The neck is a complex structure that includes seven vertebrae, numerous ligaments, tendons, muscles, and nerves, as well as spongy discs that separate the vertebrae. All of these structures must work together to support the head and allow movement in a variety of directions. When even one of these structures becomes injured, strained or inflamed, it can result in considerable pain in and around your neck.
Neck pain affects about 10 percent of the adult population in the U.S. Although not uncommon, it can be extremely debilitating, affecting your ability to work and even sleep.
Anyone can develop neck pain, from children to adults, and both sexes are equally at risk. Because neck pain can involve so many structures, your chiropractor will need to perform a careful evaluation of your neck, spine, shoulders and upper back to help determine the cause of your pain so the proper care can be applied.
In some cases, the cause of the pain may be farther along the spine. Since all the vertebrae are connected, even a problem with your lower back can cause alignment issues that may result in neck pain. Your chiropractor will be able to determine from your evaluation when other issues or structures are at play.
Neck pain symptoms can be chronic or acute and may include symptoms that extend beyond the neck itself. Common symptoms include:
Chronic neck pain symptoms are typically defined as symptoms that persist for several weeks or that recur over a prolonged period of time.
Because the neck area comprises so many structures and is strongly interrelated with other areas of the spine, back and shoulders, the causes of neck pain can vary significantly. Any strain in these areas can cause the muscles and other soft tissues to become strained and inflamed.
Both physical problems and lifestyle habits can cause neck pain to occur. Some common causes include:
In some cases, neck pain can also be caused by a job that requires you to spend long periods of time sitting or standing relatively motionless, or by certain sports. Pregnancy can also cause neck pain in some people because it places extra stress on your spine overall.
Having a complete evaluation to consider all potential factors will yield the best outcome and greatest relief from pain and other symptoms. As your upper cervical chiropractor, we will evaluate the individual cause of your neck pain and provide care as necessary to best relieve your pain.
To find out how upper cervical care can help alleviate your neck pain, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.