Neck pain is one of the most common reasons we see patients. Also referred to as the cervical spine, it contains so many small vertebrae that support the weight of your entire head. Your neck is strong, but it’s the flexibility that leaves it susceptible to strain and injury.
The biomechanics of everyday living contribute to the wear and tear of your cervical spine, so even just prolonged sitting, accidents, falls, normal aging, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, poor posture, repetitive movements and blows to the head can lead to chronic pain and headaches.
Seeing a chiropractor about your neck pain is an important step in the right direction. During your visit your chiropractor will ask you a series of questions and will perform an exam to locate the source of your pain. They will ask about your current symptoms and if you have already tried to alleviate the pain on your own. A few of these questions may include:
- When did the pain start?
- Does the pain travel to other parts of your body?
- Are there movements that reduce the pain?
- Are there movements that make the pain worse?
- What measures have you taken to reduce the pain already?
Part of the exam will also include a physical component where your chiropractor will observe your range of motion, posture, and physical condition so they can note any movements that cause you pain. They may feel your spine to note any curvature and alignment, and to feel for tight muscles or spasms. They will check your shoulder area, and may perform a neurological exam as well.
In some cases, there may be a request for additional imaging tests like an x-ray, an MRI, and EMG, or a CAT scan to check for bone spurs, fractures, arthritis, herniations, bulging discs, or nerve damage before moving forward with a treatment plan. There are instances where treatments are out of the chiropractic scope of practice, like surgeries or medications and you’ll be directed to your medical physician.
When your treatment is in the scope of chiropractic care, cervical manipulations (neck adjustments) are applied to help improve mobility and to restore the range of motion. When performed correctly, this will also increase movement in the adjoining muscles. Typically, patients notice an improvement mobility, reduced pain, soreness, and stiffness.
Additionally, your chiropractor may include additional treatments depending on your personal profile and what the best case planning is for your individual needs. This may include massage therapy, rehabilitative services, or exercise.
Although neck pain is a common reason we see patients, each person has individualized needs that require an individualized treatment plan. If you are experiencing neck pain, talk to your local chiropractor to assess whether they can help you have an improved standard of living. Neck pain doesn’t have to be a part of aging, nor should it be tolerated until it “resolves itself”. Chiropractic care is available to you, and can easily relieve the pain and discomfort associated with neck pain.
Recover Your Health After a Car Accident
The squeal of tires. The crash of metal. The shock and shot of adrenaline. If you’ve been in a car accident before, you know all too well how it feels. You can’t believe that just happened to you. Your first thought might be about the damage to your car. You don’t want to pay thousands for repairs and have to go without a car until it’s repaired.
But what about the damage done to your body? Unlike a car, there is no way to replace your spine. During a collision, the force of the impact is transferred to your body, moving it in ways it was never intended to move. As a result, you can end up with difficult conditions such as concussion, whiplash, sprain or strain, inflammation and more. Some of the most common symptoms after a car accident include
- Low back pain. If left untreated, even a mild form of pain can worsen over time.
- Whiplash. One of the most common symptoms after a collision, it can be accompanied by headaches, stiffness, irritability and fatigue.
- Headaches. You might find that your headache doesn’t respond to over-the-counter medications and can last for days.
- Numbness and tingling. These symptoms may be an indication of nerve damage and require attention so they do not become chronic.
- Dizziness. Your balance and coordination can be thrown off after a car accident and may be a sign of a serious injury.
Getting Emergency Attention May Be Essential
You might have gone to a hospital or clinic for attention after your accident. At these facilities, medical professionals are trained to identify any life-threatening injuries, broken bones or fractures that you have. They’ll provide the treatment that’s most appropriate for these serious concerns. What they do not look for is soft tissue injuries, which can result in pain and other issues for years if not addressed. A hospital also doesn’t have the capabilities to prescribe rehabilitation strategies after a collision.
You may not feel any pain right away after your accident. Days or weeks later, you’ll start to experience symptoms that affect your comfort, mobility, strength and overall function. It’s not too late, however, to get the care and attention you need.
What Chiropractic Can Do For You
The best course of action after an accident is to seek emergency treatment when you are in need of it. Following that, you should visit someone who is a specialist in understanding the impact a motor vehicle accident has on the body and how to help you regain your health. A chiropractor is one of the best choices you can make thanks to their unique knowledge about the body’s function. Your chiropractor will provide you with a comprehensive evaluation, then make recommendations about how you can recover.
Without resorting to drugs or surgery, you can overcome your injuries and be returned to your pre-accident state of health — or even better!