Neck pain is experienced by as many as one out of every three people, typically affecting more women than men. When it becomes persistent (lasting over three months), it’s referred to as chronic neck pain. Chronic neck pain can quickly affect your quality of life when it makes it nearly impossible to complete daily tasks. If you suffer from chronic neck pain, you may benefit from chiropractic treatment from Oregon Medical Centers. Our chronic neck pain treatment in Salem, Aloha, and surrounding areas is comprehensive and effective for long-term chronic neck pain relief. Reach out today to learn more!
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Diagnosing Neck Pain: What Are Common Causes of Neck Pain?
Neck pain is most often caused by muscle strain from everyday activities combined with poor posture. Think about all those hours spent hunched over keyboards or workbenches during the average 40-hour workweek, and it’s no wonder so many people complain about chronic neck pain. Other common causes of neck pain include herniated discs, pinched nerves, neck vertebrae bone spurs, and soft tissue injuries such as whiplash caused by car accidents, work injuries, slip-and-falls, and sports injuries.
Chronic illnesses such as cancer, meningitis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis can also contribute to chronic neck pain. Ways to prevent neck pain include practicing good posture when standing or sitting and taking frequent breaks when working long hours at your computer. You might also consider investing in ergonomic equipment, including an adjustable chair with armrests to keep your monitor at eye level with your knees situated slightly lower than your hips.
Not all neck pain and discomfort are the same. Chronic neck pain may be accompanied by a long list of other complaints. Your specific collection of symptoms can provide a clue as to why you’re experiencing neck pain. Here are some of the other symptoms that are frequently experienced with neck pain:
• Headaches – Headaches are often associated with neck pain. This could be because the brain’s meningeal lining has been irritated or due to the trigger points within your muscles that end up referring pain to the head. Pinched nerves in the neck also cause cervicogenic headaches.
• Stiffness – Neck stiffness indicates your muscles may be preventing movement so that no extra damage can occur to the cervical spine’s fundamental structures. If your neck stiffness is caused by inflamed muscles, you may also notice muscle tightness or the occasional muscle spasm.
• Poor Range of Motion – Not being able to move your head to the left, right, or to your shoulder is one of the most common symptoms and causes of neck pain. Limited range of motion implies there may be scar tissue or misaligned vertebrae in your neck.
• Eye Pain – Built-up tension in your neck and shoulders can apply additional pressure to your eye nerves, often leading to eye pain and strain. If you experience vision changes, the injury to your neck is likely more than just a strained muscle or a sprain.
• Fatigue – When combined with chronic neck pain, tiredness is another symptom often indicating a more serious health issue. Misalignments in the neck may affect your brain stem functionality, which could cause you to develop fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome.
Minor to moderate neck pain may gradually improve with home remedies, such as applying ice or heat. However, if your neck pain is severe or persistent, you may benefit from chiropractic or medical care. We also recommend seeking treatment if your neck pain is the result of a work, sports, or motor vehicle accident injury. You should contact your doctor immediately if you ever notice numbness, tingling, shooting pains, or loss of strength in your arms or hands along with your neck pain.
Chiropractic treatment is often used to treat chronic neck pain, especially for patients who wish to avoid surgery or dependence on pain medications. Chiropractors seek to address the underlying causes of chronic pain rather than merely masking the symptoms. Effectively treating your neck pain begins with thoroughly diagnosing your neck pain. This may include ordering imaging tests to show a clearer picture of the cause of your neck pain. X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans are used to diagnose chronic neck pain. Some of the most common chiropractic treatments used to treat chronic neck pain include:
• Chiropractic Adjustments – Chiropractic adjustments performed on the spine or neck apply controlled, abrupt force to correct misalignments causing your chronic neck pain. A neck adjustment may be recommended to restore range of motion and improve flexibility.
• Massage Therapy – During a massage, a chiropractor will manipulate the muscles in your neck using their hands or tiny instruments. Massage therapy is ideal for reducing muscle tension. When combined with other treatments, massage may provide chronic neck pain relief.
• Therapeutic Exercises – Exercise is essential for keeping healthy, but it’s also integral to the body’s natural healing process. Chronic neck pain exercises and stretching techniques may help ease your pain and discomfort while also preventing future recurrences of neck pain.
If you’re seeking chronic neck pain relief in the Salem or Aloha area, Oregon Medical Centers would be happy to help. Established in 1990 by Dr. Sunita Bhasin, our integrated healthcare clinic has helped thousands of people alleviate pain and begin their road to recovery. Conditions we treat include chronic neck, back, and shoulder pain, headaches, herniated discs, peripheral neuropathy, work injuries, and car accident injuries. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our friendly, experienced team.