Neck Pain and it’s causes: a Chiropractor’s Perspective.
Author: Dr. Justin Davis
It’s amazing, but for the better part of a decade now (my how time flies) I’ve been dedicating my life to the study and treatment, in both graduate school and as a chiropractor, to neck pain. What I’ve found is often we as a medical society use a “paralysis by analysis” mindset when looking at neck pain. As a Chiropractor, neck pain is something I see and treat every day. Most Chiropractors across the country deal with the same thing….so what exactly is the cause??
Common neck pain
There are multiple reasons why you may have your current neck pain. A chiropractor or medical doctor may have diagnosed you with any of the following big scary words: disc injury, arthrtiis, degeneration, stenosis, etc. The real question is: are we spending too much time with the specific diagnosis/paralysis by analysis? My perspective is that yes, indeed we are. We may be able to diagnose a possible reason why there is a specific kind of pain at this exact moment in time, but why did the body end up in this position in the first place??
Staying in One Place
Neck pain continues to become more and more common, not only in the US but across the world. At least half of all Amercians have neck pain throughout the course of a year. The largest cause which we are continuing to find is that prolonged sitting and improper posture is the largest affecting factor to neck pain. This causes the joints in the neck to get stuck in the forward/slumped position. The neck is not the only area affected by this position; the shoulders and mid back follow and you get the “slumped look” – see below.
This slumped look starts locking your joints in the wrong position. A perfect example of what this is doing to your body is when you get up from a seated position: you stretch, you walk funny for a minute = everything is off! If you do this for long enough periods all your joints really get used to being in a certain position, which then causes the muscles to follow the same path. Before you know if you’re very very stiff from your joints, and your muscles and body aches…even though you haven’t been doing anything physical! And with how much our society sits these days, it is easy to see why a chiropractor has got his “hands full” of neck pain patients.
Muscles and Joints
Chiropractic directly treats this problem, by manually and literally taking the neck joints and putting them back where they should be and out of the locked forward position. Muscles causing neck pain is also treated by a chiropractor, as the spinal adjustments turn off muscle spasm and decreases the prolonged tightness and muscle tone to areas surrounding the joints.
We will continue to dive into the different treatment approaches to neck pain, compared and contrasted with chiropractic and other forms of treatment.
Yours in Health