Causes and Treatment for Neck Pain
Neck injuries can be extremely serious, but they vary in type and severity. With sudden or chronic neck pain, underlying causes must be addressed in order to improve the pain and help get you back to feeling like your best self.
Various Types of Neck Injuries
- Sprains/Strains – Injuries to the muscles and ligaments that can result in neck pain aggravated by activity. These types of injuries are usually not very dangerous and can heal with minimal treatment.
- Pinched Nerve – A subluxation, or misalignment of the vertebra is common. Facet jamming is usually a sports injury where a nerve is pinched and causes sharp and shooting pains in the neck and even arms. This type of pain usually resolves on its own.
- Repetitive Strain – Maintaining awkward positions while working, worn out pillows, working at the computer can create repetitive strain that affects posture. Muscle strain can lead to neck problems over time.
- Whiplash – This type of injury is commonly due to a car accident where the head moves around violently. A whiplash injury damages the soft tissue in the neck, including ligaments, muscles, and even nerves.
- Spinal Cord Damage – This is the worst type of neck injury as spinal cord injury can lead to paralysis and even death.
- Disc Injury – A cervical disc herniation can cause severe neck pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling into one or both arms. Usually, a course of conservative care is recommended prior to surgery.
- Vertebral Fracture – Some injuries can cause the vertebra in the neck to fracture or break, which can lead to paralysis or even death.
Neck injuries are not always preventable but there are some ways to reduce your risk. Always wear a seatbelt and keep your headrest close to your head while driving. If you are diving into unknown waters, always go feet first to avoid hitting your head or neck on the ground.
There are several symptoms that may be experienced with a neck injury, such as:
- Tenderness at the sight of injury
- Dull ache
- Muscle weakness
- Sharp pain
Neck Pain Treatment
Obviously, any injury that involves the head or neck should be checked out by a doctor. At the Chiropractic Health Center of Bristol, we specialize in treating acute and chronic neck pain. If needed, we will refer you for x-rays, a CT scan, or an MRI to determine exactly what is causing the pain.
In rare cases we will recommend immobilization that takes pressure off of the neck. We will start off with cryotherapy (ice), electric muscle stimulation (EMS), light manual traction, and specific chiropractic adjustments. We may also recommend a natural muscle relaxer, such as Relax Already, and a topical analgesic such as Relief Already.
Our course of treatment will help relieve tension and pain in the muscles and support structures in the neck. The chiropractic treatment can relieve pain and improve relaxation to help with healing.
To make an appointment, call us at 860-583-4346.