Neck pain is a common problem in America, affecting millions. While many people reach for over-the-counter medications to treat their neck pain, others are turning to a more natural—and more effective—alternative: chiropractic care.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Neck pain can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term), and many things can cause it. The most common causes of neck pain include:
- Abnormalities in the bone or joints
- Poor posture
- Degenerative diseases
- Muscle strain
How Does a Chiropractor Diagnose Neck Pain?
Your chiropractor will evaluate your spine as a whole because other regions of the neck (cervical), mid back (thoracic), and low back (lumbar) may be affected as well. Along with treating the spine as a whole, chiropractors treat the “whole person,” not just your specific symptoms. He or she may educate you on nutrition, stress management, and lifestyle goals in addition to treating your neck pain.
Before deciding which approach to try for your pain, the chiropractor will do a thorough examination to diagnose the specific cause of your neck pain. He or she will determine any areas of restricted movement and will look at how you walk as well as your overall posture and spinal alignment. Doing these things can help your chiropractor understand your body mechanics.
In addition to the physical exam, you’ll also go through your past medical history with the chiropractor, and he or she may order imaging tests (such as an X-ray or MRI) to help him or her diagnose the exact cause of your neck pain.
Chiropractic Treatments for Neck Pain
For most people, pain goes away without treatment after a few days or weeks. But for the less fortunate, neck pain becomes chronic and debilitating and lasts for months or even years. It is a challenging condition to diagnose, treat, and study. Depending on the cause and severity of your neck pain, your chiropractor may use a combination of spinal manipulation, manual therapy, and other techniques as part of your treatment plan for neck pain.
Through highly skilled, gentle spinal manipulation or adjustment of vertebrae, your chiropractor can help you get back to living a healthy life away from the painkillers.To learn more about this drug-free pain relief option, contact our office today.