Neck pain is one of the most commonly seen and treated neuromusculoskeletal conditions treated by chiropractors. Do not be confused, neck pain is complex and different for each individual. Neck pain can present in patients as mild or severe, acute or chronic, simple or complex etiology, and can even be life threatening!
Did you know the cervical spine preforms several unique and complex functions? The cervical spine contains and protects the spinal cord in the neck while providing support and mobility to the head. The cervical spine is composed of seven vertebrae. They are positioned in a specific alignment to absorb forces generated from the head to the torso. The joints of the cervical spine are slightly moveable, known as amphiarthrodial joints. This allows for collective small movements of the cervical spine to align and position the head in space. Proper spinal alignment in the cervical region optimizes proprioceptive input (sensory input) to the brain.
You may be wondering what is Proprioceptive Input and what does it mean for neck pain? Proprioception is made up by the communication of muscle fibers, joint position receptors, and cutaneous (skin) mechanoreceptors. This signals external and internal information about the position of the body in space. Proprioceptive input from the cervical muscles and joints play a major role in a person’s ability to move and balance their head. Ultimately, lack of this input can reduce movement and increase neck pain!
Some common causes of neck pain are listed below:
· Acute neck injuries from falls, sports injuries, and whiplash injuries causing cervical spine strain/sprains
· Postural pain/Poor Postural Ergonomics or stiffness due to poor ergonomics in home and work environment
· Acute Psuedotorticollis
· Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
· Osteoarthritis associated with neck stiffness, reduce range of motion and pain
· Facet/Referred Pain from irritation of the facet joints or deep cervical muscles
· Degenerative Disc Disease of the cervical spine
· Cervical Spondylosis
· Cervical Radiculopathy
Equilibrium Chiropractic incorporates a comprehensive treatment approach to optimize patient health and improve outcomes. Treatment plans are not a one size fits all approach! Every individual is unique and requires a customized treatment plan to reach optimal health and function.
Electrical Muscle Stimulaton/TENS
Is a type of electrotherapy, stimulating muscle contraction using electrical impulses in order strengthen weak muscles, reduce tissue swelling, pain relieve, and helps with wound health. The benefits of electrical muscle stimulation would be to decrease neck pain generated from tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. Promote tissue healing of the neck region, while promoting muscle strength.
An intersegmental traction table, also known as a roller table, is a wonderful modality that chiropractors utilize to re-establish normal range of motion of the body’s spine. The table helps facilitate motion throughout the spine, by mobilizing and massaging tight, stiff muscles and ligaments. The wave like motion stretches the spinal joints while improving movement. It also promotes disc imbibition, the process of water and nutrients going in and waste products coming out the discs.
This safe, effective, drug free, non-surgical treatment is known as Photobiomodulation Therapy, or Low Level Light Therapy (LLLT) is a new and exciting treatment offered to patients with neck pain that is generated from the ligaments, tendons, muscles, discs and nerve of the neck region. K-Laser Dynamic therapy uses several pulsed light frequencies to produce a combination of analgesia (pain relief), inflammation reduction, biostimulation, and antimicrobial effect, thus accelerating the regeneration of tissues and increasing cellular energy.
Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression
Spinal Decompression is a safe, effective, and non-surgical treatment for treating acute and chronic neck pain, lower back pain, facet syndrome, pinched nerves and sciatica caused by bulging, herniated, protruding and degenerated discs. Non-surgical spinal decompression produces a negative pressure within the intervertebral disc, creating a vacuum effect that pulls fluid and nutrients to help maintain and promote healing of the intervertebral discs.
Myofascial Release Therapy(MFR)/IASTM
Instrumental assisted soft tissue mobilization is a myofascial release therapy produces controlled microtrauma to the soft tissue to stimulate a local inflammatory response. MFR is utilized to reduce musculoskeletal pain, restore proper muscle movement and mobility, reduce inflammation, increase collagen production, and speed up recovery time.
Chiropractic Spinal Manipulations aka “The Adjustment”
Chiropractic care is the largest complementary alternative medicine (CAM) care system utilized by patient for a wide range of conditions. Chiropractic physicians approach your health and well-being holistically, as it is essential to truly understanding the underlying issues that are causing your health to be less than optimal. One common root cause of dysfunction that can manifest a condition is spine misalignment. This is because poor spine alignment and spinal decay leads to reduced nerve signaling.
Chiropractic physicians are healthcare professionals trained in the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of neuromusculoskeletal conditions ailing the general population. Chiropractic care is one of the safest forms of healthcare and has an enviable healthcare safety record. Chiropractic care is effective, safe, non-invasive, non-surgical, and reduces the need of medication. Some of the most documented benefits of chiropractic care are reduced headache symptoms, improved neck pain and back pain, reduces osteoarthritis symptoms, reduces reliance of dangerous opioid pain relievers and anti-inflammatories medication, lessens scoliosis symptoms, improves posture, increases athletic performance, helps with sleep, and improves energy.