General chiropractic management for neck pain may consist of chiropractic adjustments, soft tissue release and on occasion acupuncture.
The key strategy with a neck complaint is to work out which anatomical structures the pain is originating from. In order to determine this we establish the history of the complaint and then undertake a thorough physical examination, which includes postural analysis with orthopaedic and neurological tests.
Where do most neck pains originate from?
Many neck problems can be traced back to poor posture, which may result in muscle imbalances within the neck and shoulders. When neck muscles become weak, they cause the spinal joints of the neck to become compressed. Poor neck posture increases the strain on the muscles in the neck and shoulders (imagine holding a bowling ball with your arms stretched out in front of the body) which may then further aggravate the joints of the neck resulting in them becoming weak and damaged. When damage occurs to a joint pressure may build onto the spinal nerves. People often refer to this pain as a ‘trapped nerve.’ The nerve may give pain signals localised to a specific area in the neck but in other cases, the compression forces may result in the nerve referring symptoms along its course within the body. Some people may experience shooting pains in the arms or pins and needles in their hands.
How can Chiropractic help with neck pain?
Chiropractic treatment for a neck complaint aims to relieve pressure from the neck joints. This is done through adjustments (manual manipulation), stretching and mobilisation techniques. Adjusting and manipulating the compressed joints enables optimal biomechanical function to be restored which relieves pressure placed upon the nerves and soft tissues, thus helping to correct postural alignment and reduce the symptoms being experienced.
Once symptoms have settled, the Chiropractor and patient may discuss future chiropractic care where regular checks are carried out (like we would service and M.O.T. our cars) to ensure the poor posture and joint compression is assessed before pain symptoms creep back in again.