Neck Pain

Neck

Neck pain is a common injury and is seen regularly at chiropractic clinics. It is often caused to due prolonged ‘incorrect’ sitting postures but may also be caused due to poor lifting, road traffic accidents and many more reasons. Pain can arise from an injury to the nerves, muscles, joints, ligaments or discs and it is important to have an accurate diagnosis so we can treat it appropriately and prevent it happening again in the future. Below are a few common neck problems that we see at our clinic regularly.

Irritated neck joints [+]

Also known as cervical facet joint irritation or dysfunction

The neck, just like anywhere else in the body, moves through the use of joints. Each of these joints allows a small range of motion but when working together they allow the full range of motion that is seen when, for example, the head is turned.

Maintaining the same posture for prolonged lengths of time can cause the neck joints to become tight and potentially irritated that in turn can cause neck pain, upper back pain, arm pain, muscular tension and spasms, as well as headaches.

It is important to realise that a stiff and painful neck is not normal and that it is most likely because the spine isn’t functioning correctly.

Cervical disc injury [+]

Also known as a slipped disc, disc prolapse, disc bulge or herniated disc

In between each of the vertebra in the spine is a disc. These discs are full of fluid and act as shock absorbers. If too much force goes through the spine (one heavy load or multiple light loads) then the fluid in the disc can escape and irritate the nerves. This can cause neck pain, upper back pain, arm pain, muscular tension and spasms, as well as numbness and pins and needles in the preceding areas.

It is important to realise that there are many names for a disc injury (slipped disc, prolapsed disc etc) but it all means the same thing. If the fluid in the disc is pressing on a nerve it will cause pain, the amount of pressure on the nerve determines the extent of the injury.

Arthritis in the neck [+]

Also known as cervical spondylosis or cervical spine arthritis

Arthritis is a progressive disease that causes painful inflammation and stiffness of joints. Arthritis cannot be cured but the joints can be made more mobile and therefore less painful.

With arthritis the joints become worn, which in severe cases leads to fusing of the vertebra. Increased mobility and decreased pain levels can be achieved with chiropractic care right up until the point in which the vertebrae fuse. Arthritis in the neck can cause neck pain, upper back pain, arm pain, muscular tension, as well headaches.

It is commonly thought that having arthritis in the spine means nothing can be done, however, this is rarely the case. It is first important to determine how much ‘wear and tear’ is present and whether the vertebrae have fused.

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