We’ve all experienced neck pain at some point in our lives. Whether you sleep on a flat pillow or you whipped your head around too fast, a sore neck can be debilitating. Yet, most neck discomfort is not the result of one bad night’s rest, but rather deterioration over time.
Biomechanics of the Neck
Also called the cervical spine, the neck consists of seven small vertebrae from the base of the skull. Although this body part is small, the neck is responsible for holding up the head, which averages 10 to 12 pounds. It is very mobile, but this makes the neck more vulnerable to injury and subsequent pain.
Causes of Neck Pain
Many factors can contribute to neck discomfort, including trauma, sitting for long periods, repetitive motion and aging. As a result, simple movements of the neck, head, shoulders and arms can cause pain. As this wear and tear continues, the muscles become weak and degenerate over time. Before long, neck immobility starts to interfere with everyday life.
When the neck muscles spasm, as a result of overuse, stress or injury, the spine may be pulled out of proper alignment. The surrounding nerves then become irritated, causing further tension. Degenerative disorders like osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine) can also put excess pressure on the nerves.
In today’s day and age, we spend more time scrolling our smartphones and working on the computer. Sedentary living and poor posture can have a negative impact on the normal curvature of the neck. The natural slight bend forward helps the neck and shoulders with weight bearing, but the more this curve diminishes, the more stress is put on the spine and muscles. This shift increases the chances for nerve pressure and herniated discs.
Studies show chiropractic is a proven remedy for neck pain and more effective than pain medication or acupuncture. During a neck adjustment, gentle pressure is applied by hand to the neck joints to restore range of motion in the surrounding muscles. The goal is to improve a patient’s ability to turn and tilt the head with less pain, soreness or stiffness.
Don’t let chronic neck pain keep you from your favorite activities. To learn more about our services or to make an appointment, contact us today!