Your neck has the unenviable job of supporting a heavy load (which is the head), while also allowing the head to move at flexible angles, without much extra support and stabilization from muscles. Most people consider muscles like the trapezius, levator scapulae, cervical paraspinal muscles and scalenes under the category of ‘neck muscles’, but these are located in the upper back or attached to it.
At the same time, the neck also protects the end of the spinal cord from damage, but this delicate area of your body can often face greater stress than it can handle. This part of the body is constantly under pressure, which is why neck and shoulder pain is such a common occurrence and cause of complaint.
Neck pain can be caused as a result of everything from bad posture or whiplash injury in an accident to excessive strain and disc misalignment. Neck pain is very dangerous, because the entire body is connected to the spine, and it can often lead to pain in the arms, the entire back region and even debilitating headaches.
Often misdiagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome or other conditions, an injury to the neck can commonly include one or all of the following symptoms:
- Pain in the neck, shoulder, lower back and jaw
- Muscle spasms in the shoulder or upper back
- Ear inflammation or ringing sound in the ear for no reason
- Change in posture (one shoulder higher than the other, head tilted when you think it’s straight, etc.)
- Constant rigidness or decreased flexibility in the neck
Diagnosis & Tests
Neck pain can be diagnosed with massage around the neck, to locate the specific pain area or trigger points that are causing discomfort. Neck pain can also be an indication of lower back injuries, disc herniations, subluxations or a whiplash injury. If so, an X-ray examination will help uncover more details about the source of the pain.
At Pro Chiropractic Clinics, our expert chiropractors can help you fix your neck and shoulder pain, and prevent reoccurrence. The treatment is normally based on the cause of the neck pain, e.g. adjusting your posture if poor posture has contributed to strain on your neck, or exercises with deep breathing techniques to counter the effects of a stressful lifestyle.
In case you have a soft tissue or whiplash injury, subluxations or disc herniations, chiropractic treatment can help relieve the pain with a combination of physical therapy and traditional techniques.