Chiropractic Treatments: Neck Pain
Neck pain is usually caused when there is a prolonged or repetitive movement of the neck for an extended period of time. Pain of this kind usually regresses within 4 to 6 weeks. Acute or short term neck pain can be relieved by home remedies like applying ice or heat and over the counter medications. If it is caused due to muscle spasms, the doctor may prescribe stronger medications to cope with the pain. Neck pain can be treated effectively by using manual therapy, mobilization and manipulation. This can be done with the help of a physiotherapist or a chiropractor. Stretching and strengthening muscles can help with regressing the pain. Also, the use of a cervical collar to support the neck can also reduce the pain, but should be used only for a day or two. The treatment approach by a chiropractor for neck pain is discussed below in this article.
Treatment of neck pain by a chiropractor: Various neck conditions such as the cervical inter vertebral disc injuries, cervical sprain injuries, degenerative joint syndrome of the neck, whiplash, facet joint pain and many other conditions which do not require surgery can be treated effectively by a chiropractor. The chiropractor treats the spine as a whole and gives proper guidelines regarding nutrition, lifestyle goals, stress management and many others along with the treatment, so that the treatment will be for the whole person and not only the condition.
Diagnosis: The chiropractor initially makes a thorough diagnosis of the condition before proceeding on to the treatment. Proper assessment is made regarding any areas of restricted movements and changes in the overall posture and alignment. Along with the physical examination, a thorough medical history and imaging tests such as x-rays and MRIs are undertaken for making a complete diagnosis.
Treatment for neck pain: Based on the diagnosis, if the Chiropractor feels the situation is best treated with surgery, then he may refer the patient to a spine surgeon. In other cases, a combination of spinal manipulation and manual therapy is enough for good improvement in the condition.
Some of the spinal manipulation techniques include:
- Flexion distraction technique
- Instrument assisted manipulation
- Specific spinal manipulation
Some examples for the manual therapies include:
- Instrument assisted soft tissue therapy
- Manual joint stretching and resistance techniques
- Therapeutic massage
- Trigger point therapy
Apart from these, electrical stimulation and ultrasound can also be used to relieve the pain. Therapeutic exercises can also be used to improve the motion of the neck and to keep the pain from progressing. Proper consultation with a Chiropractor can give a detailed idea of various treatment options available for the treatment of neck pain.