Chiropractic Treatment for Neck Pain
Neck pain is typically the second most prevalent issue patients that are seeking chiropractic treatment have and it follows only low back pain as the most common reason for patients receiving manipulative therapy. Below are a few of the most common questions we get from our patients about neck pain and how we help patients get relief.
Is Chiropractic Care Right for My Neck Pain?
People with neck pain visit chiropractors for good reason – a 2012 study in the journal Spine found that “Back pain and neck pain were the most prevalent health problems for chiropractic consultations and the majority of users reported chiropractic helping a great deal with their health problem and improving overall health or well-being.”
To ensure that chiropractic treatment is the right treatment for your neck pain, your chiropractor will help you identify the cause of your neck pain, the source of the pain, and will then provide a recommendation for either chiropractic treatment such as neck adjustments, massage, and/or rehabilitation exercises or they may refer you to a specialist if they think chiro is not the right treatment for your issue.
To help them diagnose your neck pain, your chiropractor will perform an exam, they may order x-rays, and the will ask you questions about your neck pain such as:
- When do you feel the most pain? Are there any specific movements that seem to increase the pain?
- Are you experiencing neck and shoulder pain or only neck pain?
- Are you experiencing neck pain and headaches?
- How long have you had neck pain?
- Have you tried anything to treat the neck pain?
- Is the pain only in your neck or does it move to other parts of your body?
- Did the neck pain start after a specific event or accident?
If the exam shows that chiropractic treatment will help with your neck pain, the chiropractor will develop a research based neck pain treatment plan for you.
What Can I Do to Treat Minor Neck Pain at Home?
If your pain feels more like a stiff neck or a sore neck and you want to try a few simple treatments at home before visiting a chiropractor, below are a few things the Cleveland Clinic recommends trying:
- Stretch Your Neck – working at a desk, driving, watching TV, or sitting without moving your neck much for a long period of time can all cause strain to your neck. Try these simple stretches to relieve the pain:
- Roll your shoulders backwards and down 10 times.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades together 10 times.
- Push your head backwards into your car headrest or hands and hold for 30 seconds.
- Bring your ear to your shoulder 10 times on each side.
- Put Your Computer Monitor at Eye Level – if you are working on your computer for long periods during the day, we recommend using a computer stand or another method to move your computer to eye level. This will help you avoid tilting and twisting your head down or to the side throughout the day.
- Pay Attention to Your Sleep Positions – the way you sleep can cause neck pain. Below are a few solutions you can try at home if you think your neck pain is caused by the way you are sleeping.
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach
- Apply heat or ice to painful areas
- Try over the counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Avoid jerky painful activities (but keep moving – easy movement can help your pain)
- Try the stretching exercises above
- Try changing to a firmer pillow or even a special neck pillow