Neck pain is a common problem causing patients to seek chiropractic care. The neck, or cervical spine, is a highly flexible part of our spine. It is composed of 7 bones, vertebrae, which are held together by ligaments and functions to balance and support the head. However, it is this flexibility that makes the neck susceptible to injury and degeneration.
Repetitive movements, poor work postures, extended computer use or video gaming, car accidents, falls, sports injuries and normal aging are just some of the causes of neck pain or injury.
Causes of Neck Pain
Auto Accidents & Injury
A sudden force causing the head and neck to whip quickly and unexpectedly can damage the supporting ligaments and muscles starting an inflammatory process. Further damage to discs or nerve irritation can result in symptoms traveling down the arm.
The most common form of injury like this is the result of a car accident, or commonly called whiplash.
However, it is not unusual to see the same type of injuries in athletes. Such sports as football, soccer, hockey and lacrosse can result in forceful impacts that whip the head producing neck injuries.
Other causes of neck pain include conditions resulting from degenerative wear and tear of the joints and disc in the neck.
Osteoarthritis is a deterioration of the lining of the joints, usually due to old trauma or poor body mechanics that produce increased stress in the joints. This process can result in bone spurs forming and limiting joint mobility.
Degenerative Disc Disease (DJD) is a wearing away of the cushions between the vertebrae. Decreased motion of discs initiates a slow degenerative process that results in stiff, brittle discs that eventually “shrink” over time. This results in irritation of surrounding nerves and increases the chance for disc herniation.
It is said we are creatures of habit and we soon become creatures of our habits. This is true in regards to our daily routines and spinal posture.
We spend most of our days in a particular work position and eventually our spine and posture conforms to these positions. This is most evident in those who spend most of the day working at a desk or computer. Viewed from the side you will typically see these individual’s head is in front of their upper body and their shoulders are rounded forward. This “posture” places stress on the middle and lower neck, straining the muscles and ligaments. Left untreated, many will develop degenerative conditions and possible nerve irritation. (see posture).
Another instance where daily life affects our neck is in younger people: too much video gaming and carrying heavy back packs. Each of these result in the same “posture” with the head forward and result in neck pain.
Chiropractic And Neck Pain
Chiropractic has been proven to get results with neck pain. Using spinal adjustments, various physiotherapy and specific therapeutic exercises, Dr. Martin Schmaltz seeks to restore the normal alignment and mobility of the cervical vertebrae, reducing the inflammation, relaxing muscles and stabilizing the degenerative process. Most of all, the pain is gone!
Do you suffer from neck pain? Have you been injured in a car accident or sports injury? Do you live in Hazelwood, Florissant, Spanish Lakes, Ferguson, Berkeley, Bridgeton or North County? If yes, you owe it to yourself to call Dr. Schmaltz at 314-731-4383. All you have to lose is your pain!