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Symptom of the Week: Neck Pain

Neck pain can be sudden and can occur in everyday situations without warning, or a pain that is there all the time.

The key strategy with a neck complaint is to work out where the pain is originating from. In order to determine this we establish the history of the complaint and then undertake a thorough physical examination, which includes postural analysis with orthopaedic and neurological tests, and a scan of the spine to show any imbalances.

So where do most neck pains originate from?

Neck problems can be caused by anything from trauma, to stress, to poor posture which can result in imbalances in the spine. When damage occurs to a joint, pressure may build onto the spinal nerves. People often refer to this pain as a ‘trapped nerve.’ The nerve may give pain signals localised to a specific area in the neck but in other cases may result in the referring symptoms in other areas. Some people may experience shooting pains in the arms, pins and needles in their hands, or even headaches.

Where the nerves along the cervical spine lead to

How can Chiropractic help with neck pain?

Chiropractic treatment for a neck complaint aims to relieve pressure from the neck joints. This is done through specific spinal adjustments, stretching and mobilisation techniques. Chiropractic enables optimal biomechanical function to be restored to the spine. This relieves pressure placed upon the nerves and soft tissues, thus helping to correct postural alignment and reduce the symptoms being experienced.

Here are a few tips that can help reduce the risk of neck problems:

• Look at your work station: sit straight and rest your arms and hands comfortably on an arm rest or table. If you sit in front of a computer a lot then your computer should be directly in front of you at eye level.

• Bed and Pillow: buy a comfortable pillow that allows your neck to be supported when you sleep, the neck should be level with your spine not tilting up or down. Invest in a good quality mattress.

• Sleep position: do not sleep on your front.

• Training: movement and training are always important for preventing musculoskeletal problems, however wrong training positions can also be the cause of neck pain. A chiropractor can give you advice on what not to do and exercises that can strengthen up the neck muscles.

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