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Neck pain is a condition that is very commonly treated with chiropractic care.
The causes of neck paincan be many and varied. Traumatic injuries like car accidents and sporting injuries are common causes of both acute and chronic neck pain. The explosion in the long term use of computers in the last couple of decades has seen an increase in neck pain and headaches resulting from this faulty posture.
The most commonly seen causes of neck pain seen in chiropractic practices usually involve a mechanical distortion of the spine. These distortions can be complicated by changes in normal spinal curves and degenerative arthritic conditions. A 2005 scientific study of 277 patients found that patients with neck pain had significantly altered spinal curves.
There is a tendency for people to think that neck pain is something that will just go away on its own. However, a 2004 study showed that over a 7 year period, the prevalence of neck pain in a population of over 800 young adults increased from 17 % to 28 %.
In a chiropractic model, the joints and vertebral bones of the spinal column function correctly when they are in a normal state of alignment and movement. In this situation, the brain receives normal signals monitoring this functional state. When the spinal structures are injured or not moving correctly, damage and inflammation can result in pain signals being sent to the brain instead. This can produce neck pain.
If a patient presents to a chiropractorwith neck pain, he/she will assess them carefully to determine which structures in the neck are being affected and which techniques would be most safe and effective in correcting the problem. This will often involve chiropractic adjustive techniques to the vertebral bones of the neck, and may involve stretching and soft tissue techniques for neck muscles. Specific exercises may be recommended to help restore a more functional posture for a patient that has developed faulty postural habits over time.
By taking this multi-pronged approach, it is usually possible to improve the function of the neck and resolve the painful episode. Patients often report an improvement in energy and sleep patterns once neck problems have been resolved. This can lead to a significant improvement in overall quality of life.