At Wellness Plus Clinic we know that neck pain is very common in today’s society; many of us spend hours a day hunched over a computer, workstation, driving, or dealing with physically demanding jobs. These repetitive activities day after day can raise the shoulders out of alignment and over time create muscular imbalances that lead to neck and shoulder pain/tension. These imbalances can be corrected through therapeutic exercise and proper movement patterns but many people do not seek proper aid for their conditions.
Neck pain can start off minor and in some cases can be treated simply with heat/ice, pain relievers, and careful exercise. But in some cases it may be a more serious condition with symptoms of shooting pain and extreme lack of mobility. Numbness and loss of strength in hands and arms can also develop. Along with general neck pain from daily stress and injuries, conditions such as arthritis, herniated disc, and whiplash can add further neck complications.
Neck pain can develop from:
- Repetitive Motion: Constantly sitting at a computer using the mouse and keyboard in a hunched over position or leaning forward in a car while driving hours at a time can lead to neck pain and develop muscle strains from imbalances.
- Muscle Strains: Muscle strains can develop from repetitive motion, quick unexpected movements, even sleeping with the neck in a certain position or talking on the phone for extended periods of time can lead to strains.
- Age: Age contributes to warn out joints, overtime repetitive movement of the joints provides wear and tear, which weaken the joint and may lead to neck pain.
- Herniated Discs: Nerve compression in the neck and back can lead to neck pain and soreness if not properly treated.
- Whiplash: Whiplash is an injury to the muscles and soft tissue of the neck from a sudden jerking or "whipping" of the head. This type of motion strains the muscles and ligaments of the neck beyond their normal range of motion.
- Injuries: Sports injuries, auto accidents, and even exercising improperly can lead to neck pain if too much stress and force is applied to the neck.
Types of Neck Pain
- Axial: Muscuskeletal, soft tissue pain. Caused by whiplash or muscle strain.
- Radiculopathy: A nerve root impingement in the neck can that produce pain and weakness in the forearm.
- Myelopathy: Neck, arm, and leg pain, with weakness numbness or problems walking. Caused by spinal cord compression.
Neck Pain Treatments
Wellness Plus Clinic can relieve your pain with our various treatment protocols. Depending on the severity of your condition as well as the diagnosis of your condition our pain experts will work with you to decide the best treatment to get rid of your neck pain and protect your neck from future conditions. Below is listed some of our neck pain treatments.
- Massage Therapy: Massaging and stretching the muscle can relieve pain and tension in the neck muscles. Massage increases blood flow to the muscles and helps to promote flexibility allowing the neck to function properly. Also over time massage therapy works to bring the neck into proper posture, which will prevent future pain.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture uses a system of trigger and nerve points through out the body to relax the muscles and alleviate pain. This is done working with tiny needles that are applied at the specific nerve points.
- Physical Therapy: Our expert physical therapists will work with you to strengthen and improve neck posture through proper exercise range of motion, resistance training, balance training, which will increase joint mobility and muscle flexibility through corrective exercise and stretching.
- Chiropractic Adjustments: Regular spinal adjustments put the body in correct posture and alignment while helping to relieve muscle strains by allowing the neck to return to normal function.
Tips to Help Prevent Neck Pain
Little changes throughout your day can make big differences in your health and protection against neck pain. A lot of neck pain issues stem from problems with posture, routine activities, and stress, below are some quick tips to help you strengthen and protect your neck.
- Proper Posture: Try to keep you shoulders back, chest forward and stand/sit up straight during the day, slouching or hunching over will strain the neck leading to injury.
- Adjust the Screen: Whether sitting on the couch watching TV, working at your desk on the computer at work, or just lounging in bed looking at a tablet or phone try to put the screen in a position that allows your neck to view comfortably.
- Take Stretch Breaks: If you spend hours in the car or at a desk try to take a few minutes every hour to stand up and relax your body with some quick stretching.
- Avoid Sleeping on your Stomach: Sleeping on the stomach creates stress on the neck and back; try to sleep on your back or side instead to reduce tension.
- Don't Shoulder the Phone: When on a cellphone or home phone try not to tuck the phone between the head and shoulder. This unnatural position creates tension in the neck if held for to long.
- Try Rowing Exercises: Rowing exercises such as seated row and face pulls can help through the shoulders into proper position which will allow the neck to be better supported.
- Pillow Support: A good supportive pillow can help reduce neck and back pain. You spend a lot of time in your bed throughout your life splurge where it counts.
- Watch Your Weight: It may be hard to realize but your weight has a lot of affect on your neck and its position. As you gain weight your body grows, the arms get heavier, and the shoulder blades begin to spread apart. These changes can increase the chance of neck pain.