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How Is Neck Pain Treated by a Chiropractor?

Learn about chiropractic care for neck pain from Dr. Karen Erickson in this Howcast video.


Neck pain is treated very successfully by chiropractic care, and we see a lot of neck pain in our offices these days. There are many things that we do in our day-to-day life, whether it be carrying heavy handbags on our shoulders, spending hours at a computer, or using handheld devices. Even sports injuries, even the pillow you use at night can contribute to neck pain. Your chiropractor will carefully examine your entire musculoskeletal system with particular attention to your neck. The traditional chiropractic technique involves a very specific manipulation of a particular vertebra. It's a very specific, gentle applied force to the vertebra to restore its motion, its position, which will reduce nerve interference, muscle spasm, and inflammation.

You may hear a release sound when that adjustment is given. Particularly because it's close to your ears. It may sound a little bit louder to you than other adjustments, but there's usually no pain associated with these adjustments. And most patients report that they feel enormous relief right after the adjustment. Some of the non-force techniques that chiropractors use may be gentle stretching, sometimes stair-stepping where manually each vertebra is put through a very slow range of motion. There are also traction techniques that are used and muscle therapy techniques that are used, including massage, trigger point therapy, and myofascial release, all very effective at helping restore normal function to your neck.

Neck pain can be quite serious, and your chiropractor may order additional tests, like MRIs or x-rays or EMGs to specifically diagnose what's causing your neck pain. In my practice, I notice that many people come in not specifically complaining of neck pain, but when we put them through range of motion, we noticed that there's a lot of tenderness in their neck that they weren't even aware of. And I think a lot of us live with neck pain and stiffness, sort of a low-grade soreness that we think is normal. But it's actually not normal.

So I encourage you, if you're having severe pain or just mild neck stiffness, to see a chiropractor and have yourself evaluated and adjusted. You'll be glad you did.

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