Today’s modern living often entails hours of driving and hunching over workstations, which can play havoc with our necks. So it is not surprising that neck pain is the second most common condition that chiropractors treat. Whilst neck pain is less common than low back pain, millions of people experience neck pain at some stage in their lives and therefore seek chiropractic care.
WHY DOES NECK PAIN OCCUR?
There are many contributing factors to neck pain, including trauma, overuse, wear and tear, and poor posture. This may lead to pain due to injury of the structures surrounding the spine, such as the joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves, discs and blood vessels.
Neck problems are often not caused by one single incident, but by a number of factors such as improper sitting, poor work and lifestyle habits, and lack of exercise. Some neck injuries are due to trauma such as a whiplash or sporting injuries.
HOW DOES NECK PAIN OCCUR?
The most common cause of neck pain is soft tissue abnormalities from injury or prolonged wear and tear of the joints and muscles of the neck. In many people, it also produces pain in the upper back, shoulders, arms, forearms, hands and fingers.
When neck pain is caused by muscle strain, you may have aches and stiffness that spread to the upper arm and forearm. Shooting pain that spreads down the arm into the hand and fingers can be a symptom of nerve entrapment in the neck. When a nerve is entrapped in the neck, numbness, weakness and possibly pain in the arms, hands and fingers may occur. Disc injuries are rare, but it is the most common cause of nerve entrapments.
Injuries to the neck caused by a sudden movement of the head backwards, forwards or sideways are referred to as “whiplash”. Whether from a car accident, sporting injury or an accident at work, whiplash or neck injuries warrant a thorough chiropractic examination. Whiplash is most commonly suffered as a result of a motor vehicle accident. An impact or collision causes the head to suddenly jerk back and forth beyond its normal limits.
Wear and tear, osteoarthritis or joint degeneration occurs due to the accumulation of stresses and trauma over time. Throughout life, the spine is required to withstand considerable weight bearing strain, purely as a result of the pressures of daily living. The overall effect of degenerative changes of the spine leads to a feeling of stiffness and reduced spinal mobility. However, just like any other part of the body, the better care that is taken of the spine, the less degeneration that is likely to occur.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF LOW BACK PAIN?
Low back pain can be accompanied by a number of symptoms, including:
– Pain in the buttock, thigh, leg and foot
– Numbness, tingling and pins and needles in the thigh, leg, foot and toes
– Pain on coughing or sneezing
– Difficulty standing or sitting for any period of time
– Pain after walking
– Stiffness on rising in the morning
HOW CAN CHIROPRACTIC CARE HELP?
Chiropractic treatment is usually very effective for neck pain. Our chiropractors use various methods to adjust the spine to improve joint motion, decrease muscle tension and reduce the inflammatory response. In addition to this, we may use mobilisation techniques, soft tissue therapy, cranial therapy and jaw corrections. Our chiropractors may prescribe stretching and strengthening exercises to aid with your rehabilitation, and give you postural and lifestyle advice to help with your recovery.
For more information or to book an appointment, please contact Balmoral Chiropractic Centre ( Singapore ) on 6235 9083.