Your Goal: A Healthy Neck
Your chiropractor can work with you to relieve your neck pain and advise you on proper neck care. You can also learn ways to help prevent neck problems. For best results, follow up with your chiropractor as instructed.
What You Can Do
Practice good posture whether you are sitting, standing, or lying down. This means keeping your ears, shoulders, and hips in line. Talk with your chiropractor about simple exercises you can do to relax your neck. Also, learn techniques to manage stress. This can reduce muscle tension and help prevent neck problems.
Caring for Neck
A healthy neck is strong, flexible, and pain-free. It helps support the head and protect the spinal cord. But injury, aging, or repeated stress from poor posture or overuse can damage the neck. Pain often results. Neck muscles can become tight or overstretched. Nearby joints, bones, and nerves can also be affected. Chiropractic can treat stiffness and strain, and joint and nerve problems by aligning the spine. This helps relieve pain and restore movement in your neck.
Your Chiropractic Evaluation
Your chiropractor evaluates you to learn more about your neck problem. Imaging tests, such as an x-ray or MRI, may be done.
You’re asked about your pain and symptoms. You’re also asked about what triggers your headaches. This can include emotional stress, certain foods and drinks, or poor sleeping habits. Mention past injuries or treatments, and whether you have other health problems. Also, tell your chiropractor about your daily activities such as work or exercise.
Your chiropractor examines your neck and checks the alignment of your spine. This helps locate areas of pain, stiffness, muscle spasm, and limited movement. Your posture, muscle strength, flexibility, and reflexes are also checked.
Your Treatment Plan
Your chiropractor works with you to create a treatment program that meets your needs. This likely includes a hands-on technique called manipulation. Other treatment methods also help. In addition, you’re taught ways to protect and care for your neck.
Manipulation (also called adjustment) improves joint flexibility and spinal alignment. During manipulation, your chiropractor carefully applies pressure to affected areas of the spine. Manipulation for neck pain can free up neck movement and help you hold your neck up better..
The following treatments may also be used to manage your neck problem:
- Heat to relax muscles and ice to reduce swelling.
- Trigger point therapy to reduce tension and pain in tight muscles.
- Massage, ultrasound, and muscle stimulation to relax muscles, reduce muscle spasm, and improve blood flow.
- Stretching and strengthening exercises to improve muscle strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
- Traction for joint flexibility and disc health.