3 Things You May Not Know About Neck Pain
Incidence of chronic pain in the U.S is more than heart disease, cancer, and diabetes combined, according to the American Academy of Pain Management, affecting 100 million Americans. Neck pain will affect 2 out of 3 Americans over a period of time.
Neck pain in Friendswood can come on suddenly or can last many months. Some of the causes of neck pain can vary including:
- Poor Posture
- Insufficent neck support while sleeping
- Improperly positioned computer screen
- Excessive use of technology such as texting or gaming
Some symptoms associated with neck pain can vary from very mild symptoms to severe symptoms that may require medical intervention such as:
- Sharp pain when looking over the shoulder and/or looking up
- Burning pain in the neck and shoulders or mid back
- Tingling or Numbness in the arm, hand, or fingers
So, I have neck pain. What next?
The great news is that you have options. Mild to moderate neck pain can not only be prevented with good habits, posture, nutrition, and exercise but can also be helped with the assistance of simple stretches and strengthening exercises that can help correct imbalances in the muscles and reduce spinal misalignments, reducing pressure on exiting spinal nerves.
Stretching the neck is beneficial for lengthening 'short' or contracted muscles in certain areas of the neck. They can be performed at the desk, while standing, and only take a few minutes to complete.
- Stretch the muscles of the shoulders (Upper Trapezius). Relax and drop the shoulder blades and bring the ear to the shoulder. To increase this stretch, you may place the side of the shoulder stretched behind the back or reach to the side.
- Stretch the muscles in the back of the neck and shoulder blade (Levator Scapulae). This stretch is performed by relaxing and dropping the shoulders, then rolling the nose down toward the arm pit. Increasing the stretch may be done by placing the stretched side behind the back or reaching to the side.
- Perform a wall stretch for the muscles in the Chest (Pectoralis). Using an entry of a doorway, bring the arm at 90 degrees, elbow in line with the shoulder. Drop and relax the shoulders. Step forward to increase the stretch. Keep the torso upright with the shoulders even. Next, bring the elbow at ear level and continue the stretch.
Strengthening can help neck pain by making the muscles that supports proper posture stronger and reduced muscle imbalances in the neck, shoulders, and mid back.
- Strengthen the Muscles on the Front of the Neck (Deep Cervical Flexors). While sitting upright, place one palm on the forehead. Gently press the forehead into the palm and do not allow it to move. This exercise can also be performed using a light-weight medicine ball against a wall.
- Drop, Set, and Hold the Shoulder Blades (Lower Trapezius). Sit upright. Allow the chest to rise as you drop and relax your shoulders. Finally, depress the shoulder blades downward. You should feel the muscles below the shoulder blades working.
- Perform Core Abdominal strengthening. Begin on the floor on the hands an knees. Lower yourself onto the forearms. Lift the feet off the ground and squeeze the abdominals with your belly button going in 2" toward your spine. The hips should not be allowed to drop into excessive arching of the back. Hold. More advanced variations can be performed on the toes, by extending the legs, or performing a full plank with the legs and elbows extended.
When neck pain becomes moderate to severe and begins to effect normal daily activities, work activities, interfering with sleep, or inhibits the ability to move, it's time to reach out. Chiropractic treatment has been proven to be safe and effective for many health conditions with neck being the most common.
Treatments such as MyoFascial Release - the manipulation of soft connective tissue, Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization or IASTM, electrical stimulation, heat/cold therapies, and therapeutic exercise are performed to enhance the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments.
Are Chiropractic Adjustments Safe?
Chiropractors are doctors who spend years of dedicated study, understanding the relationships between the bones, nerves, and muscles and have been proven to be a safer alternative than conventional medical treatments with the total number of deaths caused by conventional medicine reaching 783,936 per year!
Studies have shown, according to a research study at Harvard Medical School of Public Health, states that only 13-15% of medical procedures have ever been tested for appropriateness by randomized trials. He noted that adverse events occurred in 3.7 percent of all hospitalizations. Worse yet, 13.6 percent of those adverse events led to death.
According to an article published by the National Institute of Health, Side effects from spinal manipulation can include temporary headaches, tiredness, or discomfort in the parts of the body that were treated. Furthermore, A 2007 study of treatment outcomes for 19,722 chiropractic patients in the United Kingdom concluded that minor side effects (such as temporary soreness) after cervical spine manipulation were relatively common, but that the risk of a serious adverse event was “low to very low”.
If you're considering seeking chiropractic care for you neck pain, we invite you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Haywood. He can answer questions regarding the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic and if chiropractic care is right for your condition. Our office in Friendswood, TX is ready to accommodate any needs or goals you're looking to achieve. Whether you're suffering from minor or severe neck pain, we're here to get you moving in the right direction to freedom from pain.