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For most of us, neck pain has reared its ugly head more than once. In fact, there are estimates that anywhere from one in ten to one-in-five people will experience an episode of neck pain in a given year. Though some studies report that between 33% and 65% of these people will recover within twelve months, many individuals will experience either a relapse of their neck pain or their neck pain will become a chronic health issue.
So what can a doctor of chiropractic do about it? The answer is simple: spinal manipulation (SM) and exercise. Spinal manipulation is the most common form of treatment delivered in a chiropractic setting, and many studies note that neck pain is the second most common reason patients seek chiropractic care (back pain is number one). Regarding exercise, patients may be advised to engage in stretching exercise, strengthening exercises, or both.
For example, after an hour of seated computer work, one might experience muscle fatigue from prolonged static postures, especially for that outside of a neutral position. For this scenario, here’s a great STRETCH option to do every 30-60 minutes (yes, SET A TIMER): 1) Tuck the chin (and keep it tucked); 2) reach with the right hand over the top of the head and gently pull the right ear toward the shoulder while the left-hand reaches down to the floor (as if to pick up a dollar bill); 3) next, nod the head (as if gesturing “yes”) multiple times; 4) follow this by shaking the head left to right (as if gesturing “no”); 5) repeat steps one through four with the head/neck flexed forward and backward, “searching” for the tightest spots and “work” them until they loosen up. Repeat on the opposite side.
Here is an exercise to STRENGTHEN the neck muscles. 1) Tuck in the chin while looking straight ahead; 2) place the back of your second and third fingers under your chin and nod (up/down) against mild resistance; 3) repeat five to ten times SLOWLY; 4) repeat steps one through three with head/neck flexed forward and then again backward (looking towards the ceiling). Repeat multiple times each day.
The KEY is to set the timer to remind you to do these! If you have a significant forward head carriage and rounded shoulders, your doctor of chiropractic can show you additional important exercises, but this will be a great start for you to gain control over that chronic, recurring neck pain that you’ve been putting up with for far too long!
You may wonder, “Do I need an MRI scan of my neck.”
Some people will try stretching first to see if they get relief from their neck pain. A pulled muscle generally will get better with rest. Persistent or worsening pain intensity and/or frequency necessitates a visit to see a professional.
Call me, Dr. Tim Harcourt, at (239) 278-3344 or stop by on your day off for a walk-in visit and mention this article for an awesome discounted first visit to include history, exam, and adjustment or Class IV high-intensity laser treatment. So if you find yourself experiencing neck pain that is affecting your quality of life and allowing you to enjoy Fort Myers Beach. Come see us at Coast Chiropractic Centers located on 7270 College Parkway.
If you would like to avoid getting neck pain in the first place or to take a proactive approach to your health and wellness, our membership program called Club C may be just the thing for you with great cost savings, convenience, and even more importantly, a plan to get your health back and keep it.
Don't let neck pain stop you from enjoying the beautiful SWFL! Dr. Tim Harcourt is here to give you the relief you need.
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