While there are several things you can do at home to help relieve your neck pain, it’s important to know when it’s time to see a chiropractor for neck pain.
Chiropractors often treat neck pain. After a physical, neurological and orthopaedic exam , they can help to restore motion to stiff joints through a chiropractic treatment plan that usually includes chiropractic adjustments, specific neck exercises and physiotherapy.
See a chiropractor for neck pain if…
- Your neck pain or stiffness does not improve after a few days
- You cannot look to the right or left without severe neck pain
- You feel like you must use over-the-counter pain medications just to make it through the day and are using it regularly to treat your neck pain
- You’re worried that your neck pain may have a serious cause
- Your neck pain started in the neck but has moved to numbness or tingling in your hands or wrists
- Your neck pain started within a few days of a car accident
- Your neck pain is worse when you first wake up in the morning but then begins to feel a little better as the day progresses
Your chiropractor will conduct a thorough consultation and examination – asking you questions about your symptoms, the history of your neck pain, what types of movement make it worse and which things make it feel better.
During the exam your chiropractor will check to see how well you move your neck. He will look for tenderness or numbness and tingling in your arms or hands.
Seeing your chiropractor for neck pain is always a good choice if you are aware of a specific movement (abnormal motion) that resulted in neck pain such as lifting, falling or a whiplash injury.
Injuries resulting from abnormal motion often cause muscles to become overextended and the vertebra in our neck to shift out of alignment.
Through chiropractic therapy your chiropractor can re-align your vertebra and restore normal motion in your neck.
What Causes Neck Pain?
Your neck is made up of vertebrae, and between each of the vertebra are nerves and discs (gel-like pillows that provide a cushion between each vertebrae).
If one or more of your vertebra shift out of alignment, they can crowd or “pinch” the nerves that run between them causing neck pain.
Vertebrae Can Shift Out of Alignment When…
- You consistently have poor posture (such as sitting hunched over your phone all day)
- Your neck is stuck in an awkward position for a long period of time (such as painting your ceiling)
- You continually sleep on your stomach or use a flat pillow
- Your neck is forced beyond it’s normal range of motion (like if you fall off a ladder or get whiplash from a car accident)