Neck Pain: Symptoms, Causes & Treatment
Dr. Daniel is an Austin Chiropractor Who Has Treated over 8,000 Cases of Neck Pain.
Neck pain can be due to a number of disorders and diseases involving any of the tissues in and around the neck.
Examples of common conditions include:
- degenerative disc disease
- neck strain
- neck soft tissue injuries from whiplash
- herniated disc
- pinched nerve
Neck Pain Symptoms
Primary symptoms is usually a dull ache in the back or front part of the neck.
Sometimes pain in the neck is made worse with movement such as turning the head.
More severe symptoms could include sharp, shooting and pinching pain.
This type of pain can also be accompanied by numbness, tingling, tenderness, difficulty swallowing, pulsations, swishing sounds in the head, dizziness or lightheadedness.
Sometimes, headaches, shoulder problems, and arm numbness or tingling (upper extremity paresthesias) can also occur with this condition.
These associated symptoms are often a result of nerves becoming pinched in the neck.
Depending on the condition, sometimes neck pain is accompanied by upper back and/or lower back pain, as is common in inflammation of the spine.
What Causes Neck Pain?
The most important role of the neck is to support the head and protect vital nerves and arteries between the brain and the rest of your body.
The brain is the “computer” of the entire body and if the messages traveling between the bran and the body are interrupted, it will not be able to coordinate all the necessary functions essential to life.
The vital part of the brain that controls heart rate, breathing, immune system function, hormone regulation, posture, balance and muscle coordination all involve the structure and function of the neck.
The neck is fragile and can move in all sorts of directions that ultimately relay information to sensory organs such as the eyes, ears and nose.
This is a disadvantage as the vertebrae or bones in the neck can easily “misalign,” or its joints can frequently get restricted, due to whiplash, birth injuries, neck trauma, poor posture etc.
Moreover, stress, posture, and excess computer use can stiffen the neck. The result is reduced blood supply to the brain and its subsequent malfunction. That causes poor well-being, reduction in energy level, and breakdown of the immune system, etc.
Thus the neck is very important for our health. We must look after it. This is why restoring the normal function, structure and vitality of the neck is so crucial to health.
Common Causes of Neck Pain Include:
- Muscle strains. Overuse, such as too many hours hunched over your computer or smartphone, often triggers muscle strains. Even minor things, such as reading in bed or gritting your teeth, can strain neck muscles.
- Worn joints. Just like the other joints in your body, your neck joints tend to wear down with age. Osteoarthritis causes the cushions (cartilage) between your bones (vertebrae) to deteriorate. Your body then forms bone spurs that affect joint motion and cause pain.
- Nerve compression. Herniated disks or bone spurs in the vertebrae of your neck can press on the nerves branching out from the spinal cord.
- Injuries. Rear-end auto collisions often result in whiplash injury, which occurs when the head is jerked backward and then forward, straining the soft tissues of the neck.
- Diseases. Certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, meningitis or cancer, can cause neck pain.
Diagnosing Neck Pain
Diagnosing neck pain should begin with a review of medical history and an examination of the neck. This would include assessing the quality, severity and duration of tenderness, numbness and weakness.
In addition, it is extremely important to undergo a complete biomechanical examination that would include assessing posture, functional movement and alignment.
Our Austin chiropractic clinic diagnoses neck pain by performing the following:
- Body Composition (body fat, muscle mass hydration status, height and weight)
- Digital Posture Analysis
- Muscle Strength and Reflex Testing
- Digital X-ray
All of these tests are appropriate in helping to diagnose this condition.
If our initial evaluation does not help to determine the cause, additional tests such as hormone testing, blood chemistry testing and vitamin testing will be ordered.
Neck Pain Treatment
Treating neck pain depends on the specific cause.
Generally speaking, treatment options will include rest, heat or cold therapy, traction, physical therapy, prescription medications, chiropractic care and in rare cases… surgical procedures.
Austin Chiropractor Dr. Daniel is skilled in identifying the true cause, as well as recommending the most non-invasive and effective treatments for neck pain.
Neck Pain Treatment In Austin
If you live in the Austin area and are suffering from neck pain, let Austin Chiropractor Dr. Daniel help you figure it out!
Here at Family Health Chiropractic, treatment of fatigue is only the beginning of how we can help you live a happy, healthier life.