Ogden Chiropractor >    Behaviors that Will Induce Neck Pain and Alternative Methods that Can Help
Behaviors that Will Induce Neck Pain and Alternative Methods that Can Help
859 Washington Blvd. Ste. 1, 1B
Ogden, UT
84404


(801) 430-9007



Behaviors that Will Induce Neck Pain and Alternative Methods that Can Help

Starting at the base of your skull, your cervical spine (also known as your neck) is made of seven vertebrae. It's up to your neck to hold your head. Your head, however, weighs several pounds so the task isn't easy. Your cervical spine is very flexible, and allows movement in many directions. However, this also makes it susceptible to pain and injury.

The reason for this vulnerability is attributed to the biomechanics of the cervical spine. Repetitive movements, injury, sitting for prolonged periods, or merely the natural process of aging and its attendant side-effects can affect your neck's health. Neck pain is irksome, regardless of the reasons that are causing it.

These factors are what contributes to cervical pain?

1. Accidents and Injury: Whiplash results from a sudden, abrupt movement of the neck or head that causes a rebound effect that may damage the tissues supporting the neck and head. The so-called ?rebound? is a result of muscles reacting to strain by contracting themselves. This contraction induces fatigue, pain, and stiffness. Whiplash cases, when serious, are known to coincide with intervertebral joint injury, and to damaged muscles, ligaments, nerve roots, or discs. Whiplash is typically linked with car accidents.

2. Aging: Disorders of a degenerative nature can take the form of spinal stenosis, osteoarthritis, and age-related disc ailments. They all have a direct influence on the spine.

Spinal stenosis narrows the nerve passageways in the vertebrae. This contracts and blocks the nerve roots, impairing them. In addition to cervical pain, the condition also influences the shoulder and arm (making them numb and painful, for instance).

The intervertebral discs may suffer damage to its height and elasticity, causing a hernia to develop on a disc, for example. Pain, tingling, and numbness could also affect the arm.

Osteoarthritis, a common occurrence, results in progressive degeneration of cartilage. The body's response is to create bone spurs, which in turn, affects the motion of the joints.

Also, a few habitual routines can harm the cervical spine. A poor posture and being overweight, for instance, modifies spinal balance, making it so the neck leans forward to compensate. Emotional problems, as well as stress, make the muscles compress and tighten, thus inviting stiffness and pain. The stress on the spine can result in permanent neck pain, which may also end up affecting the arms and upper back.

A comprehensive assessment of the reported symptoms is made in order to pinpoint the exact source of the pain. Questions that could be asked are how long you've lived with the pain, what methods have been tried to deal with the pain and which parts of the body are affected; in addition, your chiropractor may want to know what has helped address the pain. Neurological examinations and physical tests may also be performed. These physical examinations could establish your posture, range of motion, and overall physical shape, at the same time that they reveal the types of movements that cause pain. Your spine's condition is manually evaluated to see its alignment, curvature, and muscle spasms (if any). In addition, your shoulder could also be assessed.

In the neurological exam, the emphasis will be on checking your muscle strength, reflexes, and extent of pain and how far it has spread. For some patients, more tests may also be helpful to make the right diagnosis. A contracted disc space, bone spurs, and fractures can be revealed with an X-ray. A CAT or CT scan (axial tomography scan) or a MRI (magnetic resonance imaging test) reveals the location of a dilated disc. If your chiropractor has reasons to believe that your pain is due to nerve damage, he or she could recommend the employment of an electromyography (EMG). This test can measure how your nerves respond to stimuli.

Cervical Adjustments: Cervical manipulation entails, for the most part, manual adjustment of the neck joints. Spinal manipulation may restore mobility of the spine and improve its range of motion. Cervical manipulation could also help restore movement of the adjoining muscles. Those who receive neck adjustments display added capability of moving their heads, in addition to experiencing relief of stiffness, soreness, and general pain.

Research findings support the use of chiropractic spinal manipulation for the treatment of patients with chronic neck pain. Comprehensive clinical trials reported significant improvement of chronic neck pain as a result of spinal manipulation. Even after many weeks of treatment, all the trial groups showed improvement of their symptoms.

Every patient gets a personalized treatment regimen. Your chiropractic doctor could also suggest additional methods like massage, rehabilitative exercises, and mobilization of the treated area. Contact your chiropractic doctor; it's an invaluable first step to figuring out how to care for your cervical spine.

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(801) 430-9007