The neck supports the full weight of your head, which weighs 5.5kg on average, and it can move your head in nearly every direction. This flexibility makes the neck very susceptible to pain and injury; in part, it is due to biomechanics. Activities and events that affect cervical biomechanics include extended sitting, repetitive movements, accidents, falls and blows to the body or head, the normal aging process, and everyday wear and tear.
Neck pain can be very bothersome, and it may have a variety of causes. Injury and accidents (whiplash), aging (osteoarthritis or spinal stenosis) or simply daily life stresses cauing muscle contractions and discomfort.
Chiropracticcan effectively relieve symptoms through delivering a cervical manipulation, which is a precise procedure applied to the joints of the neck. The treatment works to improve the mobility of the spine and to restore range of motion; it can also increase movement of the adjoining muscles. By having an aligned cervical spine and balanced muscles to support the full range of motions, the neck is exposed to less stress and can therefore function symptom free.
Osteoarthritis (OA), or degenerative joint disease, affects more than 20 million Americans and is more common in women than in men. The disease affects the cartilage—slippery tissue on the ends of bones that meet in a joint. Normally, cartilage help bones glide over one another. In an OA patient, however, the cartilage is broken down and eventually wears away. As a result, instead of gliding, bones rub against each other, causing pain, swelling, and loss of motion. Although the majority of patients with OA are 65 and older, recent research shows that osteoarthritis is not a by-product of aging. Family history of OA, being overweight, lack of exercise, and prior joint injuries are suggested as OA risk factors.
Chiropractors can detect the earliest degenerative changes in the joints and see the impact of degenerative changes in the spine, as well as in the hips, knees, and other weight-bearing joints. Chiropractors are also trained to relieve pain and improve joint function through natural therapies, such as chiropractic manipulation, trigger-point therapy, and/or some massage techniques. Patients will also receive exercise counseling, other drug-free pain-relief options, and how to choose the right supplements that play an important role in OA prevention and treatment.