In short, yes, you should see a chiropractor for neck pain. There are so many factors and nuances that go into this decision for many people that it’s time to set the record straight.
Neck pain can be very tricky. As it comes and goes, it may seem like a non-issue, but it is a very real issue that deserves attention from you and a chiropractor to make sure it doesn’t turn into something worse.
Where Neck Pain can Occur and What Causes It
Neck pain isn’t so cut and dry like many other symptoms and pains. The place this pain is occurring can tell what you did to acquire this pain and what treatment is required to combat the pain.
Right Side Neck Pain
For most people, being right-handed causes you to favor the use of the right side of your body. This lack of balance in overall movement can be the cause of pain in the right side of your neck.
When lifting something heavy or throwing something, you can tweak muscles and ligaments in your neck because of sympathetic flexing. Without realizing it, you tend to tense up your neck muscles on the dominant side of your body.
You don’t specifically work out your neck muscles, so they tend to be the weakest link in your muscular system.
Left Side Neck Pain
If the pain in the right side of your neck can be caused by force you apply, it makes perfect sense that the pain in your left side is caused by force being applied to you. The left side of your body, including your neck, is the weaker side, which can make it less resilient against sudden and unexpected movements caused by others.
This can cause a sort of whiplash concentrated on your non-dominant side. This neck pain is not serious and, with a bit of rest and relaxation, will recover back to full range of motion in a few days.
As with the section above, this pertains to right-handed people. Lefties can just flip-flop the rights for lefts and it works the same.
Back of Neck Pain
Pain that occurs in the back of your neck can be caused by a variety of sources. The most common of these sources is muscle strain from poor posture. Slouching in a chair or standing with your shoulders rolled forward are two obvious examples of poor posture.
This can be easily remedied through mindfulness of how you sit and stand as well as with aid from different back and neck supports.
Neck Pain from Sleeping
Depending on how you sleep, any of the places in your neck can experience pain from sleeping in an awkward position. This can be caused by tossing and turning in strange ways or from an old, flat pillow that does not offer any support for your head and neck.
If you continuously wake up with a pain in your neck, try changing out your pillow for a new one with better support. Most of the random “one-morning” neck pains are caused by sleeping in an awkward position and don’t have any underlying issue to worry about.
Neck Pain from Car Accident
The neck pain associated with car crashes is called whiplash. This pain is caused by the sudden jerk you experience when hit by another car on the road. This pain is usually severe and requires some form of treatment.
Neck Pain Can Lead to This…
If the neck pain you are experiencing goes untreated for a long time, it has a tendency to spread the pain to the surrounding areas and cause strain on other parts of your spine. Here are a few things that can come from untreated neck pain.
If the tension in your neck from trauma or strain migrates up to your scalp, it can cause mild to severe migraines. Medicine can relieve the pain of a migraine for a period of time, but until the underlying issue, the neck pain, is dealt with, the migraine will keep coming back.
With a slight adjustment at Travis Chiropractic can set you on a road to recovery from that miserable pain. A frequency of once per month or more will give you the best results when seeking to remedy the neck pain and migraines.
The pain in your neck can cause strain to be placed on other parts of your back and spine, which could lead to slipping a disc in your neck or back. This is a very serious injury that needs medical attention and possibly surgery.
If the spine is tense or a disc is stolen, it can cause nerves to pinch. This causes some very sharp stabbing pains in your neck. These pinched nerves may work themselves out as your neck heals, but either way, you should consult a chiropractor to check the pain and find a treatment that will remedy the pain.
Pinched nerves are usually a sign of a deeper issue that may need professional attention. In these cases, it’s best to catch the issue early, so making the consultation quickly is in your best interest.
How to Treat Neck Pain
When you have neck pain, coping with the dull, and sometimes sharp, pains can be a chore. The limited mobility that comes from the pain and strain on your neck can be frustrating to say the least.
Generally, treating neck pain yourself requires a lot of rest and relaxation, as well as icing the affected area of your neck to release some of the tension in the muscles.
Your neck is a very sensitive area of your body that can be easily affected by your movements and habits. You may find that your neck needs more than a few days to recover when you are experiencing neck pain.
It may be good in those instances to see a chiropractor to make sure the healing process is happening smoothly and correctly.
Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain
It may be prudent to get a chiropractor involved when you have neck pain that just won’t go away or keeps periodically showing up in the same area of your neck.
They have quite a few remedies for neck pain that can be beneficial to your recovery. These remedies include spinal adjustments and muscle massage treatments.
With very subtle, gentle adjustments to the alignment of your spine, Travis can relieve your neck of tension and annoying pain. A single adjustment can produce instant results, while repeated and regular adjustments can permanently reverse neck pain caused by poor posture and sudden injury.
With these subtle alignments, they are releasing pressure being placed upon discs and muscle fibers. As the spine decompresses and realigns, pinched nerves get released from the vertebrae stranglehold.
Deep Tissue Neck Massage Treatments
After a car accident, whiplash may have caused harm to the muscles in your neck, causing unwanted tension and discomfort. Deep tissue massages can help alleviate the tension you may be experiencing in your neck muscles.
These treatments, coupled with rest, can help you recover from a major neck injury in no time at all.
How to Avoid Neck Pain
For neck pain not associated with any type of injury, the general rule of thumb is to be mindful of your movements and positions as best you can. Make sure your posture is not negatively affecting your spine, causing excess strain on your neck.
Do not overexert yourself carrying, lifting, or throwing heavy things. Your neck muscles are extremely delicate compared to the muscles in your arms and legs, so even if your body is able to manage the weight, your neck muscles may be experiencing unneeded strain.
Lastly, make sure your pillow is supportive enough to maintain a comfortable position while sleeping. If you generally sleep on either side, a more firm pillow to keep your head suspended and your neck straight is the right idea.
If you sleep on your back, too firm of a pillow will add unnecessary tension to your neck while sleeping, causing chronic pain in the morning when you wake up.