Welcome to the Family Chiropractic & Massage blog! Here, we will discuss anything and everything that has to do with chiropractic care and wellness. We will share helpful information and hopefully answer any questions you have through our articles. We are a chiropractic clinic that began in 1997 and has since grown to locations in North Charleston, Summerville, and Moncks Corner, South Carolina. We are dedicated to providing tailored care and treatment with traditional and new techniques to help our patients reach their wellness goals. We treat a variety of conditions including neck pain, back pain, injuries, sciatica, scoliosis, and more. Besides chiropractic care, we also offer physiotherapeutic care, rehabilitative care, and massage therapy. Our licensed massage therapist offers all types of massage from deep tissue to compression massage and more. We are strong believers in natural healing! Check out our website to find out more information about the services and care we offer, and contact us today to schedule an appointment with our experienced doctors!

Our last post discussed healthy eating and how to get in the habit of doing it. We all know that a diet is good for us, but it might come as a surprise that nutrition and chiropractic care go hand in hand. We know that it can be difficult to start eating healthier, especially if you don’t know where to start– so we discussed some of our best tips for getting started with healthy eating. We talked about strategies like creating a shopping list, increasing protein intake, eating whole foods, and more! If you are interested in learning more, check out our last post!

Today, we’ll be talking about neck pain, its possible causes, as well as treatments. Neck pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders– In fact, about 1 in 3 people are affected by neck pain once a year, with women being more affected than men. The chance of developing and experiencing neck pain increases as you age. With that being said, it is likely that you have experienced or will experience neck pain at some point in your life. It is important to understand the potential causes of this pain, as well as what can be done to relieve or manage symptoms. If you are interested in learning more, you’re in the right place. Let’s get started!

The neck is the part of the body that separates the head from the torso. It is made up of vertebrae and provides mobility and support. Just like most other parts of the body, the neck also contains ligaments, muscles, and bones–  so if any of these areas are inflamed or injured, it can result in pain or stiffness. Generally speaking, there are two types of neck pain: acute and chronic. Acute pain typically lasts anywhere from a few days to 6 weeks, while chronic pain lasts anywhere from three months to several years. People with neck pain may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Stiff neck with decreased range of motion
  • Persistent ache 
  • Sharp or “stabbing” pain that is localized to one area of the neck
  • Pain or numbness that radiates to the shoulder or arms
  • Headache or migraine
  • Pain that worsens with movement

These are just a few of the most common symptoms associated with neck pain. Some people also report symptoms such as burning or increased tightening of the muscles in the neck. Symptoms can last from days to years depending on the cause. So, what exactly causes neck pain? There are actually a variety of causes. Let’s take a look at some of the common causes.

  • Muscle tension or strain: This is one of the most common causes of neck pain. It can happen due to poor posture or overuse, such as sitting hunched over at a computer for prolonged periods. It can also be triggered by sleeping with your neck in a bad position, or by activities such as reading in bed or gritting your teeth.
  • Injury: Because of the neck’s extensive range of motion, it is very susceptible to injury. The most common causes of neck injuries are car accidents, falls, and sports. During these incidents, the muscles and ligaments in the neck are forced to move outside of their normal range, resulting in straining. This is especially common in rear-end car accidents, where the neck is jerked forward, resulting in whiplash.
  • Nerve compression: This is sometimes known as a “pinched nerve” and it can result from herniated discs or bone spurs in the vertebrae in the neck pressing on nerves.

Other conditions or disorders can cause neck pain as well. This includes fibromyalgia, which is a chronic condition that causes pain throughout the body. It can also include rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, which are types of arthritis that can cause pain or swelling of the joints. No matter what the cause of your neck pain is, there are ways that you can relieve and/or manage symptoms. Typically, a doctor or chiropractor will use diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays, to determine the cause of your neck pain. From there, a treatment plan can be established. Many people try to treat neck pain with over-the-counter medications, but this only masks the problem, rather than directly addressing it. If you are looking for a more natural and effective approach to treating neck pain, chiropractic care may be the right choice for you.

Chiropractic care is a healthier alternative for muscle pain and stiffness and promotes natural healing through adjustments. These adjustments help realign vertebrae and joints and improve the overall function of the spine. The neck, scientifically known as the cervical, is the top part of the spine and has seven vertebrae. By using adjustments to align these vertebrae, pain can be minimized or relieved. A chiropractor might recommend other forms of natural treatment, including heat and ice therapy and massage. Therapeutic massage can relax painful muscles, tendons, and joints. It can also help reduce nerve compression. Heat and ice therapy are effective for short-term relief. It can provide relief from muscle aches and spasms, joint stiffness or swelling, and pain. Ice is typically better for acute pain, inflammation, and swelling, while heat is generally used for muscle pain or stiffness. 

Cold therapy is sometimes known as cryotherapy. It reduces blood flow to the affected area, which reduces inflammation and swelling that causes pain, especially around a joint or tendon. Different options for cold therapy include ice packs, frozen gel packs, ice baths, and coolant sprays. If using an ice pack, simply wrap it in a towel and hold it on the affected area. If you do not have an ice pack, you can use a frozen package of vegetables! Cold therapy should be used for short periods of time throughout the day. 

Heat therapy, on the other hand, increases blood flow to the affected area. This can minimize discomfort and improve muscle flexibility, as well as relax and soothe muscles. The two types of heat therapy are known as dry heat and moist heat. Dry heat comes from sources such as heating pads, dry heating packs, or saunas. Moist heat is derived from steamed towels or hot baths. When it comes to using either cold or heat therapy, we recommend talking to your health care provider to see which treatment is best for you.

As you can see, neck pain can be a big problem, but it does not have to rule your life. There are treatment options available to you, including holistic ones such as chiropractic care. We hope you found this article informative, and we encourage you to reach out to us if you have any further questions or concerns. It would be a pleasure to assist you. Here at Family Chiropractic & Massage, we offer chiropractic care as well as massage services and heat and cold therapy. We have doctors who have studied a variety of chiropractic techniques to render care to patients with different types of conditions. As people vary, so do the techniques chosen to help each patient get well. We use evidence-based treatment methods to help patients get better faster. If you are suffering from any type of back pain, contact us today to set up an appointment so we can assess your needs and create an effective treatment plan. One of our experienced doctors would love to help get you on the right track to living a healthy, pain-free life! Thank you for reading, and we hope you’ll check back for more articles about chiropractic care and all it has to offer!