Neck pain is so annoying to deal with. It may be hard to look over your shoulder while driving or backing up. You may not even want to look down. When you have neck pain all you want to do is look straight forward and that’s it.    The neck is commonly injured in traumatic cases like whiplash or a hard fall on the shoulder or arm. These incidences could cause sprains, strains, disc herniations, or facet pain.    But sometimes people just wake up with neck pain from sleeping at a weird angle or having cold air blowing on the neck all night. That has to be the most annoying. Getting neck pain from sleeping too hard.   

The neck is very sensitive and can have painful symptoms for a lot of reasons because there are so many muscles that are attached and move the neck. From all the small muscles at the base of the skull, to all the larger muscles like the traps.    There are also facets and facet capsules that are part of your vertebrae that can cause neck pain when you whip your head back or forward really hard like in whiplash.    Sometimes neck pain can come about from stress. When you are really stressed you tend to tense up your shoulders, which is activating all the muscles in your neck. This continuous activation will start to wear down your body.    A new condition called “Text Neck” is becoming more common.  That is due to looking down at our phones all the time, or looking down at a computer screen.   Some injuries can cause pain down the arm. When you have a disc herniation, the disc is putting pressure on the nerves that go down your arm. That pressure causes the weakness or electric type of arm pain you might be feeling.   

Neck Pain Treatments  

For both acute and chronic neck pain spinal manipulation has been shown to provide both short and long term relief of symptoms.  It has been shown to improve range of motion, decrease pain scores, and improved function.  It has been shown combined with exercise it is better than exercises alone.   We may also do some muscle therapy to loosen up tight muscles along with low voltage muscle stimulation.   And to improve long term outcomes home exercises are given which are simple to do and easy to follow.    Below the references you will see a home stretch that you can do that is designed to take stress of the of the neck muscles, nerves, or ligaments.  This is also the best exercise that I have found for the neck.    

Best-Practice Recommendations for Chiropractic Management of Patients With Neck Pain   Management of neck pain and associated disorders: A clinical practice guideline from the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management (OPTIMa) Collaboration   Is a combined programme of manual therapy and exercise more effective than usual care in patients with non-specific chronic neck pain? A randomized controlled trial

Dr. Craig Benton

Dr. Craig Benton

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