking down the neck
- Headaches originating from the neck (you can find our headache page here)
A review of scientific literature found evidence that patients with chronic neck pain enrolled in clinical trials reported significant improvement following chiropractic spinal manipulation.
After 12 weeks, about 57 percent of those who met with chiropractors and 48 percent who exercised reported at least a 75 percent reduction in pain, compared to 33 percent of the people in the medication group. After one year, approximately 53 percent of the drug-free groups continued to report at least a 75 percent reduction in pain, compared to just 38 percent pain reduction among those who took medication.
How we treat your neck pain
Q: What life hacks do you have for neck pain? Check out our blogs on neck pain here
A: Pick a pillow that keeps your head from bending in any unlevel direction, make sure you have good headrest support in your care, set up your work station so you are not always looking to one side or having to twist your neck in painful positions, and take frequent stretch breaks.
Q: What is Tech Neck?
A: Tech neck is when you cause a chronic strain from stressing muscles of the neck while using phones, tablets, and computers, resulting in neck and shoulder pain, stiffness, and soreness.
Q: Can I still be seen for chiropractic if I have a disc bulge in my neck?
A: Disc bulge patients are one of our bread and butter conditions that we have amazing success rates within our office (80-90%). Disc bulging (herniations, sometimes wrongly called slipped disc or a pinched nerve) is a natural part of the aging process. Yes, that’s right. Chiropractic care can play a role in helping your spinal discs stay healthy. Research has shown that "Over 90% of people with disc herniations were “better” or “much better” with chiropractic care Within just two weeks, over 55% of people had significant improvement with chiropractic"
- Disc and nervous system nerve pain follows dermatomal patterns to some degree. A dermatome is an area of skin in which sensory nerves come from a single spinal nerve root
- Nerve pain from bones, muscle, ligaments, and spinal joints
- Local entrapments follow peripheral nerve patterns like the median nerve with carpal tunnel where it causes nerve pain in the thumb, pointer finger, and middle finger
- Myofascial trigger points follow patterns that can be created from pressure on injured muscles
To understand how we get osteoarthritis of the neck we need to first talk about anatomy. The spine is a big connection between many bones. The bones give us support and protect the body’s nervous system. These bones have a joint called a facet joint and that joint's health is affected by the health of the disc. The back has a cushion between most of these bones called a disc (think of this being the jelly of a donut). It also has a cartilage portion around the disc (think about this as the bread that holds the jelly in the donut). Lastly, there is a cartilage endplate (think about the jelly donut being wrapped in foil to keep it warm).
The first phase of degenerative disc disease of the neck. This phase starts with dysfunction of the way the neck joints move and tears begin to happen in the cartilage or bread portion of our donut. Then separation of the outer cartilage or the foil wrapper happens. When this occurs nothing is left to hold the disc or jelly from leaking out. Now this jelly causes irritation (inflammation) on the facet joints and can cause irritation to the body’s nerve system.
What happens next in the second phase, is the body tries to stop the irritation from the disk or the jelly. This causes instability due to an attempt to re-absorb the disc or jelly. Now there becomes a loss of disk space height where the jelly donut use to sit and prop up the bones. The impact on the disc changes the way the spine facet joints move as well.
Lastly, with degenerative disc disease, the body tries to help stabilize the unstable spine joint and it does this the only way it knows how to, through laying down more bone. The increased bone leads to changes we can see on x-rays, such as osteophyte formation and narrowing of portions of the bones where the body’s nerves are.
- You feel symptoms of giving way
- A catch with movement
- Pain throughout the day, and pain during movement
- Over time the symptoms are the pain of decreasing severity with a more constant nature
- Muscle tenderness
- Reduced movement
One of the most common neck sprain/strains we see in our office is whiplash. Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash is commonly caused by rear-end car accidents, sports accidents, physical abuse, and falls. Whiplash may be called a neck sprain or strain, but these terms also include other types of neck injuries.
Signs and symptoms of whiplash usually develop within days of the injury, and may include:
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Worsening of pain with neck movement
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Headaches, most often starting at the base of the skull
- Tenderness or pain in the shoulder, upper back or arms
- Tingling or numbness in the arms
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Sleep disturbances
- Difficulty concentrating
- Memory problems
Torticollis is a painful neck condition that results in twisting of the neck that causes the head to rotate and tilt at an odd posisiton. Acquired torticollis may be caused by irritation to the cervical ligaments and muscle from an injury, or vigorous movement.
- Sleeping in an awkward position
- Neck muscle injury at birth
- Neck muscle spasm
- Torticollis may also be a secondary condition from facet joint injury and herniated or bulging discs
Everything you need to decrease annoying pain, stiffness, swelling and increase healing so you can get back to proper movement
- Hands-on chiropractic adjustments
- Myofascial release and many other manual therapy techniques
- Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization
- Rehabilitation exercises
- Corrective and pre-rehabilitation exercises
JJ, Google Review