Neck pain is a common issue caused by various factors, such as problems with:
- Neck muscles
Addressing neck pain immediately is essential to prevent further issues or complications. Left untreated, neck pain can lead to long-term discomfort and potentially severe health issues. A chiropractor is often the best option for care, as they can properly diagnose and treat the root cause of the pain rather than continually chase symptoms.
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How Our Neck Pain Care Plan Works
1. Get To The Root Cause Of The Problem
We’re not interested in temporary solutions, we want to address the underlying issue for long-term relief. We’ll take the time to listen to your story and conduct a thorough exam to get to the root cause of your neck pain.
2. Receive A Plan Based On Your Goals And Our Findings
No two people experience the same issue in the same way. That’s why we use your health goals and our exam findings as the guideposts to design an action plan that is unique to you.
3. Live Your Best Life
Having control over your health will unleash your full potential. You’ll no longer be held back from doing what you need, want, and love to do. Without physical limitations or emotional worry, you can be the blessing to your friends and family.
Common Causes of Neck Pain in Wheaton, IL
Bulged Cervical Discs
A cervical disc is a small round cushion between the neck vertebrae. Some individuals suffer from bulged or herniated cervical discs, common spinal conditions requiring chiropractic care. These conditions occur when the tough outer covering of the discs breaks down, allowing the soft gel-like center to bulge out and pinch a nerve or sensitive area in your spine. Injuries, repetitive physical strain, excess weight, and poor posture are some of the causes of bulging discs.
Herniated Cervical Discs
Herniated cervical discs occur similarly to bulged discs, except for one key difference. In herniated cervical discs, the disc’s outer layer does not break down but instead tears completely. This allows the disc’s soft center to push through and press against a nearby nerve or sensitive area. Herniated discs can cause extreme pain radiating from your neck into your shoulders and arms. If left untreated, they may also cause broad-based weakness in your fingers, hands, and feet.
Spinal stenosis is a condition that causes your spinal column to narrow and press on the nerve roots that travel through the column. Stenosis is usually the result of natural aging, but injuries and other trauma can also exacerbate it. As the spinal canal gets smaller, spinal nerves are more easily pinched, causing neck pain that typically radiates into your arms. The pain can be sharp, burning, or even tingling. You may also have numbness or weakness in your fingers or hands.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease is a common spinal condition when the discs between your vertebrae deteriorate over time. It is more common as you age; many people develop it in their late 50s or 60s. As the discs begin deteriorating, they become smaller and thinner. This allows them to bulge outward, pinch nearby nerves and cause radiating pain down your arms. In severe cases of degenerative disc disease, the joint spaces can also narrow and press on the spinal cord or nerve roots.
Usually related to neck pain, muscle strain occurs when the neck muscles or ligaments become overstretched or injured. This can occur from repetitive physical activities such as driving, exercising, and typing on the computer. It can also develop after a single traumatic incident, such as a fall or car accident, in which the neck muscles are strained in some manner. Muscle strain can lead to pinched nerves and cause radiating pain that travels down your arms into your fingers.
Tech neck, or computer neck, is a relatively new condition caused by spending too much time hunched over your computer or staring down at your phone. It is usually characterized by muscle soreness and tightness in the back of your neck and upper shoulders. These symptoms can also be accompanied by headache pain that radiates down both arms, your hands, or even the back of your head. Tech neck can completely alter the structure of your cervical spine and gravely affect your posture.
Facet Joint Dysfunction
A facet joint is a small bony knob on the corner of each spinal joint. Any damage to the facet joints can cause pain that moves down your arms, hands, fingers, head, and back.
This condition occurs when one vertebra in your neck becomes misaligned. This causes the nerves and muscles to be pinched and damaged, which can lead to a variety of symptoms, including the following.
- Severe pain in the front and back of your neck
- Tingling or numbness to your fingers, hands, or arms
- Weakness in your fingers, hands, and arms
- Frequent headaches or migraines
This condition occurs most often in older adults and is usually characterized by joint degeneration and a breakdown of the cartilage lining. Osteoarthritis has been known to cause neck pain, shoulder pain, spinal stenosis, spondylolisthesis, and other spinal conditions requiring chiropractic treatment.
This is one of the most common causes of neck pain in individuals who have been in car accidents, especially when the accident involves a sudden stop or collision. Whiplash can also occur in minor accidents, such as when there is a sudden change in the direction of your head and neck. It typically occurs when the neck muscles and joints become stretched and injured to some degree. It can also cause severe symptoms like muscle spasms, tension headaches, and pain that moves down into your arms.
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How We Treat Neck Pain in Wheaton, IL
Different courses of treatment can help to treat neck pain. Each case is unique, and a professional chiropractor will assess the situation and determine the best course of action. There are different approaches and treatment types available, including the following:
Comprehensive Consultation and Exam
If you’re experiencing neck pain, a chiropractor will conduct a comprehensive exam of your spine and nerves. This includes a detailed consultation to evaluate your overall health and medical history. They may also inquire about your diet and lifestyle habits, including whether or not you exercise and do other activities. They will also examine your neck for any signs of muscle spasms or tenderness that may indicate more serious issues.
If your chiropractor suspects any underlying issues in the bones or joints of your neck, they may prescribe digital X-rays for further evaluation. This imaging tool uses low-radiation levels to reveal any problems in the bones. X-rays are commonly used to detect any spine misalignment, fractures, or other abnormalities.
Specific Chiropractic Care in Wheaton, IL
Chiropractic’s go-to tool to relieve neck pain is the chiropractic adjustment. This includes a variety of techniques to help clear any misaligned vertebrae, as well as unstiffen the joints in the neck. Misaligned vertebrae can interfere with nerve function, leading to neck pain and issues in the shoulders, arms, jaw, and face. Spinal manipulation helps align vertebrae in the neck and promotes greater joint mobility. Combined, these methods can address the underlying causes and relieve neck pain.
Custom Therapeutic Exercise Plan
We will craft a custom exercise plan to strengthen and stabilize the proper spinal structure in your neck. This will include various exercises that help gently stretch the muscles in your neck and strengthen and improve your overall mobility of the joints. Combined with other treatment options, this can be beneficial in treating your neck pain and helps your body hold adjustments longer.
Massage Therapy and Soft Tissue Work
Muscle tension is a common cause of neck pain. Soft tissue work, traction, and massage can help alleviate muscle spasms and pain. Tension may result from altered spinal structure causing some muscles to work harder than they should. Relieving adhesions can help restore balance to the musculoskeletal system. If you have muscle spasms and tension in your neck, the professional will try to relax these muscles, making them less likely to cause further issues. They also may use heated massage oils or other moisturizing substances to help relax the muscles to be more easily treated.
Deep Tissue Laser
Deep tissue laser stimulates healing at the cellular level. Using low-energy light, laser can break up scar tissue and reduce inflammation. The light also activates the mitochondria in your cells to accelerate healing. This makes it an excellent neck pain treatment, relieving neck pain and speeding up your recovery.
Cervical Spinal Decompression
Spinal decompression uses traction and gentle force to decompress the cervical spinal discs. By relieving pressure on bulged or herniated cervical discs, the chiropractor can help improve the spacing between your vertebrae, ease nerve pain, and allow the discs to rehydrate and heal.
A chiropractor may recommend nutritional supplementation to help you relieve your neck pain. An anti-inflammatory diet, including Omega-3 oils, green tea extracts, magnesium, and glucosamine, is crucial for overall health, especially when your body is trying to heal from an injury. A natural wellness chiropractor can also help you identify deficiencies in your diet and determine if vitamin or mineral supplements are necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions
When Should You See a Chiropractor for Neck Pain?
Pain is common, but it is not normal. It is the body warning you of a deeper problem. A chiropractor can evaluate your pain, determine the underlying cause, and craft an effective, natural neck pain treatment with long-term, lasting results. Seeking care immediately will keep the issue from progressing and becoming more difficult to manage and treat.
Do Medical Doctors Recommend Chiropractors for Neck Pain?
A medical doctor can diagnose and treat neck pain, but if your condition is severe or causes severe symptoms, they may recommend you see a chiropractor. A chiropractor is a specialist and can better treat neck pain because they mostly use natural techniques and therapies. Medical doctors use medications, surgery, or other techniques to relieve neck pain, whereas a skilled chiropractor uses non-invasive methods that work with the body’s natural healing responses.
Are Chiropractors Covered by Insurance for Neck Pain?
Yes, chiropractic care is often covered by insurance for neck pain. Many insurance plans, including Medicare, cover chiropractic care for neck pain and other musculoskeletal conditions. However, it’s essential to check with your insurance provider to see what your plan covers and confirm that the chiropractor you visit is in-network.
How Can You Tell if Your Neck Is Out of Alignment?
There are several signs that your neck may be out of alignment.
- Neck pain or discomfort that doesn’t seem to be related to a specific injury or strain
- Cervical misalignments can cause headaches, especially if the headache feels like it’s coming from the base of your skull
- Limited range of motion or difficulty turning your head or tilting it to the side
- Shoulder pain
- Numbness or tingling in the arms or hands
It’s important to note that other conditions can also cause these symptoms, so if you are experiencing them, it’s a good idea to consult a healthcare provider to determine the cause.
Is It Okay to Pop My Own Neck?
No. Popping your neck may make you feel better temporarily, but it’s not a good idea and can cause more harm than good. The first reason it’s not recommended is that it doesn’t treat the underlying cause of your neck pain. If there is nerve damage or pinched discs, popping your neck won’t fix the problem. The best way to treat neck pain is to see a chiropractor for an evaluation and treatment plan.