The neck is made up of bones, ligaments, and muscles that help to support the head and allow it to move. Occasionally, we experience pain and lack of mobility in the neck (also called the cervical region) due to:
- Muscle Strain or Tension
- Sleeping in a strange or unusual position
- Using a workstation that doesn’t allow for your shoulders, arms, and hands to be properly aligned for typing
- Sitting and working for too long without changing position
- Poor posture
- Injury or Accidents
- Car accident
- Sports injury
- A fall
- Twisting or jerking your neck during exercise
When neck pain isn’t serious, it usually goes away within a few days. If it persists, you may choose to visit a neck pain chiropractor for a spinal adjustment or other form of treatment.
To begin addressing your neck pain, chiropractors start by asking these questions:
• When did you first notice the pain?
• Have you had any kind of prior treatment for the pain?
• Does it feel like the pain is traveling or radiating from your neck to other parts of your body?
• Do you notice if anything you do makes the pain better or worse?
When you first come into our practice, your chiropractor will examine your neck to look for signs of physical or neurological symptoms through:
- General Observation. Your chiropractor will check your physical condition, posture, and range of motion, and make note of any kind of movement that causes pain.
- Spinal Exam. He or she will determine your curvature and alignment by feeling your spine, checking for muscle spasms, and examining your shoulders.
- Neurological Exam. They may also test for reflexes, muscle strength, and to see how and where pain has spread
Occasionally, your chiropractor may order tests like x-rays or scans to help diagnose your condition. Or if they suspect nerve damage, a test called electromyography (EMG) can measure the rate at which your nerves respond. Your chiropractor will let you know if you need to be checked out by a doctor or other medical professional.
When the chiropractor has gathered the necessary information about your condition, they’ll treat your neck pain by performing a cervical manipulation, also called a neck adjustment. You will typically lie on your back for this procedure while the doctor puts his hands on your neck and, using a controlled motion, rotates your head from side to side.
During the adjustment by your chiropractor, popping neck noises may be heard, but it’s nothing to be alarmed about. After the adjustment, a patient usually has increased range of motion, can more easily turn and tilt her head, and feels less pain, stiffness, and soreness.
Your treatment may also involve massage or rehabilitative exercises, depending on the program of care designed for your individual needs.
Does Seeing a Chiropractor For Neck Pain Really Work?
Patients with chronic neck pain have experienced significant improvement in their pain levels after spinal manipulation and chiropractic care, but ultimately it will depend on your individual case and the cause of your pain.
Seeing a chiropractor for neck pain can be more effective than narcotics and muscle relaxants, especially for long term results according to a study conducted by the National Institute of Health. This study found that fifty-seven percent of participants who were drug-free reported at least a 75% reduction in pain after twelve weeks compared to only 33% of those who took medication for pain-relief. The findings were also very similar a year after the study had ended.
Should You visit a Doctor or Chiropractor for Neck Pain?
If you are in severe pain or have been in an accident, you should always consult a doctor to ensure your spine and vertebrae are not damaged. However, if your condition is less severe, mainly muscle-based or needs assistance healing, your doctor may not be able to do much more than recommend an over-the-counter pain reliever. A chiropractor can then offer relief beyond these medications and help your body heal with a neck or spinal adjustment.
The Best Chiropractor For Neck Pain in Austin
For neck pain relief, Austin area residents can trust First Wellness Family Chiropractic to deliver comprehensive care to relieve your pain and provide ongoing wellness support. We’ll create a custom plan to fit your unique needs and goals, whether your pain is due to fractured cervical vertebrae from an injury or from using a workstation that’s not ergonomic, causing neck pulled muscle.
Austin area residents who are curious to know how a chiropractor can heal pain and promote overall wellness are encouraged to contact our office to learn more about our practice and hear about new patient specials. Targeted adjustments and spine health can absolutely contribute to your overall well being.