If you’re experiencing neck pain, you’re not alone! In fact, around 80% of individuals deal with various neck pains during their lifetime. According to the National Center For Biotechnology Information, neck pain symptoms affect one in three people yearly. But, as in most cases, the symptoms go away with time. However, they may come back later again. So, if you feel your neck is stiff occasionally, it’s generally not serious.
But, as one age, the symptoms can become more apparent, and the neck pain can even turn into chronic pain. These symptoms are more common in individuals with slipped disk or back pain. So, before the problem worsens, you should visit your doctor to know the best possible treatment options for your neck pain. You’ll find it reassuring that there are various treatment approaches proven to be effective for neck pain.
Based on the seriousness of your problem, your healthcare provider can recommend chiropractic care, warm compresses, therapeutic massage, and pain medications. However, they may even recommend surgery if your neck pain is extremely severe. But, most doctors focus on recommending pain management therapies to help your neck pain.
Pain medications may give you temporary relief from your symptoms. However, if you need long-term relief, chiropractic care is one of the best treatment options for neck pain that you can consider. But can a chiropractor really help with neck pain? Is this treatment option safe, or does it have any side effects? Well, get answers to all your chiropractor-related concerns for neck pain in this post!
Now, before understanding the role of a chiropractor in helping with various neck pains, you must first know how neck pain works, its symptoms, and what leads to this complication.
People suffering from neck pain can experience a wide range of symptoms. If you have this condition, you can have minor discomfort or severe burning pain. There are multiple possibilities for why you’ll experience these symptoms, where most commonly, it’s either because of an injury or poor posture. The common symptoms of neck pain include:
Now, talking about the leading causes of neck pain, this includes:
After knowing these common symptoms and causes of neck pain, it’s time to explore various types of neck pains.
Basically, neck pains are of two types, including:
During this condition, you experience strong and sudden pain in your neck.
During this condition, the pain lasts for months and years.
A chiropractor can help by providing relief for different types of neck conditions, including:
The treatment approaches can vary based on the pain type and its severity.
Well, a slight pain in your neck isn’t that concerning. However, you must consult your doctor if the pain interferes with your daily life. Suppose you see your pain worsening or traveling down your arm and experiencing weakness. In that case, you must discuss your symptoms with your healthcare provider.
This pain may indicate complications, such as a cervical disc bulge, spinal stenosis, or herniated disc. So, diagnosing is necessary before coming up with a treatment approach.
Other than that, if you’ve recently experienced a neck or head injury, can’t lift your head, or are facing blurred vision or dizziness, it’s high time you consult your healthcare provider or a medical center.
Now comes the main question, should you visit a chiropractor for neck pain? Well, you’ll be surprised that millions of patients take chiropractors’ help to relieve their neck pain. According to the reports by PubMed Central, chiropractic care may be the best pain management therapy for acute and chronic neck pain. A chiropractor generally performs neck adjustments to relieve neck pain without using an invasive approach. Since this is a non-invasive therapy with no medications needed, it’s considered safe.
In chiropractic neck adjustment, a chiropractor uses gentle force to correct your spine misalignment and improve your joint movements. This therapy helps reduce inflammation and enhance the affected joint functionality as well as the associated nerve. So, a chiropractor aims to improve your body mechanics, which helps relieve pain in your neck. Furthermore, this manipulation also enhances your overall function as well as the mobility of your upper back and neck.
Overall, there are several advantages of neck adjustment, including:
Now, you may ask when is the right time to visit a chiropractor and for what conditions chiropractic care can help. Well, check the following scenarios where a chiropractic neck adjustment can help:
Anyone who has recently gone through an accident and is experiencing pain in their neck can be the right candidate for a chiropractic adjustment. This is especially true for those who want to naturally recover from neck pain without using medications and undergoing surgery. Many times, accidents can even lead to misalignment of the spine. In those cases, chiropractic care is the best way to adjust your spine to its original position.
If you’re part of the corporate world, most of the time, you may need to sit in one position for many hours to complete your work. While this may not harm you in the short term, the situation can become grave if you don’t take proper precautions. Sitting for long hours in one position puts a lot of pressure on your vertebrae. Due to this, you can end up with mild or severe neck pain. So, if you have a sitting job, taking the help of a chiropractor may not be a bad idea.
One can suffer from whiplash, a type of neck injury because of forceful and rapid movement of the neck. This condition can cause your neck muscles to strain or sprain. In this situation, your chiropractor can give you the proper treatment for your neck pain.
Neck pain occurrence becomes more common as you age. You can suffer from degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis, leading to neck pain. However, worry not, as chiropractic neck adjustment can relieve such neck pains.
You can experience swelling in your neck due to an infection, injury, or fluid buildup. If swelling occurs in your neck, you can consult your chiropractor to treat the neck pain properly.
A chiropractor can help with migraines and frequent headaches with their various chiropractic procedures.
Indeed, a chiropractor can help you in many situations where you suffer from different types of neck pains. However, how exactly does a chiropractor help with neck pain? What techniques do chiropractors use to help relieve neck pain symptoms? Well, a chiropractor uses a combination of manual therapy, spinal manipulation, and other methods to treat your neck pain.
Here are a few spinal manipulation techniques used by chiropractors:
It is a gentle, hands-on manipulation in which chiropractors use a pumping action instead of direct force on your intervertebral disc.
This therapy involves using a gentle thrust to restore your joint movement.
Your healthcare provider will use a hand-held instrument to apply force without thrusting into your spine.
Moreover, your chiropractor can also use manual therapies to relieve your neck pain. This includes:
This therapy aims to diagnose the condition and treat muscle tension.
Your doctor will use it to offer muscle relaxation.
The chiropractor uses it to manage your neck pain and other symptoms.
You may go through this therapy to relieve painful and tight points in your muscle.
Now, other than the abovementioned therapies, your chiropractor may also provide you with the following treatments to ease your neck pain symptoms:
In this, the chiropractor may use a low-frequency electrical current to stimulate your neck muscles.
This involves sending sound waves into the muscle tissue, which offers relief from neck pain and helps reduce stiffness.
Your chiropractor may also recommend some therapeutic exercises to help manage your neck pain and prevent it from progressing. You can know what types of treatments your chiropractor may offer from the above treatments. However, your actual treatment will depend on what your chiropractor thinks is best for you. They will come up with your treatment plan after they finish diagnosing your condition. Ask your doctor about the possible treatments you’re getting into.
Well, if you’re considering getting chiropractic care for your neck pain, you may want to know how the entire process will run. Mostly, it all starts with a general consultation with your chiropractor. During this consultation, your chiropractor will ask about your current health status and what type of pain you’re experiencing. You can tell them about all your pains, whether chronic neck pain, lower back pain, shoulder pain, an injury, or a stiff neck.
They may also ask for your health history and even perform a physical exam focusing on your spinal health. Furthermore, your chiropractor may ask you to get an X-ray to diagnose your neck pain better. Now, once your healthcare provider has your reports, they can start providing you with proper treatment.
During the chiropractic neck adjustment, your doctor will ask you to lie on a table in specific positions so the treatment can target the affected areas. This is basically a specialized table where you mostly lay face down. Afterward, the chiropractor will use hand manipulation techniques to apply a gentle, controlled force to your joints. This force will push your joint beyond their regular range of motion. You may typically hear cracking or popping sounds as your healthcare provider moves your joints during the session.
Now, after the procedure, you may experience a few minor side effects, which can last for some days, such as fatigue, headaches, or pain in the treated areas.
We lack data regarding whether chiropractic care is actually effective for neck pain. However, several studies indicate that manual adjustment, in general, is safe. A chiropractor uses non-invasive hands-on therapies to promote your body’s natural healing capabilities. Also, there are multiple clinical trials that suggest chiropractic care is effective and safe for treating chronic neck pain.
Since chiropractic care is all about natural healing and not using medications and invasive methods, we can say this treatment is safe for neck pain and may even help relieve the symptoms of the complication.
Well, in any chiropractic adjustment, the primary goal is to offer relief from pain. But, sometimes, you can still experience pain after the procedure. However, you must not worry as this is totally a normal situation.
The possible reason why your neck may hurt is that your chiropractor has realigned your vertebrae that moved away from its original position. In such cases, you may have sore joints or muscles, indicating the alignment has finished successfully. However, suppose the pain starts to increase rapidly to unbearable levels. In that case, you must contact your chiropractor to check whether something is actually wrong.
If your pain is at normal levels, there are a few ways that may help reduce pain after a chiropractic neck adjustment. Consider following these tips as they can help manage your neck pain effectively:
Follow all these above tips, and you may find significant relief in your neck pain after the procedure.
Well, there is no fixed answer for how often you’ll need to see your chiropractor for neck pain. The number of visits you’ll need to make can vary from individual to individual. Your chiropractor will conduct an examination where they will perform a physical assessment, palpation, consultation, and x-rays. This way, your healthcare provider can know the underlying cause of your neck pain. Furthermore, they can come up with the best treatment plan when they have this data.
The cause of the pain will be a significant deciding factor in whether your number of visits will be for the short term or the long term. However, you’ll mostly start experiencing relief in your neck pain after visiting your chiropractor 5 to 10 times. But, if you suffer from a severe condition or chronic neck pain, you may need to see your chiropractor for a longer period.
In general, chiropractic care can give relief to your neck pain symptoms. However, there is no guarantee that this treatment will provide permanent or long-term relief. Hence, you must consult your chiropractor if you don’t feel any improvement in your condition or symptoms after receiving chiropractic care. They may suggest some other effective treatment options and can even refer you to some other healthcare provider that can help with your neck pain.
So, can a chiropractor help with neck pain? Although there isn’t any guarantee you’ll get relief from your neck pain after receiving chiropractic care, there are some studies about the effectiveness of this treatment. A chiropractor can use spinal manipulation techniques, manual therapies, and other therapy types to relieve neck pain. Dr. Michael Shaub is an experienced chiropractor with over 26 years of experience at Realign Spine who offers the best therapies and chiropractic care for neck pain, whether acute or chronic.
Visit us today to know your best possible treatment options for neck pain through our chiropractor’s guidance.