There are several types of neck pain that all behave differently and require different treatment approaches.
The level of pain someone experiences is not necessarily correlated with the severity of the cause.¬† Some serious conditions begin as a mild ache, while simply sleeping wrong one night can lead to excruciating pain.¬† Fortunately, out of all the neck complaints doctors see, less than 2 percent require serious medical attention.
Similarly the level of pain one experiences does not correlate well with x-ray or MRI findings.¬† Bulging discs and arthritis can exist in a completely pain-free neck, and someone with severe pain can have a clean x-ray or MRI.
Important factors for avoiding or improving neck pain:
- Improve posture especially while doing desk work. This starts with proper desk ergonomics.
- Sleep position is key. You can read more about there HERE! [link to sleep article]
- Regular exercise and frequent movement have been shown to prevent chronic musculoskeletal pain and be beneficial in treating neck pain.
- Stress management can help reduce perceived pain no matter where it is in the body, but many people tense their neck muscles when they are stressed.
Wry Neck: This is when the neck is literally stuck in a certain position.¬† It often occurs after sleeping in a strange position.¬† This can be quite uncomfortable, but can resolve fairly rapidly with treatment early in the onset.
Whiplash: Most common after motor vehicle accidents but can also happen in athletics.
Chronic Neck Pain: Any neck pain has the potential to become chronic, meaning it has lasted at least 12 weeks.¬† Chronic neck pain tends to respond slower to treatment that acute neck pain.¬† Research suggests physical activity and exercise are the best course of action for addressing chronic neck pain.
Muscle Tension: Muscle tension is often the cause of neck pain and is typically caused by poor posture.¬† Although it sounds innocent enough muscle tension can be quite uncomfortable!¬† When patients present to us with this type of pain we work with them to ensure their desk setup at work is ergonomic and that they are sleeping on the right pillow.
Pinched Nerve:¬† Several different things can cause a pinched nerve, but most of the time it can be managed without drugs or surgery.¬† A pinched nerve can cause pain in the neck and will often cause shooting pain or numbness into the upper back or down the arm.¬† This is often described as sciatica of the arm.
Our Approach to Treating Neck Pain:
Many people in our local Charlotte community have found neck pain relief through chiropractic, manual therapy, and corrective exercise here at TruMotion Therapy.¬† Since each person is unique, an individual approach is taken with each patient.¬† Listed below is our general approach at providing neck pain relief.
- Address the joints of the neck. Research has found chiropractic adjustments can help restore motion of tight joints in the neck and reduce the intensity of neck pain.
- Loosen the muscles around the neck. We use techniques like massage, cupping, dry needling¬†and laser therapy¬†to reduce muscle tension.
- Corrective exercise and stretches help restore balance and alignment in the body to help ease pain and prevent it from recurring.
- Consider neck pain triggers like sleep quality, poor hydration, stress, poor posture, diet, and jaw clenching.
If you live in or around the Charlotte area and are experiencing neck pain that doesn‚Äôt seem to get better, click here to work with our team and begin finding relief.