Neck pain refers to pain or stiffness in the neck. You may have limited movement of your neck and moving it may make the pain worse. Sometimes the pain starts in your neck but may spread to your shoulder, arm or your head. You may also feel 'pins and needles' in part of your arm or hand. There are a number of causes of Neck Pain such as poor posture, arthritis, cervical disc (herniation/prolapse/or slipped disc), thoracic outlet syndrome, Cervical Facet Syndrome and whiplash.
The most common cause of Neck Pain is a neck sprain. Neck Sprain is when the ligaments in the neck are over stretched. This causes the fibres in the ligament to tear apart. As a result, inflammatory symptoms start occurring such as pain, redness, stiffness, and heat. Neck sprains tend to hurt more with movement and even when static, a dull ache is still present.
What attributes to neck sprains?
Multiple factors can bring on neck sprains, including:
- Sudden movement of the head
- Traumatic incidents
- Staying in awkward positions for too long
- Repetitive movement
Why Does Chiropractic Work So Well for Neck Sprains?
I’m sure many of us have heard of the phrase, prevention is the best form of treatment. Chiropractic works so well for neck sprains because it helps strengthen the spine in the first place. This means that you are less susceptible to injure your neck. Additionally, if you have sprained your neck, your joints will have locked up. By creating movement in the joint as soon as possible in the safest way, it allows for healing to occur faster as your body will be able to strengthen quickly from the inside.
So How Does This All Happen?
When your joints (any joint) are misaligned, they cannot move correctly. When a joint does not move correctly, the stabilising muscles that support that joint become lazy and weak and the nerve connection to those muscles diminish as it’s not getting used much.
It’s use it or lose it for the body, brain and nerve connections and Just like having a cast on your arm or leg, without moving the joints for just 1-2 months you will see a huge reduction of muscle tone and strength and nerve connectivity.
More specific to the spine, without proper movement of the joints and strength of the muscles and ligaments of the spine, the spinal curves lose their most functional shape and instead of acting like springs to distribute everyday forces, all the forces go onto the bones and discs of the spine and cause degeneration, damage/injury and other dysfunctions to occur.
The deep stabilising muscles and their strength and activity are important as when they are not supporting a joint properly a whole host of problems can arise. These muscles keep the joints in their proper position… so when they are weak:
- The joint is not getting any support.
- It’s not in its optimal position.
- Keeps locking up and lacks proper movement.
- The muscles keep getting weaker.
- The cycle keeps getting worse over time.
- Creates damage inside the bones, joints, discs, and nerves
This weakness and instability within the deep stabilising muscles also create tightness and stiffness in and around the bigger muscles around the body such as the neck, chest, shoulders, lower back, buttock, and even arms and legs, creating a whole chain of improper movement and stress through the body.