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Similar to back pain, neck pain affects almost all of us at some point in life, and the severity can range from mild stiffness to complete incapacitation. Chiropractic care offers a non-drug, non-surgical method of treatment that MANY neck pain sufferers utilize and benefit from. The following is a description of what you can expect when treated with an evidence-based chiropractic approach.
Let’s first discuss the different types of neck pain. One classification system divides neck pain into two main groups: acute and chronic. In the acute group, there is an onset of pain that comes on quickly and resolves in less than three months. Chronic neck pain represents the patients who continue to have neck pain longer than three months.
Studies show that patients experience immediate benefits—including pain reduction and mobility/range of motion (ROM) improvement—following cervical spinal manipulation, especially when administered on the same side as the neck pain. Short and medium-term benefits include pain reduction and ROM improvement when administered bilaterally (on both sides).
Multiple manipulations may be better than unsupervised stretching alone. However, studies show that stretching the neck muscles both before and after manipulation can improve a patient’s outcome. The combination of three-point traction and multiple manipulations can improve pain in the medium and long-term as well.
Other approaches commonly used by chiropractors that immediately improve pain include mobilization, traction, trigger-point therapy (applying pressure over myofascial trigger points for 90 seconds), cervical pillows, and some modalities that include electric stimulation, ultrasound, low-powered laser, and pulsed electromagnetic field.
Active care or care that can be taught to patients includes exercise intended to improve pain and ROM in the medium and long term. Exercises that emphasize strength and endurance can also be beneficial. Ongoing light and intensive exercise improve pain in the long term and intensive exercise is favored in the medium term.
You may wonder, “Do I need an MRI scan of my brain or neck.” Also, if you feel arm pain it may indicate things are getting worse and may indicate a bulge on the disc or worse yet a herniated disc in your neck. Some people have a feeling of their “head aching.”
What type of headache is it to include tension headaches, cluster headaches, migraine headaches, sinus headaches, or toxic headaches?
Regardless of the type, it can leave you feeling exhausted fatigued, nauseous, and even depressed. Some get severe pain behind the eyes. Persistent or worsening pain intensity and/or frequency necessitates a visit to see a professional.
Call me, Dr. Tim Harcourt, at (239) 278-3344 and mention this article for an awesome discounted first visit to include history, exam, and adjustment or Class IV high-intensity laser treatment.
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