Neck Pain and Chiropractic
Chiropractor | Guy McCammon
Neck pain is very common. Most people will suffer one or more episodes during their lives. In many cases, it starts suddenly and gets better quickly.
However, it can be painful, debilitating and persistent, and some people suffer repeated episodes. It can also be associated with other symptoms, such as arm pain or headaches. It may start following a traumatic incident, such as a road traffic collision, or it may start gradually, perhaps as a result of poor posture or an uncomfortable work position.
There are many different types of neck pain, with different causes. The key to getting the right treatment is to establish which type you may be suffering from.
The majority of people are suffering from what is known as ‘simple’ or ‘mechanical’ pain.
This means that the pain is not related to any serious underlying condition and there are no trapped or compressed nerves. We do not always know the exact tissues that are involved - muscles, joints and ligaments. It can be caused by poor posture or tension in the neck or shoulders. Poor sleeping patterns or an awkward sitting position can cause strains and sprains in the soft tissue of the neck.
As we get older, wear and tear may contribute. The shock-absorbing pads between the bones of the neck (known as intervertebral discs) can narrow with age and this can cause stiffness, pain and make it difficult to move.
Pain may follow trauma - sports injuries, minor falls and bumps. Road traffic collisions may result in injuries to the soft tissues of the neck, and are often referred to as whiplash-associated disorders.
Simple pain is relatively common. Less frequently, the nerves in the neck can become trapped, compressed or irritated. There can be many reasons why this happens but damaged discs or wear and tear can lead to pain spreading to the shoulder and arm. This can be accompanied by pins and needles, tingling, numbness and weakness in all or part of the arm or hand.
Why Do People Get Neck Pain?
People experience neck pain for all sorts of reasons. It might be the way they sit or stand, or because their work or lifestyle places stress on their neck. Worry or stress can cause tension in the neck and shoulders, and can delay recovery. However, there is often no obvious reason why it develops.
Although it can be very painful, it rarely has a serious underlying cause. Seeing a chiropractor, who is experienced in diagnosing conditions of the neck and spine, can help treat, and also identify if a referral or specialist investigation is needed.
Neck pain can be very uncomfortable as the tissues and structures of the neck are very susceptible to pain.
It can be felt in one or both sides of the neck, in the base of the skull and into the shoulders. It can be a sharp or dull pain, and can spread as far as the arm and hand, even as far as the fingers.
If the pain does not go after a few days, or starts to get worse, it is worth seeking professional advice.
Chiropractors are best known for spinal manipulation, where they use their hands or an adjusting instrument to free stiff or restricted joints, or mobilisation, which is the gradual moving of joints.
Dr Guy McCammon, Chiropractor may also use other techniques such as dry needling, electrotherapy, stretching exercises and rehabilitation, all of which form part of the package of care. He may also offer lifestyle advice to help prevent repeated episodes of neck pain.
*From British Chiropractic Association