When your neck hurts, the simplest gesture can seem difficult or perhaps even impossible. You may first notice a problem while sitting at your computer, when getting up from a chair, or when following through on your golf swing. The pain may seem to come from nowhere, but like most pain that begins in the spine, it was probably building for some time. Fortunately, chiropractic care offers a safe and effective way to correct neck pain at its source for natural, long-lasting relief.
Where Neck Pain Begins
Your cervical spine, or neck, is composed of 7 delicate bones called vertebrae, in addition to ligaments, joints, tendons, muscles, discs and nerves. When even one vertebra becomes misaligned, your body experiences central nervous system interference, which can cause pain and any number of health problems. Doctors of chiropractic are the only professionals trained to detect and correct these vertebral misalignments, called subluxations.
How Neck Pain Begins
Vertebral subluxations are usually caused by the stress of poor lifestyle habits or traumatic injury from an accident. If you are experiencing neck pain, check the list below to determine where the problem may have originated:
- Whiplash injury resulting from a car accident
- Disc injury sustained while engaged in sports
- Sleeping on a pillow that is too hard or that doesn’t support the neck
- Sleeping on your stomach
- Spending many hours staring at electronic gadgets, whether computer screens, televisions or smart phones
- Long hours spent studying books
- Slumped posture while sitting or standing
How Neck Problems Escalate
Spinal decay can build silently for years. Once a vertebra has become subluxated, it may begin wearing down the facet joints on one or both sides, as well as the discs that act as the cushions that separate the spinal bones. It is often when there is additional trauma (such as a car collision, a fall, or a sporting mishap) that degenerative disc disease and spinal arthritis are discovered.
Options for Neck Pain Relief
Medical doctors typically recommend three options for patients experiencing neck pain and none of them are good: drugs, corticosteroid injections, and surgery. Anti-inflammatory medications, whether prescription or over-the-counter, have serious side effects and do nothing to correct the underlying problem. Cortisone injections can cause short-term complications, such as abscess, infection and hematoma; in the long-term, they eat away at cartilage and cause osteoporosis, thereby making the problem worse. Surgery carries serious risks and is often unsuccessful at relieving pain.
Compare that approach to chiropractic, which corrects the underlying cause of pain without resorting to dangerous drugs, injections or surgery.