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Neck Pain

Treatments for Neck Pain

Neck pain is a common pain symptom experienced by most of us. Most neck pain begins with some kind of trauma, but sometimes the origin is difficult to identify.

With all neck pain—no matter what the cause—the pain itself tells us that there is some kind of problem in the functioning of the different parts of the spine.

The human spine is an amazingly versatile and complex structure that provides support, protects the internal organs and nervous system, but at the same time allows incredible flexibility and movement.

Many different pieces have to work together to maintain a healthy spine. The spinal cord and nerves of the back are the communication lines between the brain and the rest of the body. The bones of the spine—or the vertebrae—protect those nerves. The vertebrae are separated by fibrous discs. The ligaments of the spine hold the vertebrae together. And the muscles attach to the vertebrae and provide stability and allow us to move.

When all of these pieces are working together in harmony, we’re not even aware of them. When one piece fails to work properly, all of the other parts are affected, as well. The role of chiropractic is to make sure that all of the pieces work together the way they’re supposed to.Here are some articles that discuss the benefits of chiropractic for neck pain.

Chiropractic Increases Range of Motion for Neck Patients

neck pain and chiropracticAs we get older, we may begin to lose some range of motion in our necks. Sometimes we experience pain or chronic neck problems; other times, we just begin to notice we can’t move our necks as far as we once did. A recent study showed how chiropractic care can help increase range of neck motion.

The neck should be able to move in the following manner:

  • Flexion: Forward to touch the chin to the chest (40-60 degrees)
  • Extension: Tilting the head back to look at the ceiling (60-80 degrees)
  • Rotation: Turning your head to the left and right. Chin should be in line with the shoulders (60-80 degrees)
  • Lateral Bending: Bending your head to bring your left ear or right ear to your left or right shoulder, respectively (45 degree angle or halfway)

Did you test yourself? If not, try all the motions above. If your neck seems stiff or inflexible, don’t try to force the movement–moving your neck beyond its normal range of motion is how injury occurs. If you do feel as though you have limited range of motion, gentle spinal manipulation may help increase your neck’s range of motion as well as prevent further degeneration.

In a recent study, researchers found that spinal manipulation increased neck range of motion in patients with intervertebral, asymptomatic cervical motion restriction. This suggests that spinal manipulation may be a very good therapy for age-related cervical degeneration.

Passmore S, Burke J, Good C, Lyons J, Dunn A. Spinal Manipulation Impacts Cervical Spine Movement and Fitts’ Task Performance: A Single-Blind Randomized Before-After Trial. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. March 2010: Vol. 33, Issue 3, Pages 189-192.

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