Neck Pain and Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic Care of Neck Pain
When you visit our office complaining of neck pain, we will perform exams to locate the source of your pain and will ask you questions about your current symptoms and remedies you may have already tried. For example:
When did the pain start?
What have you done for your neck pain?
Does the pain radiate or travel to other parts of your body?
Does anything reduce the pain or make it worse?
We will also do physical and neurological exams. In the physical exam, we will observe your posture, range of motion, and physical condition, noting movement that causes pain. We will feel your spine, note its curvature and alignment, and feel for muscle spasm. A check of your shoulder area is also in order. During the neurological exam, we will test your reflexes, muscle strength, other nerve changes, and pain spread.
In some instances, we might order tests to help diagnose your condition. An x-ray can show narrowed disc space, fractures, bone spurs, or arthritis. A computerized axial tomography scan (a CT or CAT scan) or a magnetic resonance imaging test (an MRI) can show bulging discs and herniations. If nerve damage is suspected,we may order a special test called electromyography (an EMG) to measure how quickly your nerves respond.
Chiropractors are conservative care doctors; our scope of practice does not include the use of drugs or surgery. If we diagnose a condition outside of this conservative scope, such as a neck fracture or an indication of an organic disease, we will refer you to the appropriate medical physician or specialist. We may also ask for permission to inform your family physician of the care you are receiving to ensure that your chiropractic care and medical care are properly coordinated.
A neck adjustment (also known as cervical manipulation) is a precise procedure applied to the joints of the neck, usually by hand. A neck adjustment works to improve the mobility of the spine and to restore range of motion; it can also increase movement of the adjoining muscles. Patients typically notice an improved ability to turn and tilt the head, and a reduction of pain, soreness, and stiffness.
Of course, we will develop a program of care that may combine more than one type of treatment, depending on your personal needs. In addition to manipulation, the treatment plan may include mobilization, massage or rehabilitative exercises, or something else.
Research Supporting Chiropractic Care
One of the most recent reviews of scientific literature found evidence that patients with chronic neck pain enrolled in clinical trials reported significant improvement following chiropractic spinal manipulation.
As part of the literature review, published in the March/April 2007 issue of the Journal of
Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, the researchers reviewed nine previously published trials and found “high-quality evidence” that patients with chronic neck pain showed significant pain-level improvements following spinal manipulation. No trial group was reported as having remained unchanged, and all groups showed positive changes up to 12 weeks post-treatment.
Let us help you with your neck pain. Call us today 256 494 8690.