If you stop and really think about the mechanics of your neck, you will realize that it makes sense that it would be easily injured. Your neck is very flexible, and is usually involved in most movements you make. It also has very minimal muscle support, yet it has to support the whole fourteen to sixteen pounds of your head. A good description would be that of a bowling ball being supported by a narrow stick. Dealing with neck issues can sometimes be relieved by home remedies and relaxation, but others need the help of a professional. If you are dealing with neck pain and cannot get relief, call our Greenville office today. Greenville Chiropractor will help you with your neck and back pain issues.
It is important to remember that your spinal cord runs inside a space in the center of the vertebrae, which keeps it protected from harm. There are large bundles of nerves running out from the middle space between each pair of vertebrae. There nerve impulses are sent to every part of your body. From your cervical vertebrae, your arms receive impulses and some of these impulse occur in your upper back as well. So it makes sense that sometimes the pain in your arms, such as tingling, coldness, aching, or numbness may be referred from the neck. Often times, those dealing with neck problems may mistake their pain and symptoms as that of carpal tunnel syndrome. Neck problems often lead to headaches, shoulder and upper back muscular spasms, and ear issues. Many people with neck pain also suffer from tinnitus or the ringing of their ears. Also temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) is a common problem associated with neck pain. Many neck issues also show up in the upper back, since the majority of muscles originate there.
Causes of Neck Pain and Upper Back Pain
Most instances of neck and upper back pain are the results of many factors. An injury could be a combination of mental stress, poor posture, subluxations (misaligned vertebrae), or disc problems. Injuries that are common to the neck are whiplash or the sudden whipping motion of the head due to an accident. This is most often associated with auto accidents, but it can occur while playing sports, or any other time the head suffers this whipping motion. When this occurs the support muscles, connective tissues, and ligaments in the neck and upper back are damaged. The totality of these whipping effects may not be felt for weeks or even months after the accident. This way it is crucial for anyone who suspects they may have suffered whiplash to be very careful not to aggravate it. A professional assessment should be performed by a chiropractor, to determine if treatment is needed to minimize the effects and possibly prevent permanent damage.
Poor posture is another leading cause of neck pain and it can also be linked to headaches. Unlike the effects of a sudden injury, where you know exactly what happened, poor posture occurs over a period of time. Everyday activities such as laying in bed can create pain and further issues down the road. It is best to try and keep your neck in a neutral position if possible. Try to avoid slumping or hunching the neck or remaining in the same position for too long. Ideally your head should be kept in a neutral position, with your back supported and knees slightly lower than your hips.
Subluxations are very common in the upper back and neck area. Usually subluxations are in four main areas. The top of the cervical spine where it meets the head, the middle of the spine which holds the most weight, the transition space between the cervical and thoracic areas of the spine, and lastly, the middle of the thoracic spine which holds most of the upper body weight. Checking for subluxations can start at home, on your own. If you look in the mirror and your head is tilted or if your shoulders are not level with one another then you are more than likely dealing with subluxations. Have someone else to look at you from side to side and see how your head sits on your shoulders. Subluxations need to be fixed as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the stress over time on your body may make for worse pain and more subluxations.
Emotional and mental stress can cause your muscles to tense up, especially those in your neck and back. This tension, or muscle guarding is a primitive survival response to avoid massive injury, but in turn causes an injury when tension remains for an extended period of time. If you squeeze your upper back muscles, the trapezius, and you wince in pain, your muscles are tight. Exercising deep breathing and relaxation skills are useful for dealing with stress.
Herniated discs put pressure on the nerves that exit the spine through that area. Lumbar discs are more susceptible to herniating than that of cervical discs. Trauma such as whiplash can create a herniated cervical disc problem. Consulting with your chiropractor should be in order if you are experiencing any upper back or neck pain that is not resolved quickly.
How to Relieve Neck Pain and Upper Back Pain
At Greenville Chiropractic, we use a combination of traditional and natural therapies to help our patients receive the best of both types of healthcare. We do our best to relieve the inflamed, injured tissues of the body and spine, and continue to help you throughout the rehabilitation process. We want our patients to have a much healthier spine overall. You would be surprised by the countless benefits of a healthy spine and how far they range in the health spectrum. Chiropractic care has been the leading natural, non-invasive approach to treating chronic pain of spinal conditions for over 115 years. As this field of medicine changes, Greenville Chiropractic continues to stay up to date on the newest and most effective treatments for spinal, back and neck pain management and treatment. Chiropractic treatment adjustments are given to relieve the pressure placed on the nerves, and relief is generally noticed almost instantly. We get great joy in seeing our patients pain relieved and watching their growth through treatments and rehabilitation. Call our office today to set up an appointment, and find yourself some actual relief that is safe and effective.