Neck pain is a common problem among people of all ages. It can be due to strain or a symptom of a serious medical condition. Proper neck pain treatment can prevent the pain from becoming severe and debilitating.
Most neck pain is the result of a strain, a sprain (injury to a ligament) or a spasm of the neck muscles. Arthritic changes in the neck can also cause pain. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Administration (FDA) recommend a non-opioid and non-pharmacological approach to chronic pain. Chiropractic care is a safe alternative to opioids to manage chronic pain in the cervical area. This non-surgical neck pain treatment aims at –
- Addressing pain
- Increasing range of motion
- Increasing flexibility and movement, and
- Resolving joint inflammation
Chiropractors treat different types of neck (cervical) conditions such as cervical intervertebral disc injuries, cervical sprain injuries, and degenerative joint syndrome of the neck, facet joint sprain and whiplash.
Scientific research also strongly supports the benefits of chiropractic care for conditions such as back pain, neck pain and headaches. Professional chiropractors combine spinal manipulation, manual therapy, and other techniques in the treatment plan for neck pain. The basis of the therapy is that realigning the vertebra can resolve pain and restore normal range of motion in the neck. Manually adjusting the spinal column can prove effective for musculoskeletal problems, but is not recommended for certain disorders such as severe osteoporosis or cancer.
While some approaches use some force (spinal manipulation), others are more gentle (spinal mobilization). Techniques and therapies used may vary depending on the severity of the condition. Chiropractic techniques used include –
- Instrument-assisted manipulation
- Specific spinal manipulation
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy
- Manual joint stretching and resistance
- Therapeutic massage
- Trigger point therapy
- Electrical stimulation
Before deciding which approach to use for your neck pain, the chiropractor will do a thorough examination to diagnose the specific cause of the condition. Evaluation may involve imaging tests such as x-ray and MRI. Depending on the patient’s condition, therapeutic exercises may also be recommended to improve overall range of motion and prevent the pain from progressing.