Understanding Neck Pain
Your cervical spine, or neck, is built from seven bones stacked on top of each other along with a shock-absorbing disc between each level. Your neck is actually quite flexible and it relies on muscles and ligaments for support. "If your neck is in the same position a majority of the day, these muscles and ligaments can become overused and cause pain.
Neck pain typically occurs due to either lack of movement or excessive movement. Lack of movement causes muscle tightness and joint stiffness. Excessive movement can also cause muscle tightness or ligament sprains.
Muscle tightness is a major cause of neck pain. Most people complain that they hold all of their tension in their upper shoulder area. This stress and tension can cause postural changes which can lead to overuse of muscles and pain. Our posture plays a major role in how our body functions. If we consistently have poor posture specific muscle build up tightness.
If we do not correct our posture or utilize specific corrective movements, nothing will stop these muscles from becoming tight and causing pain. Preventing muscle tightness and joint stiffness is the best way to prevent neck pain from interrupting your life.
The most common symptoms of neck painoften include dull neck achiness that becomes sharper when you move your head. Rest may relieve your symptoms but can also often leads to stiffness. The pain is primarily found in the back of your neck but is also known to spread to your shoulders or between your shoulder blades.
Tension headaches are also known to commonly accompany neck injuries. Tension headaches typically feel like significant tightness in your shoulders going up to the base of your skull. If you start to experience more severe symptoms contact your doctor immediately, some of these conditions to be aware of include severe or "different" headaches, loss of consciousness, confusion or "fogginess", difficulty concentrating, dizziness, slurred speech, difficulty swallowing, change in vision, nausea or vomiting, numbness or tingling in your arms or face, weakness or clumsiness in your arms and hands, decreased bowel or bladder control, or fever.
Neck pain can sometimes benefit from rest, but a majority of the time the neck needs proper movement and therapy in order to function properly. Seeking early and appropriate treatment for your injuries, like the type we provide, is critical. Patients with neck pain respond extremely well to dry needling and chiropratic adjustments.
Following acute injuries, you can try to add ice for 10-15 minutes each hour. Talk to the physicians at The Hart Wellness Center to determine what the best treatment strategy would be for acute and chronic neck pain.