Neck pain is common to many in today’s digital world as we sit hunched over our screens. People experience pain or discomfort in their neck so often that they may think it is normal. We break down what is normal when it comes to neck pain, what is not, and how you can get help for your sore, aching neck.
What Is Neck Pain?
Neck pain is referred to by doctors as cervical pain. The cervical vertebrae belong to the top portion of your spine. Apart from the vertebrae (the bones) in your neck, there are also many tissues and muscles that all work together to hold your head in place and allow it to move and turn. Pain located in the neck could be radiating from the vertebrae themselves as we see in degenerative disc disease or a herniated disc. Or the pain could come from a muscle strain in the neck or from injury to the muscles and tendons, which is what happens with whiplash, for example.
What Does Neck Pain Feel Like?
Neck pain can be a general discomfort in your neck or neck muscles. Neck pain often shows up as a dull aching or soreness that is worse with movement or turning the head from side to side. It can also be a sharp shooting pain or a tingling sensation. The pain may radiate down your arm to your hand or up the side of your head or into your jaw area. The type of pain you feel is usually related to the cause of the pain.
What Causes Neck Pain?
- Sitting or sleeping in an awkward position
- Prolonged use of computers, laptops, screens, smartphones when you are not properly positioned
- Injury or trauma (often an injury that occurs during sports such as playing football, or during extreme sports events)
- Slipped disc or herniated disc
- Whiplash (perhaps the most common of neck injuries that occur during a car accident)
- Osteoporosis (thinning of the bones)
- Tumor or other infection that causes damage to the structure of the spine
- Natural curvature problems (scoliosis or loss of normal curve)
When Should You See a Doctor About Your Neck Pain?
The majority of neck pain problems are not life-threatening. However, if you experience the following, you should call your doctor or emergency services immediately:
- Neck pain accompanied by a severe headache or continuous vomiting.
- Neck pain accompanied by the worst headache of your life.
The above symptoms could be a sign of acute meningitis and typically the neck pain is severe and is combined with vomiting, a rash, high fever as well as body-wide muscle pain. Meningitis is not very common but important to be aware of nonetheless.
For all other types of neck pain, while not an emergency, we recommend that you visit your primary care physician or doctor, especially if you develop neck pain following a sports injury or car accident.
Don’t Suffer In Silence. Get Help For Your Neck Pain
Neck pain is really that, a pain in the neck. Walking around with pain and stiffness in the neck limits your activities and upsets your day-to-day life. Neck pain impedes your sports performance and hampers your training program. While we always recommend talking with your doctor or primary care physician about the pains in your neck, what they have to offer you is limited. Often, a doctor will tell you that the pain will go away by itself or they will prescribe a pill to reduce the pain or inflammation. This will temporarily take the pain away but it does not fix the underlying problem.
What Treatment Options Are Available For Neck Pain?
Medical or sports massage is often recommended but again, this does not get to the root cause of the neck pain, particularly if your neck pain is caused by bad posture or bending over your laptop or screen for several hours a day.
Chiropractic treats not just the pain in your neck but gets to the root cause. My goal as a chiropractor is not only to treat the pain but also to prevent the pain from coming back, as well as stop it from developing into a more serious injury. Pain prevention is one of the main goals when I am treating a patient with chiropractic care. First, we help with the pain and then we prevent it from coming back.
Chiropractic Care For Your Neck Pain
Neck pain is one of the most common reasons people seek out chiropractic care. In my practice, I work with patients to resolve their neck pain using chiropractic techniques. In addition, I analyze their posture with a computerized posture analysis and give them guidance on corrective exercises that they can do in the comfort of their own home. Let’s face it, with the amount of time we all spend leaning over our laptops or bending our necks to stare at screens, neck pain is very common. However, you don’t have to suffer unnecessarily. There are solutions for your neck pain and chiropractic is one of them.
Dr. Michael St. Louis at Atlas Injury to Health is a highly experienced chiropractor, who is passionate about delivering meaningful chiropractic solutions that result in peace of mind and well-being. If you would like to learn more about chiropractic care, there are many ways to get in touch with us. You can call our dedicated, friendly staff at 407-656-0390, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or message us on Facebook