You probably aren’t reading this article unless you have neck pain. So let’s talk about it because you have questions. Why do you have neck pain? Where is the neck pain coming from? What can I do about my neck pain? Did I miss anything?
Is neck pain common? Of course it is. One study showed that for adults 18-80 there was a 6 month prevalence of about 29.8%-54.2%. So in a 6 month time span 1/3 to ½ of adults have some neck pain. ¹
Just because something is common doesn’t mean that it’s normal. Pain is our body’s warning signal that something is NOT normal. There is a cause to you neck pain. The neck is an incredibly complex structure of bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons, nerves and blood vessels. Pain results when those tissues get damaged. You could pull a muscle, rupture a disc, sprain a ligament, or even slowly damage that tissue over time. That leads to inflammation and nerve signals to send pain signals to the brain. The best way to know for sure what the cause is to be evaluated. In practice I see a lot of neck pain from whiplash injuries, poor posture especially in the smart phone age, spinal degeneration, arthritis and stress.
So once the cause of the pain is discovered there are things that you can do about your neck pain to help improve it. The March/April 2007 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, the researchers reviewed nine previously published trials and found “high-quality evidence” that patients with chronic neck pain showed significant pain-level improvements following spinal adjustments². In practice I also work with each patient to create a care plan of specific stretches and exercises to reduce muscle tightness and improve neck stability. Lots of patients also use ice as a natural temporary pain reliever. Many patients also take curcumin as an anti-inflammatory supplement. Be sure to research or ask your Doctor before starting any supplement regimen. Of course there are traditional NSAIDs and pain relievers but they are not without risk.
If you are interested in what you can do for your neck pain give us a call and schedule a complimentary consult.