Posts for tag: Neck Pain
What is neck pain?
Neck pain can be so mild that it is merely annoying and distracting. Or, it can be so severe that it is unbearable and incapacitating.
Fortunately, most minor, posture-induced neck pain episodes clear up on their own after rest and efforts not to repeat the offending stresses on the neck.Most instances of neck pain and stiffness are minor, and commonly caused by something you did. That is, if you keep your head in an awkward position for too long, the joints in your neck can "lock" and the neck muscles can become painfully fatigued. The price you pay for carelessness in how you position your head and neck (for instance, while working, watching TV, using a computer, reading a book, or talking on the phone with the receiver held against your shoulder and under your chin), is a pain in the neck. You may be one of the many unfortunates who, after a long and tiring day, has "harmlessly" fallen asleep in a chair or in bed with your head propped up, only to awake with a stiff and painful neck.
But neck pain that just won't go away after a day or so is a more serious matter. Neck pain that lasts for many days or keeps coming back is a signal that something isn't right.
Disease, an injury (such as whiplash in an auto accident), a congenital malformation, or progressive degeneration that can come with age may be responsible for the more significant pain you experience. An expert must determine the underlying causes of such neck pain. Examination, diagnosis and treatment by a doctor of chiropractic can relieve your mind and may quickly relieve your pain.
Who suffers from neck pain?
Almost everyone experiences some sort of neck pain or stiffness at one time or another. Because you are human and walk upright, your head is "balanced" atop your spinal column. If the muscles that support your head are not kept strong and in good condition, then the upper part of your spinal column is vulnerable to strains and injuries.
Older people, whose joints have been worn by much use over time, are subject to osteoarthritis, also known as degenerative joint disease, or DJD. When this form of arthritis hits your back and neck, you feel it as neck pain that gets worse over time. The pain may radiate into your shoulders and arms, and you may feel numbness or tingling in your hands and fingers. Arthritis can also involve symptoms including headaches, dizziness, and even a grating/grinding feeling when you move your head. It is very important for your chiropractor to examine you to rule out osteoarthritis or identify it and see that it is properly treated.
What can chiropractic do?
Doctors of chiropractic have the training and skills to relieve your neck pain, overcome stiffness, and restore the mobility and range of motion of any frozen neck vertebrae. They are devoted to helping you get back to your normal pursuits and start feeling like yourself again.
Perhaps their most important contribution is their ability to bring their specialized diagnostic skills, techniques, and equipment to bear in assessing what is causing your neck problems. Your chiropractor can determine if you have a relatively minor and treatable condition or a more serious underlying condition (from disease, degeneration, or trauma) that may require more intensive, extended treatment or referral to a specialist.
Your chiropractor will ask you for detailed information on your behavior, posture, physical condition, and work and home environment. He or she will obtain x-rays and other diagnostic images to pinpoint which of many possible causes is a responsible for your discomfort. Only then will the appropriate treatment be recommended.
Once your normal feeling and function is restored, your chiropractor will be available to keep the muscles and joints of your neck and back in optimum condition in order to prevent recurrent neck pain and related life-restricting symptoms.
- Cassidy JD, Lopes AA, Yong-Hing K. The immediate effect of manipulation on pain and range of motion in the cervical spine: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1992; vol. 25, pp570-75.
- Coulter ID, Hurwitz EL, Adams AH, et al. The Appropriateness of Manipulation and Mobilization of the Cervical Spine. Santa Monica, CA: Rand, supported by the Consortium for Chiropractic Research, 1996.
- Hurwitz EL, Aker PD, Adams AH, et al. Manipulation and mobilization of the cervical spine: A systematic review of the literature. Spine, 1996; vol. 21, no. 15, pp1746-60.
- Jackson R. The Cervical Syndrome, 4th ed. Charles C. Thomas Publisher, Springfield, IL: 1978.
- Koes BW, Bouter LM, van Mameren H, et al. A randomized clinical trial of manual therapy and physiotherapy for persistent back and neck complaints: Subgroup analysis and relationship between outcome measures. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1993; vol. 16, pp211-19.
- Koes BW, Bouter LM, van Mameren H, Essers AHM. The effectiveness of manual therapy, physiotherapy, and treatment by the general practitioner for nonspecific back and neck complaints: A randomized clinical trial. Spine, 1992;17, pp28-35.
- Koes BW, Bouter LM, van Mameren H, et al. Randomized clinical trial of manual therapy and physiotherapy for persistent back and neck complaints: Results of one year follow up. British Medical Journal, 1992;304, pp601-5.
- Zvulun I. Mobilizing the nervous system in cervical cord compression. Manual Therapy, Feb, 1998; vol. 3, no. 1, pp42-7.
Low-back pain affects more than 150 million Americans each year -- that's 56% of the population! And until researchers prove otherwise, it's probably safe to assume that this estimate applies to the rest of the world. Doctors of chiropractic know just how to handle back pain, and fortunately, they're also great at diagnosing and treating many other disabling conditions, including neck pain.
Neck pain may be as frequent as low-back pain, at least according to a recent study that posed two questions to 1,131 Canadians: "In your lifetime, have you ever experienced neck pain?" and "Do you have neck pain at the present time?" Two-thirds of the patients reported experiencing neck pain in their lifetime and 22.2% complained of neck pain at the time of the study.
Whether you live in the United States or Canada, Belgium or Brazil, back and neck pain can strike anyone at anytime. Wherever you are, ask yourself these same two questions about neck pain. If you answer "yes" to one or both, here's a third question for you: When you suffer from neck pain, where should you go? Oh, and here's the answer: your doctor of chiropractic!
Cote P, Cassidy JD, Carroll L. The Saskatchewan Health and Back Pain Survey: the prevalence of neck pain and related disability in Saskatchewan adults. Spine, August 1, 1998: volume 23, number 15, pp1689-1698.
Headaches are known to be brought on by common daily life stress such as traffic, work and child care. For many, headaches can even lead to severe migraines that are hard to treat. What exactly causes headaches has been studied for years, the most recent research has found that what we eat and when we eat it plays a significant role in both headaches and migraines.
There are various vessels that play a role in headaches and what one eats can cause high fluctuating blood sugar levels to spasm and cause pain. If you are often getting headaches when eating certain foods - make a note of it and talk to your doctor.
According to recent reports, many people who suffer from frequent headaches or migraines may be sensitive to certain food chemicals, both naturally occurring and artificial. Common food chemicals that have been found to affect the arteries of the head include:
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG) – a common flavor enhancer, but also found naturally in such foods as tomatoes. There are many food places that cook with MSG, if you suspect there is an eatery you love that cooks with MSG make sure to make a note of it and pass it up the next time.
- Nitrites – these preservatives are found in processed meats and some cheeses. Processed food always seems to mean bad news for your health, the more you stay away from it the less health conditions you will have to worry about.
- Amines – common compounds found in a wide range of foods, including spinach, tomato, potato, small whole fish, tuna, liver, dark chocolate and alcoholic drinks. Other things that can play a role in headaches is caffeine. Some people even get headaches from caffeine withdrawal.
If you suspect you are getting headaches more often after consuming any of the above, you need to be assessed by a qualified health practitioner. It can make a huge difference when it comes to pain relief and the onset of future headaches.
It's another sunny July afternoon and your kids are out by the pool, laughing, playing and enjoying the sunshine. (Make sure they’re wearing sunscreen!) You’d love to join them, but you’re trapped inside again, enduring the pain and frustration of another migraine headache.
If you suffer from migraines, you’re certainly not alone. They’re relatively common, affecting an estimated 10% of the population. What can be done to get rid of migraines? According to a recent study, chiropractic care may hold the answer.
One hundred and twenty-seven migraine patients (at least one migraine per month) were divided into two groups for comparison. Group 1 received chiropractic adjustments at specific vertebral subluxations determined by the treating practitioner; group 2 served as controls and received inactive treatment (electrical stimulation with no current delivered). Subjects receiving chiropractic adjustments reported substantial improvement in migraine frequency, duration, disability, and medication use following two months of treatment. One in five participants reported a 90% reduction in migraines, and half reported significant improvement in migraine severity.
Are you tired of migraine headaches ruining your day? With conventional over-the-counter medications proving less than effective (and often accompanied by dangerous side effects), it’s time to fight the pain from another angle. To find out more about the potential benefits of chiropractic care, schedule an appointment with your doctor of chiropractic.
Tuchin PJ, Pollard H, Bonello R. A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Feb. 2000: Vol. 23, No. 2, pp91-95.
Nobody likes headaches. They can strike with little warning and cause debilitating pain -- especially cervicogenic headaches (HA), which are defined as pain that originates in the cervical spine, or neck area, and refers up to the head.
Researchers investigated the effect of chiropractic treatment on HA in 20 randomized patients, specifically focusing on the relationship between the number of chiropractic treatments and pain relief. Participants were assigned to one of three treatment groups for comparison: Group one received a total of three office visits, one visit per week, for chiropractic manipulation; group two received a total of nine office visits, three visits per week, for chiropractic manipulation; and group three received 12 total visits, four visits per week.
Researchers discovered a correlation between the number of chiropractic visits and positive outcome in headache patients. "For HA pain, substantial differences were found between participants receiving 1 treatment per week and those receiving either 3 or 4 treatments per week," the researchers wrote. The researchers indicated that a larger clinical trial testing the relationship of HA and chiropractic treatment is warranted, and concluded that there are benefits to "9 to 12 [chiropractic] visits over 3 weeks for the treatment of HA/neck pain and disability. A larger number of visits than 12 in 3 weeks may be required for maximum relief and durability of outcomes."
If you suffer from headaches, your doctor of chiropractic can help. Make an appointment for a chiropractic evaluation today.
Reference: Haas M, Groupp E, Aickin M, et al. Dose response for chiropractic care of chronic cervicogenic headache and associated neck pain: a randomized pilot study. JMPT2004;27(9):547-553.