Neck pain is a globally recognised source of pain, disability and economic burden. It is thought that at least one episode of neck pain or stiffness has affected up to 71% of the adult population at some point during their lifetime. Neck pain has a huge cost to society in the form of visits to health care providers, sick leave, disability and medical resources such as imaging and pharmaceuticals.
Whether you’ve slept awkwardly, suffered a car accident or have degeneration through your cervical spine (neck), you only realise the full consequences of a sore neck when it is actually present. Symptoms can range from stiffness and pain through the neck, to neurological signs in your arms or legs, headaches, jaw pain, dizziness, nausea and visual disturbances. Spinal nerves in the neck region supply movement and sensation to the arms. If these nerves become compressed or irritated, you may feel pain, pins and needles, numbness or tingling along the course of one or more nerves.
The neck is a complex and highly mobile structure which means in turn that it requires good function and muscle control to maintain stability. The movement available at a joint is limited by the ligaments and tendons attaching bones and muscles together. If a movement task takes our body to that limit, we have receptors which warn the brain that any further movement in that direction has the capacity to be damaging. At this point we start to feel a stretch or slight discomfort. Common injuries to the neck include high speed movements such as sports injuries, whiplash from car accidents and sometimes even a simple body function such as sneezing.
Neck pain is also becoming increasingly prevalent in the office and computer working population. Many companies are now aware of the importance of desk ergonomics and their direct effect on posture and musculoskeletal complaints. However, it is still important for you to know how your desk should be set up. If a posture is sustained for a long period of time, good or bad, the body is at risk of sprain/strain injuries. Long term exposure of the soft tissues and joints of the neck to the stress of holding the weight of the head against gravity can cause a slow deformation of tissues potentially leading to minor or major injury.
Evidence suggests that utilising a multi-modal treatment approach to include manipulation and mobilisation in conjunction with exercise is beneficial for pain relief and functional improvement for both subacute and chronic mechanical neck disorders. Adults who experienced neck pain were treated with manipulation or mobilisation and factors of pain, function, disability, patient satisfaction, quality of life and global perceived effect were measured. In both immediate and long-term follow up, there was benefit to mobility and pain relief.
With a complaint of neck pain, our Chiropractors will thoroughly assess your neck, back and shoulders to diagnose you accurately. Your neck is a particularly sensitive area therefore we will use soft tissue work and traction to help the muscles surrounding the restricted joints to relax and encourage the joint to adjust more easily. We will talk you through the procedure of having your neck adjusted so that you are completely relaxed and comfortable with the process. The goal of manipulation is to restore maximum and pain free mobility of the musculoskeletal system and for acute and subacute neck pain, has been found to be more effective than analgesics (pain killers), muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs.