The neck plays a crucial role in connecting the head to the body, providing support for the weight of the head, and enabling its flexibility and movement. For every inch you move your head forward, it effectively becomes 10 pounds heavier, which can lead to neck pain, particularly in individuals with less shoulder stability, such as many women. In fact, women are 1.5 times more prone to neck pain than men. The good news is that neck pain is manageable through chiropractic care in Columbus OH.
ADDRESSING NECK PAIN IN COLUMBUS OH
A significant portion (75%) of your overall health is influenced by your lifestyle, meaning that your daily habits can greatly contribute to or alleviate neck pain. In our modern, sedentary society, poor sitting and sleeping posture, as well as excessive use of electronic devices, have become significant contributors to neck pain. Proper posture is a learned practice, which means that your biomechanical habits can either lead to neck pain or help in its recovery.
Another common cause of neck pain is either degeneration or acute injuries. Acute injuries can result from car accidents or sudden slips, falls, or movements, while degeneration occurs due to the cumulative effect of micro-traumas on the spine. It’s crucial to seek attention when you begin experiencing issues in the neck area to prevent the condition from worsening.
Failure to address the wear and tear on your spine can make it challenging to treat injuries and degenerative conditions effectively. Typically, degeneration happens when certain mobile parts of the neck become restricted. When you visit a chiropractor at Mission Chiropractic and Wellness, we focus on identifying the areas with limited motion and work to restore circulation and increase neck mobility, reducing the risk of arthritis, all with the ultimate goal of alleviating neck pain.
In cases of acute injuries, chiropractors can effectively address the pain, but it’s crucial to first identify the underlying cause of the muscular injury. Acute injuries accumulate over time and can become more severe if left untreated. About 30% of neck pain cases progress into chronic symptoms, making it essential to seek timely treatment. Treating neck pain early is typically easier and more effective, preventing the condition from worsening and expediting the healing process.
LEADING CAUSES OF NECK PAIN IN COLUMBUS OH
Neck pain can stem from various sources, and here are some common causes:
Bulged Cervical Disc
Neck pain is frequently associated with a bulged cervical disc. These discs serve as shock absorbers and maintain space for spinal nerves to exit the spine and reach other body parts. Dehydration, repetitive bad habits, and stress can contribute to disc damage. The outer part of the disc is rigid, while the inner part has a gel-like nucleus. As the fibers holding the disc wear and tear, the gel-like nucleus may press against a nerve, leading to neck pain that can sometimes radiate to the arms. The nerves in the neck facilitate sensory input from the skin to the brain and motor control signals from the brain to the muscles. Nerve damage can hinder effective bodily functions.
Degenerative Disc Disease
Degenerative disc disease primarily affects older individuals as discs naturally deteriorate over time. Factors like age, smoking, obesity, physically demanding work, and prolonged periods of sitting can contribute to this condition. When cervical discs shrink, the openings (foramina) through which spinal nerves travel to the body also shrink, exerting pressure on the nerves and causing nerve pain. It’s important to note that degenerative disc disease cannot be fully cured. A chiropractor can perform specific neck practices to alleviate pain caused by this condition and enhance functionality, reducing the stress of experiencing neck pain.
With the continuous advancement of technology, many people spend extended periods at work or home with their heads tilted forward, gazing at computer screens or phones. This prolonged forward head posture places significant strain on the neck region. Just as holding a ball in the air for an extended period becomes challenging, continuous bending of the neck can be strenuous. The neck should naturally have a cervical curve that acts as a spring to support the extra weight of the head when it tilts forward while relieving stress on the ligaments, nerves, and muscles around the neck. Tech neck pain is typically localized in the neck area and often feels achy or dull. However, with prolonged movements and extended sitting hours, the pain can extend to other nearby body parts like the shoulders.
Osteoarthritis (Bone Arthritis)
Osteoarthritis, also known as bone arthritis, can develop due to poor biomechanics or a lack of movement in bone joints and ligaments over an extended period. Insufficient motion makes it challenging for the body to reduce inflammation, leading to continued bone stress as the body attempts to establish stability, perceiving a lack of motion as instability. Over time, this process can result in the formation of bone spurs that irritate spinal nerves, increasing neck pain.
Whiplash occurs when the head undergoes rapid forward and backward movements, often during sports or car accidents. This rapid motion places significant stress on the muscles, ligaments, nerves, and bones. When treating whiplash, a chiropractor assesses the entire structure of the cervical curve to determine if the whiplash has caused the spine to straighten. If left unassessed and untreated, it can lead to more severe conditions because the loss of the cervical curve results in a loss of spinal cushioning and increased stress on the spine. Severe consequences of untreated whiplash may include memory problems, blurred vision, recurrent daily headaches, and disrupted sleep patterns.