Neck pain not only hurts but it can limit your range of motion and effect every move you make.
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Neck Pain Chiropractic Care in Vancouver, Wa
Many people suffer from neck pain on a daily basis without knowing the reason why. The truth is that there are many different causes to blame, and the only real solution is to see a medical professional about the issue. If you’re suffering from neck pain, consider seeing a neck pain chiropractor in Vancouver, WA for help sorting out the issue.
Causes of Neck Pain
Neck pain is a common issue that people suffer from, and it occurs for a long list of reasons. Before it can be properly treated it’s vital to identify the cause of your pain.
- Degenerative Disc Disease. Through injury or aging the vertebral discs of the neck can become worn and lead to painful symptoms such as bone spurs and spinal stenosis. This is a common cause of
- High speed accidents, such as an automotive collision commonly lead to injury of the soft tissue in the neck through whiplash. This can lead to trauma that takes time and treatment to clear up.
- As we age, it’s common for the cartilage around the vertebrae to form bone spurs that reduce mobility and lead to other problems like spinal stenosis, or nerve pinching.
- Poor posture. An irregular posture over time can lead to problems with neck pain eventually. This typically occurs because of strain to the muscles or ligaments in the neck.
- As we age the discs between the vertebrae in the back and neck wear out and become less effective. Older individuals often suffer from neck or back pain and this can just be a natural result of the aging process for some people.
- Over time even obesity can lead to neck and back pain. Carrying around extra weight puts an increased burden on the spine to support it all, which often leads to misalignment or strain.
The Types of Neck Pain
There are three main types of neck pain and the type a patient is dealing with determines what sort of treatment makes the most sense. Below is an outline of the types and possible treatment plans.
- This neck pain is minor and lasts four weeks or less. Most patients suffering from acute pain simply rest and the pain goes away on its own without treatment. A mild adjustment or stretching may help this issue.
- This pain lasts between four and twelve weeks and is a sign of a more serious injury or problem. Often diagnostic measures are taken to try and pinpoint the cause, and then a more serious adjustment can sometimes help the issue.
- Chronic neck pain lasts for three months or more and tends to come back multiple times. This pain is often due to a serious injury, poor sleep habits, unsafe working conditions or a serious health condition. Diagnostic work must be done to identify the problem, and then a proper treatment plan can be made.
Diagnosing and Treating Neck Pain
- Taking an X-Ray. A simple X-ray is a useful tool for identifying fractures, degeneration in the spine or tumors.
- Relying on an MRI. An MRI relies on radio waves to create pictures of sections of the spine. It’s ideal for looking at discs and soft tissue problems because it shows off all the materials without any radiation.
- CT Scan. A CT scan is another X-ray technique that offers more precise photos. This is the ideal tool for identifying problems with bones and is one of the most common ways to diagnose neck issues.
- Electrodiagnostic testing. This testing method looks at the speed electrical signals travel over the nerves in the arms and legs in the body. It’s often used alongside an electromyogram that tests muscle electrical activity. This test offers information about where there could be potential nerve damage in the neck and back and is good for pinpointing problem locations.
- Treating with an Adjustment. Once the cause of the neck pain is identified, it can often be treated with a neck adjustment. This is a procedure that realigns the joints of the neck to improve mobility and reduce pain and stiffness.
- Sometimes a full adjustment isn’t necessary to solve neck issues. Instead a soothing massage can be used to reduce stiffness and swelling to restore mobility in the neck and help speed up healing.
- This is a technique that moves the neck in varying directions to help loosen it up and stretch out the muscles and joints in the area. Mobilization is ideal for neck strain, poor sleep habits or posture problems.
Neck Exercises For Pain
Hey, it’s Dr. Troy here, the Vancouver chiropractor.
I want to give you some home neck exercises. If you have a neck pain and you want to try some home remedies let me give you a few pointers here for things we do with patients in our office.
One of the things that we see classically with people with neck pain is they’ve lost the curve in their neck and so therefore they usually have muscle weakness, they could have joint dysfunction, nerve irritation. I’m going to show you some exercises that can help strengthen the muscles and help put movement back into the spinal joints.
One thing that is very common, especially when we see people with disc issues or numbness in the arm, movement is going to be the key, discs in your neck love movement. One of the things we tell people to do is turn side to side just help warm this thing up, so side to side you can do it 10 to 15 times.
The other really good exercise because a lot of us are sitting at a desk we tend to have this forward head posture. The front of the muscles are going to be tight the back is going to be over stretched and stressed so you’re going to get burning, tingling, potentially fatigue and tired feeling, so this is a really good exercise. However often you can do it at work, every 10-15 min especially if you’re a computer or driving, just bringing your neck back and forth like this and try to bring that curve back in your neck.
Another good thing you can do is take a towel put it around your neck and pull gently so you’re putting a little traction in there. Because most people you see as they get older they lose their inability to look up which then creates a whole slew of postural problems which can lead the shoulder, hip, knee, foot pain all due to the loss of curve in the neck.
Some other exercises you can do are isometric exercises. One of the main ones that we see on people who’ve lost the curve in their spine is these anterior muscles become weak so this is an isometric exercise. You’re going to take your hand, we always want to put a little curve in the spine so we want to look up just slightly and you put your hands on your forehead like this and push your head forward push your hands back and you’re going to hold it for the count of 5 and then release. You would do that from five to ten reps. One, two, three, four, five that’s two reps. One, two, three, four five that’s three reps. You do all the way anywhere from five to ten depending on pain level.
We see a lot of people who have been in car accidents and they can barely do three second holds and a couple reps but we always try to add one more rep one more set until you can get to five to ten reps. So that’s going to help strengthen here. I think this is the most important exercise for helping restore the cervical curve.
The next exercise you can do is you’re going to tip your head this way, you’re going to put your hand here and not let yourself so you’re going to push into your hand and you’re going to do it for five seconds. One, two, three, four, five. You’re going to the other side, one, two, three, four, five. In addition to that you can rotate and you push your hand this way while your heads turning this way but you’re not moving, so, one, two, three, four, five. This is what it would look like, one, two, three, four, five.
So if you’re in the shower, you can do it at work, you do it in the car, you can do it watching TV and looks like this. I would do it like this, one, two, three, four, five, one, two, three, four, five, one, two, three four, five, turn one, two, three, four five, one, two, three, four, five. That’s one set and so our goal would be to get you five to ten sets. It shouldn’t be painful if it’s painful you’re going too hard especially if you had a recent injury.
If that doesn’t resolve your neck pain we’d be happy to check you in our office. Consultations are always free (360) 260-6903. Any of our doctors in our office would be happy to see if chiropractics right for you. This is Dr. Troy, the Vancouver chiropractor.
Neck Pain FAQ
Why should I see a neck pain chiropractor in Vancouver WA for neck problems?
Unlike other medical professionals, a chiropractor offers pain treatment methods that don’t rely on medication or surgery to solve the problem. This is less invasive and can be a healthier way to manage the pain.
When should I seek help for my pain?
You should seek out help if you are suffering from serious neck pain, or if you have persistent pain that sticks around for several weeks.
We provide a good range of treatment methods to help reduce neck pain and to improve your neck function. Whether you’re suffering from regenerative disc disease, strain, whiplash overuse or some other injury, we can help ease the pain and put you on the road to recovery. If you live around Vancouver WA and are tired of your neck pain, give us a call to find out what we can do for you.