Some of the more common causes of neck and shoulder pain include:
When a cervical disc’s tough outer layer (annulus fibrosus) tears or partially tears and the soft inner layer (nucleus pulposus) starts to leak outward, the nearby nerve root can become inflamed and painful. If a disc in the lower cervical spine herniates, radicular pain in the shoulder blade region may accompany the neck pain.
Degeneration in the cervical spine, also called cervical spondylosis, can involve cervical osteoarthritis, cervical degenerative disc disease, and other wear-and-tear conditions of the spine. As the spine eventually starts to degenerate with age, one or more intervertebral foramen (bony openings where the spinal nerves exit the spinal canal) may become smaller, called foraminal stenosis. With less room, a spinal nerve may become compressed or inflamed, causing pain to radiate from the neck down into the shoulder.
Several muscles are connected to both the neck and shoulder, such as the levator scapulae and trapezius. When one of these muscles becomes strained, pain and stiffness may be felt in both the neck and shoulder. Even in cases where a muscle strain develops in only the neck or shoulder, the pain may be referred to a nearby body region.
Failing to sit up straight, especially if you're at a desk all day, can take a toll on your neck and shoulder health. People who sit at desks all day may be prone to a rounding of the back (called kyphosis) and shoulders that slump forward.
This, in turn, can lead to a condition known as forward head posture. In this way, your shoulder and your neck may collude to create muscle tension and weakness, poor posture, and pain.
Some people describe the pain as:
Neck pain may involve other symptoms, including:
Before knowing when to see a chiropractor for neck pain, understanding what a chiropractor does is just as important.
Chiropractors specialize in assessment and treatment of the musculoskeletal system. Put simply they work on the interaction between the joints, muscles and nerves in the body and how they cause pain.
When you begin experiencing neck pain whether it’s happening for the first time or it’s happened time and time again there is always a change to the muscles and joints in the area.
A chiropractor can assess what’s causing the changes in your muscles and joints leading to your neck pain through a series of questions and examinations.
This will help determine what the best treatment is to stop your discomfort as quickly as possible.
Getting professional help for any pain you have is always advised but is seeing a chiropractor the right choice?
Especially when you’re suffering with neck pain that won’t go away you’ll do just about anything that helps as long as you know it’s safe.
There are many symptoms of neck pain that a chiropractor can help give you relief from. These symptoms include:
The most important thing a chiropractor will do for you is diagnose your problem.
If any practitioner be it a doctor, physiotherapist or chiropractor begins treating you without a diagnosis make sure you get a second opinion before you go any further.
A chiropractor will ask about your symptoms to find the underlying cause of your pain. This will allow them to come up with a number of diagnosis which are confirmed through a series of examinations which include various movement tests of your neck to come up with a final diagnosis.
Treatment is then based specifically on your diagnosis. If it’s determined as safe to treat you. Chiropractic treatment for neck pain will generally include:
That cracking noise you hear at a chiropractor can be pretty nerve racking.
If you like a lot of other people are hesitant to go to a chiropractor because of the cracking noise you hear put your mind at ease.
Neck adjustments involve a gentle movement of the joints in your neck that are restricting your necks movement. This help reduce tension and increase mobility in your spine.
While neck adjustments are extremely safe, if it’s something you don’t feel comfortable with there are various other techniques which can be used to still effectively get you out of pain. Communication is always key so let your chiropractor know if you’re ever feeling uncomfortable with anything.
Have you noticed how tight the muscles around your neck and shoulders get when you experience neck pain?
The muscles around your neck tighten up to protect your neck from movements that will cause it more pain. Funnily enough it can be the tight muscles around your neck because of poor posture which lead to your neck pain in the first place!
A chiropractor will assess which specific muscles have tightened up and perform certain muscle releases and soft tissue work to reduce the tension in your neck. Along with adjustments this can give you the best results for your pain.
I know…neck pain exercises and neck stretches are the last thing you want to do when you can barely move your neck.
A chiropractor can help perform these exercises and stretches with you and combine them with specific rehabilitation to not only stop your pain but hopefully keep it away.
The exercises and stretches performed for your neck pain are specific to your problem to reduce tension in certain areas, increase the length of tight muscles and increase strength in weak muscles.
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