Your neck, also called the cervical spine, begins at the base of the skull and contains seven small vertebrae. While the cervical spine can move your head in nearly every direction, this flexibility makes the neck very susceptible to pain and injury.  The neck’s susceptibility to injury is due in part to biomechanics. Severe Neck Pain: Often begins suddenly such as after an injury or trauma like wrecking a car and being subjected to whiplash. Chronic Pain: Is often related to a previous injury that caused joint misalignment leading to structural or arthritic degenerative changes in the connective tissue of the spine. Injury and Accidents: A sudden forced movement of the head or neck in any direction and the resulting “rebound” in the opposite direction is known as whiplash.
Daily Life: Poor posture, obesity, and weak abdominal muscles often disrupt spinal balance, causing the neck to bend forward to compensate.
Stress and emotional tension: Can cause muscles to tighten and contract, resulting in pain and stiffness. During your visit, the doctor of chiropractic will perform exams to locate the source of your pain and will ask you questions about your current symptoms and remedies you may have already tried.


During the neurological exam, your doctor will test your reflexes, muscle strength, other nerve changes, and pain spread.  In some instances, your chiropractor might order tests to help diagnose your condition. Neck Adjustments: A neck adjustment (also known as a cervical manipulation) is a precise procedure applied to the joints of the neck, usually by hand.
One of the most recent reviews of scientific literature found evidence that patients with chronic neck pain enrolled in clinical trials reported significant improvement following chiropractic spinal manipulation. A chiropractic examination will identify the cause of the neck pain and determine the appropriate course of treatment. The sudden “whipping” motion injures the surrounding and supporting tissues of the neck and head. Stenosis may cause neck, shoulder, and arm pain, as well as numbness, when these nerves are unable to function normally. Over time, a disc may bulge or herniate, causing tingling, numbness, and pain that runs into the arm. Postural stress can contribute to chronic neck pain with symptoms extending into the upper back and the arms.


In the physical exam, your doctor will observe your posture, range of motion, and physical condition, noting movement that causes pain.
A neck adjustment works to improve the mobility of the spine and to restore range of motion; it can also increase movement of the adjoining muscles. Acute neck pain gradually get better and resolves as the injury heals, usually within several months. Muscles react by tightening and contracting, creating muscle fatigue, which can result in pain and stiffness. Patients typically notice an improved ability to turn and tilt the head, and a reduction of pain, soreness, and stiffness. Severe whiplash can also be associated with injury to the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerve roots.



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