Neck pain can have several causes. If the patient with neck pain is very young, the cause is usually some sort of trauma such as falling, and hitting the head, or any sort of youthful activity. Usually a treatment regimen of two or three chiropractic spinal adjustments are all that is necessary. Children heal very quickly, especially when receiving chiropractic adjustments.
In patients that are in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s I look not only for trauma such as that caused by sports injuries but also postural causes. These would include a person’s posture while spending many hours in front of a computer, or cradling the telephone between the ear and the shoulder, or driving a vehicle where the seat is not right. The list is long. A common complication of this cause of neck pain is pain, numbness and tingling down the arms and sometimes into the hands.
More serious complications could also involve muscle weakness. These people will also benefit from chiropractic treatments, but they must take steps to change their posture during the aforementioned activities or they will continue to need treatment. Remember, the definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
Older patients with neck pain, while subject to the above causes, are also examined for arthritic changes in the spine. When the spinal vertebrae degenerate, the spacers between the vertebral bodies called disks lose height. As the vertebral bodies get closer to each other, the body lays down calcium on those bones, and they lose their original shape, becoming squat and flatter.
This upsets the bio-mechanical integrity of the vertebral unit and inflammation sets in. This, over a period of time will result in the depositing of calcium in the joints, then producing the pain, stiffness and the “grinding” they feel when turning their head.
Chiropractic spinal adjustments throughout one’s life can lessen, to a great degree, the ravages of degenerative arthritis over a lifetime. The body’s reaction to inflammation of several decades is to lay down calcium at that area. By taking away the cause of the inflammation through regular chiropractic spinal adjustments, the effects of spinal arthritis can be greatly reduced in one’s later years.
Even though patients may have spines that are moderately to severely degenerated, our chiropractic treatments have been shown to help decrease the pain and stiffness. We find that older people who have a spinal adjustment regularly have much less neck pain and stiffness.