What are the main causes of your neck pain?

  1. Spinal joints: The neck has 7 vertebrae and should have complete flexibility to move. When restricted because of inflammation or muscle tension, the joints start to get irritated and flare up. This swelling in turn causes the nerves to feel pain. Spinal joint pain is very common and can be described as deep, achy and stiff with sharp stabbing pain that shoots into the shoulder or head at times.
  2. Muscle tension and spasms: Many muscles support your head and allow for movement. However, postural strain, overuse, whiplash, and a lack of stretching will lead to muscle tension and pain. Muscle tension can create “knots” or spasms also knows as “trigger points”.
  3. Nerves: Irritation or compression of nerves in the neck can cause pain. Conditions like cervical radiculopathy, where a nerve root is pinched, may result in sharp, shooting pain that radiates down the arm. Numbness or tingling sensations can occur.

Medications can help alleviate your symptoms temporarily, but they will not correct a pinched nerve or restore normal function and flexibility in your neck.

In most situations of neck pain, all 3 of these causes can simultaneously manifest themselves meaning you will most likely have spasms, a lack of flexibility and range of motion at the same time as pain and/or arm numbness and tingling.

While medications can help alleviate your symptoms temporarily, they will not correct a pinched nerve or restore normal function and flexibility in your neck.

To get to the root cause, a Chiropractor will diagnose your condition starting a good history and thorough examination. This consists of range of motion testing, orthopedic and neurologic testing. Depending on the history, age, trauma and severity, treatment can take as little as 2 visits or more than a dozen. Because you may have different structures that are causing your neck pain, various modalities of treatment can be used to get rid of your condition. Spinal manipulation, stretches, therapeutic massages are the normal course of action.

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