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The neck is composed of a series of bones (or vertebrae), spongy discs, muscles, nerves and other structures, all of which must act in unison to help the neck turn, twist and supports the weight of the head. At the most flexible area of your spine, your neck is subjected to lots of strain and stress throughout the day, and problems affecting any of these individual structures can cause considerable pain, as well as related symptoms like headaches, shoulder pain, and numbness in the arms and hands.
As a top chiropractor for neck pain in Los Altos, Dr. Mary Reimer is skilled at identifying the cause of symptoms so neck pain treatment can be more targeted and more effective. If you’re having neck pain, here’s what you should know.
While some types of neck pain can be related to underlying spine conditions like arthritis and scoliosis, most neck pain has other causes, like:
Poor posture and “text neck”: One of the most common causes of chronic neck pain today, poor posture places an uneven strain on your neck muscles, tugging at the vertebrae and resulting in soft tissue damage, nerve impingement and irritation inside the neck joints and in the tissue that support the neck. The most common causes of this type of neck pain: Spending a lot of time bent over a computer or smartphone at work, school or during your “off” time.
Whiplash: Most people associate whiplash with auto accidents, but it can be caused by any injury that causes your neck and head to “jolt” or snaps back and forth suddenly, including slip-and-fall accidents and sports injuries. The back-and-forth motion tears at the nerves and soft tissues, and even a seemingly minor accident can cause pain and related symptoms like arm numbness and headaches.
Heavy lifting: Like any muscle strain, lifting with your shoulders or carrying a heavy backpack or bag places a lot of stress on your neck. Over time, your neck joints can slip out of alignment, resulting in nerve irritation and pain that may extend to the shoulders and upper back.
Repetitive activities, including some sports: These activities place a continual strain on the neck joints, irritating soft tissues while also moving the vertebrae or discs out of alignment so the nerves in the upper spine become irritated.
At Reimer Wellness Center, neck pain treatment begins with a thorough exam of your neck to pinpoint the source of your symptoms. In addition to a skilled hands-on evaluation, Dr. Reimer may order X-rays or other imaging studies to obtain more detailed information about your spine. Once the cause of your pain has been diagnosed, treatment may include:
chiropractic adjustments to gently coax the spine bones and joints back into proper alignment, relieving nerve irritation caused by bulging discs
massage therapy to promote circulation and natural healing in the neck and surrounding tissues
Graston therapy, which relies on special instruments to gently manipulate soft tissue and relieve painful nerve irritation and inflammation
Cox flexion to relieve pain and nerve irritation associated with herniated discs
Neck pain can have a serious impact on your health and on your overall quality of life, and without skilled medical care, your symptoms can become much worse over time. Take that first step toward relieving your painful symptoms. Call Reimer Wellness Center at 650-492-6067 and schedule a consultation visit today.