Our necks are particularly susceptible to injury. Whiplash injury from car accidents is one of the most common causes of neck pain. Osteoarthritis can affect the neck, and spinal stenosis, common in older individuals, causes neck, shoulder and arm pain or numbness. Additionally, many headaches actually have their root in problems with the neck and cervical spine. If you have regular headaches and also feel stiffness in the neck or range of motion issues – a simple test is to look over both shoulders and see if one is harder than the other – then your problem might be caused by an issue in your neck or upper back. Herniated discs in the neck can also cause shoulder, arm, and hand pain. If you have shooting pain, tingling or numbness in your arms and hands, then it is worth having a chiropractor look at your neck. Neck pain can also keep you awake at night, especially if you are not using the right pillow.
A chiropractor can treat neck pain. They will do a physical and neurological examination to diagnose the cause of the pain. If you have been in a car accident and have whiplash, that can be easy, but other issues such as degenerative discs can be harder. You might also want to get an X-ray to rule out bone spurs or fractures. Some chiropractors may also order scans to look at the state of your discs and soft tissue. They will also look at your entire spine. The problem may, in some cases, be further down – the spine is a system and parts of it affect other parts.
Adjustments are the most common treatment for neck pain. As a followup, the chiropractor may give you exercises to strengthen your neck or advise on better posture and ergonomics. For example, you should always use the headrest when in a vehicle, in order to reduce your risk of whiplash in a crash. Chiropractors do not use drugs or surgery to treat problems. In addition to adjustments, they may use or recommend therapeutic massage or instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy – a lot of neck problems are caused by stiffness or tension in the muscles. They might also recommend that you try to change your sleeping habits or get a different pillow that better supports your neck. Stomach sleepers can be particularly prone to neck problems. And while a chiropractor cannot treat osteoarthritis, they can reduce the symptoms and slow degradation.
In the case of headaches, your chiropractor can also eliminate a neck or spine problem as a potential cause, allowing you to explore other treatments. As chiropractors treat the entire person, they may also help with other problems – including ones you are so accustomed to that you do not notice them any more. They can also give advice on reducing stress (which adds to that muscle tension).
If you have headaches, neck pain, or pain/numbness in your shoulders, arms and hands, then contact Desired Health Chiropractic. Our Anoka, MN chiropractor can help get your neck straightened out and relieve symptoms caused by a variety of neck problems, both skeletal and muscular. Visit the website at http://www.DesiredHealthChiro.com.