Neck Pain

What is Neck Pain?

Ever wonder why an extremely irritating or an absolutely pest of a person is called “a pain in the neck?” This is because neck pain is just as annoying!

The neck has the important task of supporting the head and protecting all the nerves running from the brain down to the rest of the body. 

It is because of this stressful task that everyone is sure to experience a form of neck pain at some point in their life. Incredibly, the cervical spine supports the full weight of your head, which is on average about 12 pounds. While the cervical spine can move your head in nearly every direction, this flexibility makes the neck very susceptible to pain and injury.

Neck Pain Symptoms

Whether your neck pain is chronic or acute, you should contact the Weston chiropractic clinic at Windmill Health Center. According to studies by the Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research, early chiropractic treatment can prevent long-term neck problems.

  • Dull, consistent ache
  • Stiffness
  • Sharp or radiating discomfort
  • Numbness or tingling in arms or hands
  • Muscle weakness in the arms or hands
  • Severe headaches

Causes of Neck Pain

  • Degenerative disc disease in the neck. This usually develops later in life and can be hereditary.
  • Muscle strain. Perhaps you slept with your head at an awkward angle on your pillow, or you were hunched over the steering wheel for a long drive.
  • Whiplash or fractures. Damage to the cervical vertebrae can be caused by accidents or sudden, drastic shifts in speed.
  • Cervical herniated disc. This occurs when a disc extrudes into the spinal canal and irritates nerves.
  • Osteoarthritis. Also known as facet disease, in this case the cartilage that cushions the vertebrae is deteriorating and the compressed joints between the bones of your spine are causing swelling and irritation.
  • Bone spurs. A potentially painful off-shoot of osteoarthritis, bone spurs are formed when the body tries to compensate for the loss of disc cartilage.
  • Cervical spinal stenosis. The spinal column can become constricted by a bone spur or another obstruction, but this usually is a result of wear-and-tear on the body.
  • Meningitis. Neck pain and stiffness are common symptoms of this dangerous, infectious disease.

Preventing Neck Pain

  • Get regular exercise, including weight training to strengthen the neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Avoid prolonged poor posture while seated, especially with the shoulders hunched forward or the head tilted downward.
  • Maintain a healthy weight by eating a low-fat, low-sodium diet.
  • Don’t smoke cigarettes, the ingredients of which constrict blood vessels and have other harmful effects.
  • Practice sound body mechanics, especially when lifting heavy objects or participating in sports that require a lot of bending, twisting and explosive movement.

Treatment for Neck Pain

Even if you come to our chiropractic physicians at the Windmill Health Center complaining of neck pain, we will evaluate your spine as a whole. Dr. Browner or Dr. Behar will check your neck (cervical spine), mid-back (thoracic spine), and low back (lumbar spine). It’s important to examine the entire spine because even though it’s just your neck that hurts, other regions of the spine may be affected.

We’ll talk to you about areas of restricted joint motion, disc injury, muscle spasm, and ligament injury. We’ll  feel for tenderness, tightness, and how well each spinal joint moves. We’ll  analyze how you walk and look at your overall posture and spinal alignment to determine how well your spine is working or moving.

Once we have conducted a thorough chiropractic exam, we will confer with you on a course of treatment. Your course of treatment may include:

  • Spinal DecompressionIts breakthrough technology provides relief from severe back and neck pain by gently reducing the pressure within spinal discs — without surgery or other invasive procedures. The bones of the spine are slowly and methodically separated using the state-of-the-art  Decompression Unit. As the vertebrae are separated, the pressure is slowly reduced within the disc (intradiscal pressure) until a vacuum is formed. This vacuum “sucks” the gelatinous center of the disc back inside thereby reducing the disc bulge or disc herniation. Significant disc bulge reduction removes pressure off the spinal nerves and drastically reduces neck pain and disability.
  • Chiropractic adjustments. A neck adjustment (also known as a cervical manipulation) is a precise procedure applied to the joints of the neck, usually by hand. A neck adjustment works to improve the mobility of the spine and to restore range of motion; it can also increase movement of the adjoining muscles. Patients typically notice an improved ability to turn and tilt the head, and a reduction of pain, soreness, and stiffness.
  • Massage TherapyProfessional therapeutic massage improves muscle tone, increases mobility to injured tissue, and improves circulation, eliminates toxins from the body, relaxes the muscles, relieves pain, and reduces stress.
  • Therapeutic Exercise. We’ll develop an exercise plan that will strengthen your neck muscles, making it less vulnerable to neck injuries or pain.

At Windmill Health Center, we are “whole person” chiropractic physicians who view neck pain as unique to each patient. Therefore, we won’t focus on just your neck pain. We’ll talk about stress management, and lifestyle goals because all of those can add to neck pain, so you need to address them if you really want to relieve your pain.

The philosophy of our Weston chiropractic clinic is that prevention is integral to long-term health.  We’ll teach you how to prevent neck pain by using good mechanics and maintaining good posture.  We see you as a “whole person” not as a pain in the neck!