Chiropractic – The way to sort out a Pain in the Neck
Your neck supports the weight and movement of your head – quite a job, since an adults head can weigh between six and eight kilos! It also contains the vast majority of nerves that reach from your brain to the rest of your body, like a pipe full of fiber-optic cables. With the amount of driving, computer work and TV watching that most of us do, it's not surprising that we need a little chiropractic help to keep our necks doing their job properly.
Hold yourself up!
The further away from your body you hold something, the heavier it feels. Neck pain may often be caused by the long-term effect of bad posture, especially when you regularly hold a weight too far from your body. This might be:
- The weight of your head, as you bend over a desk
- Lifting babies and children
- Carrying shopping or luggage in or out of your car
- Manual work
This may result in a loss of proper movement of the vertebrae in the neck, which may interfere with the healthy working of the nerves that run through them. This is a condition that could lead to painful syndromes.
It is not just a pain in the neck
Because nerves do get irritated from functional disorders of the neck joints, pain often radiates to the area of their distribution. Your chiropractor will explain when a pain you feel in your:
- all over the back
could be related to a neck problem, instead of a local problem.
Correcting functional disorders
Chiropractic, unlike painkilling drugs, treats the cause of pain, not just pain itself. Your chiropractor will try to locate the specific functional disorder that caused pain and correct it. He will carry out a thorough analysis of motion in the spinal joints, he will palpate the vertebrae and muscles of the affected area and he will check if any nerve is being pressed. He may need to have a look at any x-rays or other imaging tests you may have done and he will ask you questions about your activities, your posture and your lifestyle.
Chiropractic techniques include gentle, pain-free and skillful manipulations of the spinal joints, called adjustments, aimed at freeing stiff joints and removing spinal nerve pressure. Chiropractic is generally painless, although you may feel some short-term discomfort during the first few sessions, when your back is still very sore.
Additionally, your chiropractor may need to do some muscle work to relax any muscle contractions. He may recommend the use of ice or heat and he may give you advice about the right activity and exercise. Scientific research shows that you should remain active – prolonged bed rest weakens bones and muscles and reduces your chances of a full recovery, so you may also be advised to take often gentle exercise to ease your pain, and help your body recuperate.
Don't allow your cervical syndrome to become chronic! Contact a member of the Hellenic Chiropractors Association today.
Are neck adjustments safe?
Yes. 66-69% of the visits to a chiropractor include cervical (neck) manipulation. Recent research suggests that chiropractic care is extremely safe, when carried out by a skilled and properly trained practitioner.
Do I have to wear a collar?
Although in the acute stage a soft collar may be worn for a short time, collars should not be relied upon. If you become reliant on a collar, the muscles of your neck will become weaker as their job is being done by the collar. It is important, therefore, to have an active treatment plan that involves your chiropractor, ergonomic advice and possibly an exercise program to help motivate the joints, free the nerves and reinforce the muscles of your neck.
Is rolling your head good for your neck?
No. Many people in the past have been given neck or head rolling exercises to help stretch their necks. However, the joints in your neck are really designed for single movements like turning or looking up, down, left or right – not all of these movements together. A safer exercise may be just to do each of these movements individually.