Alleviating Nagging Neck Pain

Neck Pain Doctor

Are you one of the millions of Americans suffering from nagging neck pain? Data collected by the nation’s leading teaching journal on the treatment of pain estimates that 20-70% of adults will experience neck pain that interferes with their daily activities sometime during their lifetime. Odds are that you or someone close to you will suffer neck pain during some period of your life. 

Our neck, also called the cervical spine, starts at the base of our skull and contains seven small vertebrae. Amazingly, our neck supports the full weight of our head, which is, on average, about 12 pounds. While our neck can move our head in just about any direction, its flexibility makes our neck very susceptible to pain and injury.

What causes neck pain?

The most common causes of neck pain are:

  • Injury and Accidents – including whiplash.
  • Aging – degenerative disorders, including spinal stenosis and degenerative disk disease (DDD), adversely impact the neck and spine.
  • Osteoarthritis – a relatively common joint disorder, which triggers deterioration of cartilage. The body responds by forming bone spurs that impact joint motion.
  • Pinched nerves – often caused by herniated discs.
  • Poor posture – brought on by extended periods of sitting in one position at a desk or computer.
  • And sports injuries.

Which treatment of neck pain is best? Medication, exercise or chiropractic care?

A 2012 study funded by the National Institutes of Health split roughly 270 participants into 3 groups: 1) those who received pain medication; 2) those who were given exercise regimens to follow; and 3) those who received spinal manipulative therapy from a licensed chiropractor. The results? After 12 weeks, roughly 57% of participants who underwent chiropractic care and 48% of those who exercised reported at least a 75% reduction in pain, while just 33 percent of those taking medications reported a similar experience.

What are common chiropractic techniques to address neck pain?

  • Spinal Manipulation: Depending on your symptoms, your chiropractor will identify the best methods of gentle manipulation (thrusting vs. non-thrusting, etc.)
  • Manual Therapies: Here the chiropractor may place pressure on specific pressure points to relieve tension, use manual joint stretching and resistance techniques, or perform a therapeutic massage to reduce muscle tension.
  • Instrument-Assisted Therapies: Electrical stimulation or ultrasound may be used to stimulate muscles, reduce inflammation and/or enhance circulation.

Chiropractic care is the preferred treatment option for people with neck pain. It is gentle, non-invasive and – unlike medications or neck surgery – much less likely to trigger unwanted side effects. As you consider your options, you may want to visit the neck pain doctor Dundalk, MD, or consider contacting the team at Mid-Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Chiropractic.