Neck pain is very common but not “normal”. It is not just part of the aging process and there are many ways to prevent, eliminate, and control neck problems. With the change in daily activities and added stress in our lives we have witnessed a great change in the posture and therefore function of the joints in the spine.
Neck pain can be caused by tight muscles, having a headache, and of course a misalignment in the spine. Muscles, ligaments, and your spine all work together to keep your head upright and to allow you to move your head around. The nerves that travel through your spine communicate messages to and from you brain to keep your body functioning at its best. If any of these pieces is not working as designed, dysfunction and pain can happen. Bad posture, bad ergonomics, stress, toxins (environments and what we put in our bodies) can all contribute to pain.
Our heads weigh approximately 10 pounds. All our structures are made to support this weight. With our heads forward just 30 degrees, the forces on the head now make it feel like it weighs 40 pounds! You’ve noticed the people around you looking down at their phones, books, tablets. This puts so much pressure on our necks, that it isn’t surprising neck pain is so common.
What can You do to Help Your Neck Pain?
First, get adjusted. This helps put everything in proper alignment so that when you add the component of retraining the muscles, you’re doing it when your body is at its best. Releasing pressure on the nerves will also make sure the body and brain are communicating the way they are designed.
Once your spine is in alignment, then it’s time to add muscle work. Stretches and exercises designed to help muscle balance is important.
There are also things you can do to help prevent further wear and tear. Hold your phones, books, etc. at eye level so that your neck is more in line with your body and not bent over. Use pillows that keep your neck in a neutral position. You don’t want your neck misaligned for several hours while you sleep. Be mindful of what you put in your body and make sure to drink lots of water. You can also find some way to reduce stress in your life. We’re all busy, but making time for yourself is key, whether it’s a hobby, medication, walking, reading (making sure to keep your neck neutral of course). All of these things together can make a difference if you’re one of the many people who suffer from neck pain.
How can Chiropractic Care Help with Neck Pain?
The Mayo Clinic states that Acupuncture and Chiropractic are the top choices for non-drug relief of neck pain. Pain relief can be very different from one person to another. That is why the best treatment is often a combination of methods that are customized to your condition and use a multitude of different treatment modalities. (1,2)
Complementary and natural methods such as acupuncture, physical therapy and chiropractic can be used together to greatly reduce or eliminate pain. Our clinic provides all three of these approaches to pain relief.