Neck Pain – The Problem
It can be really tough to have neck pain in Columbia, SC. Part of the problem is that it sounds pretty mild, honestly. I mean, we’ve all had neck pain at one time or another, right? And it usually goes away in a day or two. You can deal with anything for a day or two, can’t you? Why even complain? But what if it doesn’t go away in a day or two? What if your neck hurts every day for months? What about years?
Neck pain can do that. It can stay with you for a long time. But, the fact that almost everyone has had some form of neck pain makes it easy for people to minimize the pain you are in. They wrongly equate what you are experiencing with what they have experienced. They wrongly judge the pain that you are in with the pain that they were in. But neck pain comes in a lot of different ‘flavors’, from mild to extreme.
It effects the quality of our life. So many of the things we take for granted involve our head and neck. Just think – exercising, driving, typing on the computer, talking on the phone, working in the yard, gardening. Some of these things we have to do, but some of them are part of what makes our life more enjoyable. And, every one of these things is more difficult when your neck hurts.
The neck is very complicated, and that’s why neck pain varies as greatly as it does. The more parts of the neck that are involved, the more severe. Usually. So, when your neck muscles are strained from poor posture or from working at the computer, you hurt. And the muscles are the culprit. But, fortunately, when you rest and give the muscles a chance to recover, the pain goes away.
Your neck was designed to bend and turn, all while supporting the weight of your head. It’s a complicated piece of machinery. The muscles, spinal bones,ligaments, discs, tendons, blood vessels, and nerves must all function together for your neck to be its’ best. And this complex interaction is part of the reason that injury to the neck tends to restrict movement, and limit the ability to turn your head, as well as cause significant pain.
So, when more parts of the neck are affected, more of the functions of the neck are, too. The real problem with neck pain is when it is a part of a greater neck dysfunction that can include biomechanical and neurological problems. Those are just fancy words that mean that both the structure and the function of the neck can have trouble.
The joints in the neck tend to wear down with age. It’s called osteoarthritis. It comes from wear and tear. It eventually causes the discs between your spinal bones to deteriorate. When that happens, your body reacts by making ‘bone spurs’, literally new growth of bone to stabilize the worn out joints. These bone spurs restrict joint movement, and can cause pain. This type of neck pain tends to last longer, because it happened due to long-term change in the bones. The grinding and popping that some folks feel in their neck comes from osteoarthritis.
When discs and spinal bones deteriorate, it is called degenerative disc disease. The problem has grown, because the nerve roots and spinal cord itself can become compressed by the bone spurs or the disc. The problems that show up in these cases are much more painful once nerves are involved. The nerves in the neck go out into the shoulders, arms, forearm, wrist, and hand. People begin to experience tingling, numbness, burning, and weakness along these nerves. Sometimes, it’s excruciating. People find that certain head and neck positions aggravate the symptoms, so they avoid those positions.
Can you imagine passing someone on the Interstate when it is painful to turn your neck to the left to check your mirror? It’s not just uncomfortable. It’s dangerous! Traffic in Columbia SC can be bad enough already.
Neck pain can become more complicated when coupled with traumatic injury. I think about the head-to-head hits that take place in football, or other sports. I think about whiplash from a motor vehicle collision. And, I think about any number of injuries that might happen on a trampoline. Trauma often stretches or tears the soft ligaments, tendons, and muscles of the neck. And that weakens your ability to support your neck even further.
Any of these problems can make structural changes in the neck, and that’s a big issue. To function properly, all the parts of the complicated machinery of the neck have to work together. When structural changes happen, that Structural Shift will impact every part of the neck.
Neck Pain – The Treatment
Neck pain can be difficult to treat the more complicated it becomes. So, traditional medical intervention usually offers a range of treatments.
- Your medical doctor may prescribe muscle relaxers and pain medications. This approach helps us push through the simpler muscle-related neck pain. The problem was temporary, so the solution is aimed at reducing symptoms so that they are more tolerable for that short time. Medications like this do not change the mechanics of neck movement, so they are limited in what they can accomplish.
- Physical therapy or rehabilitative exercise have poor outcomes for neck pain, generally. The musculature of the neck just doesn’t have the bulk and strength to overcome the structural changes that have taken place there.
- Injections can be very effective for treating chronic pain, and can help with neck pain. But injections don’t solve mechanical problems, and they have side effects.
- Surgery is typically the last medical approach for neck pain. It’s only suggested in serious cases, and it can be risky. It may be necessary, though, once degeneration and decay have progressed far enough that they create neurological symptoms.
Neck Pain – A New Way
There are other ways, however, to address the causes of neck pain. One is Structural Correction of the spine.
There are few chiropractors in Columbia SC who focus on Structural Correction of the spine. Structural Chiropractic provides an effective solution that addresses the root cause of neck pain. Complicated neck pain primarily occurs after structural injury and the subsequent Structural Shift. The aim of our office is to address both the biomechanical and the neurological component of neck dysfunction. When the root of the problem is addressed, the problem can be resolved.
At Specific Chiropractic of SC, we use xray as a precision tool to identify structural problems in the neck. We obsess about the specifics of xray setup for technique and quality. We also use a neurological scanning protocol before and after adjusting to ensure that our treatment goals are met.
We help you to understand Normal Structure, and how Secondary Conditions are caused. Our protocols and procedures help us strive to adjust less frequently than traditional methods.
Structural Correction is effective at addressing the complicated causes of neck pain and dysfunction. Some of the common Secondary Conditions that accompany neck pain include:
You see, you do have options. If you have neck pain in Columbia SC, and it hasn’t gone away, then it is likely to be chronic. If it is accompanied by symptoms like headache and restricted movement, then it is already causing dysfunction. There are ways to deal with the problems, discomfort, and aggravation of neck pain.
Not everyone is a good candidate for Structural Chiropractic Care. Our examination will reveal whether our not our methods are likely to be successful in your specific case. In this case, it may make sense to call the office and schedule a no cost consultation. It’s not an examination, and it’s not a commitment. If you are looking for help, our office may be the right place for you.