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Neck Pain And Its Causes
By Dr. Heath Gallentine, DC
You might feel a click from some part of your neck when you wake up, or perhaps you find it difficult to move to one side. Other times you can't even get to do what you need to do for the day because of a burning or shooting pain from your neck running down to your arms or back. Perhaps each one of us has experienced neck pain once or too many in our lives. Whichever symptoms you may have felt, they will all tell you one thing - neck pain is not just any ordinary pain that can easily be figured out. It is but one part with a collection of complexities in terms of what causes it to hurt, and how to treat and manage it.
To better decide which approach or regime to utilize, it is always wise to determine the underlying cause of the neck pain. Ultimately, knowing the root of the problem will consequently lead us to planning the appropriate treatment options.
Tension. This isn't unfamiliar to those who work round the clock most of their lives, or to the construction workers, office employees, or even the stay-at-home moms tending to their children and keeping up with the house chores at the same time. Stress, overuse, and emotional and physical tension are major factors that lead to a muscle strain and sprain in the neck. Most often than not, sitting for long periods of time or in a slouched position can also cause a burning pain that stretches into the entire back. For the moms, too much bending and improper shift in positions may strain the muscles of the neck and back. Untreated tension from muscle strain and overuse precedes neck pain and spinal misalignment.
Age. It may be true that "age is but a number", but apparently along with the number is the potential risk for long term neck pain due to osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease. They may appear, in some people, inevitably, because of heredity or familial tendencies. Other risk factors associated with age are loss of flexibility and elasticity of the spine. Stenosis, on the other hand, occurs as a result of loss of nerve function due to impingement. These disorders have different mechanisms but may all lead to neck, arm, and shoulder pain.
Injury. Whiplash is the most predominant example of an injury that results to severe neck pain. It is a sudden forceful movement of the cervical spine in the forward or backward direction. Neck pain is due to the damage that the whipping action has caused to the supporting tissues of the neck, such as the nerves and the muscles. This further leads to disuse and stiffness.
Several alternative treatments have been formulated and performed to treat, manage, and avoid the deleterious long-term effects of neck pain. Doctors have recommended conservative regimes that do not require people to take medications every time they experience neck pain, and they have been proven and tested to be effective and ultimately not dangerous to one's health. These are acupuncture, massage, yoga and pilates, and chiropractic care.
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Lexington Family Chiropractic
131 Prosperous Pl #15
Lexington, KY 40509