Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain & Injuries

Advantage Chiropractic identifies causes & treats neck pain with safe, natural chiropractic care. (219) 922-0202Neck pain affects a significant number of individuals. Recent studies have found more than 10% of Americans suffer from neck pain at any given time.

The reason is that the neck region contains many delicate, pain sensitive structures commonly exposed to abuse and abnormal stresses. Incomplete rehabilitation of past injuries, poor posture, prolonged sitting, and lack of periodic spinal alignments are some of the more common factors in the development of neck problems.

Fortunately, most individuals suffering from neck problems will find chiropractic care extremely beneficial. Unlike prescription drugs, most chiropractic procedures address the cause of the majority of neck problems. Best of all, chiropractic care is safe, natural, and noninvasive… no side effects allowed!

Within the neck lies the cervical spine, the upper most portion of the spinal column. The cervical spine is structurally and functionally unique from the other areas of the spinal column.

Structurally, the cervical spine is composed of 7 moderately small and unique vertebrae including associated muscles, ligaments, joints and nerves.

The cervical spine has many important functions which include providing support and mobility to the head and neck, providing essential information for the balance and coordination of the body, and protection for the upper spinal cord and associated spinal nerves.

The cervical spine is the most flexible region of the spine, providing the most generous amounts of flexion, extension, lateral flexion and rotation.

The 1st and 2nd cervical vertebrae, known as the atlas and axis respectively, have highly unique structures which allow them to form a pivot joint. This joint alone provides approximately 90 degrees of rotation in the cervical spine. These same vertebrae also contain special receptors within their joints which provide the brain with important information essential for the maintenance of balance and coordination. These mechanoreceptors result in balance disturbances and problems with coordination.

The remaining cervical vertebrae also provide large degrees of motion, but mainly in flexion, extension and lateral flexion (side bending). Unfortunately, there’s an inverse relationship between mobility and stability. Thus, the cervical spine is more susceptible to injury compared with other areas of the spine.

The cervical vertebrae immediately encase and protect the spinal cord as it descends from the skull.

The spinal cord travels through small holes in the rear of the cervical vertebrae, giving rise to spinal nerve roots at each vertebral level. These nerve roots exit through the small openings formed by adjacent vertebrae called the intervertebral foramina (IVF). The IVF is the “exit” out of the cervical spine as spinal nerves make their way to the head, face and arms. The IVF is a common location for nerve irritation and can give rise to a variety of head, neck and upper extremity symptoms in the cervical spine.

The nerves exiting the cervical spine are delicate and can become irritated or injured, giving rise to a number of different signs and symptoms.

The 1st through 3rd cervical nerves exiting from the cervical are responsible for providing sensations to the head and face. When these nerves are compressed, stretched or irritated they will cause pain and other altered sensations in regions of the head and face. Researchers have found irritation to the 2nd cervical nerve (the greater occipital nerve) to be a major source of head and face pain. The nerves from the mid and lower cervical spine combine to form the brachial plexus, a collection of nerves which innervate the arms. Compression, stretch or irritation to these nerves commonly causes pain, numbness, tingling and weakness in the arms.

There are many causes for neck pain. Some causes result from acute injuries that cannot be avoided, such as an automobile accident resulting in a whiplash-type injury. Other causes can be avoided and result from the use of “bad” or improper habits and techniques, such as poor posture and improper lifting. These “other causes” make up the majority of neck pain causes and can be effectively treated once the cause(s) is/are identified and the appropriate measures to avoid these “bad” and improper habits and techniques are implemented.

Some of the more common causes of neck pain include:

  • incomplete rehabilitation of past injuries
  • lack of proper and periodic spinal alignments
  • presence of cervical spine subluxations
  • whiplash-type injuries
  • improper workstation setup
  • poor posture
  • prolonged sitting
  • prolonged use of non-ergonomically designed equipment
  • excessive repetitive neck motions
  • improper telephone techniques
  • excessive mental stress
  • physical inactivity
  • poor diet and nutritional practices
Doctors of chiropractic have long known that the most successful treatments involve the identification and correction of the underlying causes of the condition. That’s why chiropractic care has been so successful in the correction of back and neck conditions and the number one choice for back and neck care.