Neck Pain Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment
So, what causes neck pain, and what can we do to treat this global problem?
Types of Neck Pain
There are many different types of neck pain. The cervical spine (the most upper segments of the spine) creates the neck. Cervical spine pain is often felt in the neck but can radiate into the shoulders and upper back. Types of cervical neck pain include:
- Mechanical neck pain – This type of neck pain comes from the spine and its physical structures (muscles, joints, and connective tissue).
- Neuropathic neck pain – This type of neck pain is derived from the cervical spine’s nerve roots.
- Central neuropathic pain – This type of neck pain is caused by damage or injury to the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).
Causes of Neck Pain
While neck pain is more common as we age, there are many different reasons for neck pain. Neck pain causes include:
- Physical injury or compression – Whiplash (damage to the neck often from motor vehicle accidents where the head and neck and rapidly moved forward and backward) is a common neck pain source. Spinal compression (via herniated spinal discs) is also a common injury that causes neck pain.
- Arthritis – Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that occurs with age. It causes damage and loss of range of motion in joints, resulting in neck pain. Other forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis also cause inflammation and joint pain.
- Other medical conditions – Conditions such as spinal fracture, infections, and neurological diseases can cause neck pain.
- Lifestyle – Lifestyle choices such as carrying excess weight, sitting with poor posture for prolonged periods of time, or being exposed to chronic stress can cause neck pain.
Symptoms of Neck Pain
Common symptoms of neck and spine pain include:
- Neck muscle stiffness
- Limited range of motion of the neck
- Numbness/tingling in the neck or shoulders
- Shooting pains down the arms (in compression-based injuries)
How to Diagnose Neck Pain
If you are experiencing neck pain, you should seek medical attention from your primary care provider or a certified chiropractor. At your appointment, your doctor will:
- Discuss your medical history
- Determine the source of your pain (where, when, history of injuries, etc.)
- Conduct a physical assessment exam
- Possibly order diagnostic imaging (x rays, ultrasounds, CT scan, MRI)
Your treatment plan will be based on the type and causes of neck pain you are experiencing.
Chiropractic Treatment for Neck Pain
If you are experiencing neck pain, chiropractic care is an excellent option for treatment.
Starting with an in-depth assessment of your spine and neck, a chiropractor is an expert in the anatomy of these areas. Your chiropractor will ask you questions about your medical history, medications that you take, and current management strategy for your neck pain.
Your chiropractor will create a personalized neck pain treatment plan to reduce inflammation and pain in your neck from this assessment. Through spinal manipulation, your chiropractor can restore proper joint function and improve the range of motion in your neck. Releasing chronic stress and inflammation is important in neck pain care – and your chiropractor will facilitate this treatment over multiple visits.
Chiropractic care is a fantastic option for treating neck pain, and we would love to help you!
For more information about the benefits of chiropractic care for neck pain, please visit siragusochiropractic.net or call our office at 816-272-3580