The effects of a crash may warrant a visit to a chiropractic care facility. A medical doctor may recommend seeking the services of a chiropractor to help the body recover from injuries and pain that result from a vehicle accident. The processes used and frequency of treatment are determined after a consultation. Not all therapy…
How a Chiropractor can Help a Stiff Neck
As a master of the spine, a chiropractor may be a good choice for treating neck pain. Stiffness of the neck is one of the most common ailments in today's society since so many situations can cause it. Sitting at a computer desk all day, sleeping wrong at night, car accidents or even moving the neck too suddenly in the wrong direction can all result in neck stiffness. If you live with neck discomfort — chronic or not — know that a chiropractic practitioner can help.
What causes neck pain and when to see a chiropractor
Neck pain is typically the result of one of two conditions: A pinched nerve or whiplash. A pinched nerve occurs when one or more vertebrae shift out of alignment and literally "pinch" the nerve in the neck. Vertebrae may shift out of alignment for any number of reasons. For instance, poor posture, sitting in an awkward position for too long, forcing the neck out of its normal range of motion or continually sleeping on the stomach without a pillow can all cause the vertebrae to move and pinch the nerve.
Another cause of neck pain is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the neck moves back-and-forth in a rapid, whip-like motion, hence the name. The sudden and forceful movement overstretches the neck and causes the tendons and ligaments within it to tear.
A chiropractor can help treat both a pinched nerve and whiplash. Below are a few instances in which a person should visit the nearest Doctor of Chiropractic for help:
- The neck stiffness began a few days after a car accident
- Neck pain and stiffness does not improve within a few days
- Neck stiffness prevents turning the head without experiencing severe pain
- The person begins to rely on over-the-counter pain medications to manage the pain
- The pain begins to cause numbness or tingling in the arms, wrists or hands
In some rare instances, a D.C. may not be able to help with neck discomfort. If the pain causes numbness down to the legs, it may be the result of a spinal cord injury. In this case, a neurosurgeon would be appropriate. If the pain is accompanied by headache, fever or vomiting, it may be a sign of meningitis, a life-threatening condition that requires emergency-room attention.
Chiropractic treatment for neck pain
The common techniques practitioners use to treat neck pain are non-invasive and non-surgical. Most chiropractors will use a combination of techniques and therapies.
Spinal manipulation combines moving and jolting joints, physical therapy and massage to reduce inflammation and relieve the pressure on joints. Ultimately, it is designed to improve nerve function.
Flexion distraction technique
Flexion distraction involves placing pressure on the spine to reduce inflammation and resolve disc herniations and bulges. This is a hands-on approach that does not involve the use of surgery.
Some people's conditions are so severe they require the use of handheld instruments, which the chiropractor uses to apply force to the spine without thrusting. Other interventions may also accompany these treatments.
Neck stiffness and pain can be debilitating. For this reason, individuals who live with it should talk to a chiropractor to learn more about available therapy.
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