Like the lower back, the neck is a complex structure, made up of bones discs, joints, ligaments, and muscles that protects your spinal cord, holds up the head, and allows you to twist and turn your 8 – 12lb head. It also is a pathway for food, water, oxygen and blood.
When treating neck pain, it is important to first diagnose exactly what is leading to the pain, and then work towards correcting the problem. A simple diagnosis of Cervicalgia (neck pain) with some prescription muscle relaxers, pain killers, and anti inflammatory medication, will do a great job of masking the symptoms, but often do nothing to correct the root of the problem.
Whiplash injuries are a common cause of neck pain, as well as spinal disc degeneration, but it can also be caused by simple everyday things like sitting at a computer, reading, watching TV, sleeping in a bad position, or from plain old stress that leads to tension in the muscles.
The facet joints running up the backside of the spine, and the discs between the bones are 2 very common sources of neck pain. Injury or tension within these joints will often begin to radiate from the source as well, resulting in shoulder pain, arm pain, and/or headaches.
Chronic pain is much more difficult to resolve, than new, acute pain. We treat mechanical dysfunction of the spine with chiropractic adjustments, physiotherapy, exercise, stretching, massage, and patient education. Learning about your neck and knowing the proper posture, ergonomics, and how to keep it strong will empower you to maintain a healthy spine.