Neck Pain Treatment In Greer, SC
Your neck supports your head’s full weight, which on average weighs 12 lbs. Women are almost 1.5 times as likely to have neck pain. 30% of neck pain cases develop chronic symptoms, which is why you want to address it quickly. Our lifestyles are significant contributors to developing neck pain. Poor posture, excessive electronic device use (people spend an average of 4 hours a day on their phones), sleeping positions, and poor biomechanics can put stress on your neck. Neck pain can be caused by acute injuries or a degenerative process over time. Lack of motion in the vertebrae of the neck is the key cause of degeneration in the cervical spine.
There are two different types of neck pain; acute and chronic. Acute pain develops suddenly and lasts for less than a month. Chronic pain is consistently present for three months or more. To prevent acute pain from becoming chronic, seeking treatment as soon as possible after symptoms begin is vital.
Neck pain can originate from one or more of the following: your muscles, ligaments, joints, or discs. Most commonly, a strain or sprain to the muscles or ligaments in your neck, ranging from simple over-stretching to complete tears causing inflammation, can result in back spasms. This is generally acute and can be treated promptly at the onset of pain.
Chronic inflammation due to subluxations (misalignments within the joints of the vertebra) can cause arthritis. This condition may result in loss of range of motion and lead to degenerative disc disease. Degenerative disc disease can lead to chronic pain.
Our discs function as absorbers for shock within our cervical spine. There are seven discs in the cervical spine (neck region). If your discs have begun to degenerate, break down or lose hydration, you may develop a bugling or herniated disc. Not seeking treatment at the onset may lead to acute or chronic pain.
How We Treat Neck Pain in Greer, SC
Your First Chiropractic Visit
Health History and Consultation
Your first appointment will include a thorough health history. It is essential to inform the doctor of any current and previous health issues. It is also important to disclose any injuries and traumas you have had to the doctor, medications you are taking, and your health goals.
Your examination may include a thorough evaluation of posture (posture is the window to the spine), range of motion, leg length, muscle strength, balance, reflexes, palpation, and orthopedic tests. These tests will help determine whether subluxations (misalignments) of the spine or other joints are affecting your health or causing your neck pain.
X-Rays and Analysis
Your chiropractic examination may require necessary comprehensive X-rays. The X-rays reveal the degree of spinal misalignment and degeneration, significant pathologies that may contraindicate treatment, and other potential considerations of care. In our clinic, careful analysis leads to precision measurement, helping us determine the cause of your neck pain. This thorough analysis, along with the clinical exam findings, enables us to provide you with our best recommendations to help you alleviate your neck pain.
Your Second Chiropractic Visit
Explanation and Report of Findings
This could be the most critical visit because you will receive a thorough explanation of your test results. Our doctors review your health history, clinical examination, X-rays, and other important information before accepting your case. Your spouse or significant other is more than welcome to attend this report. After our doctors review your exam and X-ray findings, they will make the best recommendations to help you get back on the road to feeling better.
If our doctors believe they can help you, they will administer your first chiropractic adjustment and make their best recommendations for your case based on your health goals and your test results. Because we are proficient in various adjusting techniques, we can choose the most effective approach to enhance your comfort and results.
Specific Chiropractic Care in Greer, SC
What is a subluxation?
Subluxation, often referred to as vertebral subluxation, occurs when the spine becomes misaligned and obstructs nerve flow. This can compromise movement and lead to frequent unwanted health problems. Subluxation can cause a wide range of negative effects on the body, such as nerve flow obstruction, disc degeneration, bone spurs, as well as changes in the ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
Most frequently, subluxation occurs in the neck, mid back, lower back, or hip bones but can also occur in other joints. Some common symptoms associated with subluxation include:
- Neck Pain
- Low Back Pain
- Sciatica or Leg Pain
- Shoulder Pain
- Arm Pain
- Decreased Mobility
- Muscle Spasms or Tenderness
Subluxations can impair natural nerve function and compromise the body’s ability to maintain optimal health. Therefore, it is crucial to evaluate your spine to see how chiropractic might help improve nerve flow resulting in better nervous system function.
Relieving Nerve Pressure
One of our highly skilled doctors will perform specific chiropractic adjustments. Our doctors use both manual and instrument-adjusting techniques. Placing a certain amount of pressure on specific vertebra aids in correcting the subluxation and reducing pressure on the pinched nerve. This will allow proper nerve flow to return to the area and decrease pain associated with the subluxation.
Optimizing Spinal Function
By following the doctor’s recommendations and ensuring you are present for all your scheduled appointments, performing your rehabilitative exercises, and working on correcting your bad habits, you will be on your way to feeling better and living a healthier life.
Custom Therapeutic Exercise Plan
Many neck pain cases are due to muscle weakness or imbalance. At Ehlich Family Chiropractic, we will provide you with great adjustments to help improve your neck pain and prescribe a series of postural exercises and more traditional exercises to help strengthen and stretch your neck muscles. Specific exercises are important in the healing process to allow you to function better as you heal. We will assess how you move and create an exercise plan that addresses those specific functional deficiencies. Not only will we be helping you in the office, but we will also prescribe you exercises to do at home so that function is restored as quickly as possible.
You can do these every day, anytime, and anywhere in your home. Doing them while sitting is preferred. Remember, if you feel any pain or excessive discomfort, stop doing the exercises immediately and let us know on your next visit, or notify your healthcare professional if you are not a current patient at Ehlich Family Chiropractic.
For this first one, bring your chin back as you retract your head feeling a stretch in the muscles in the back of your neck (occipital muscles). Hold for five seconds and relax. Do four cycles of ten reps. You can modify reps and cycles to your comfort level if needed. Keep in mind that his exercise also helps with your forward head posture as you bring your head back.
The second one is a range of motion exercises. You will start by looking all the way down and then all the way up. Come back to neutral and turn your head to the left and then to the right. And finally, come back to neutral and bring your left ear to your left shoulder and then your right ear to your right shoulder. Remember to do these movements slowly and hold for five seconds when you reach your limit as you make the different motions. Do four cycles of ten reps. You can modify reps and cycles to your comfort level and build up. If you feel you need a little more of a stretch, you can challenge yourself by slightly pushing your head when making each motion. It is NOT recommended to roll your head around in a circle.
For the last exercise, if you feel lightheaded, dizzy, or get a sudden headache, stop doing this exercise immediately and see your healthcare provider. Look straight ahead, turn your head to the right, and while your head is in
this position, look back towards the ceiling as far as you can. Then come back to neutral. Do the left side by turning your head to the left, looking up towards the ceiling as far as you can, and coming back to neutral. Remember to hold for 5 seconds with each side. Do four cycles of ten reps. You can modify reps and cycles to your comfort level and build up.
I’m confident these exercises will prove beneficial, and together with rhythmic adjusting and breaking certain bad habits, you’ll be on the right track to improving your neck’s health.
Non-surgical decompression is a therapy that treats spinal disc disorders and can relieve neck pain by carefully decompressing the cervical discs. This action removes pressure from the spinal discs by creating negative pressure and promoting water and nutrient movement so the discs can properly heal. Spinal decompression therapy is a non-surgical procedure for patients suffering from neck pain due to degenerative, herniated, or ruptured discs. It is the least invasive treatment for disc injuries and the most cost-effective.
Deep Tissue Laser
Ehlich Family Chiropractic offers laser therapy for acute and chronic conditions. Laser therapy is a proven modality to help reduce inflammation and pain. This type of therapy is highly effective at treating acute pain, chronic conditions, and post-op pain. Laser therapy treatment is safe, painless, and fast – treatments typically take five to 10 minutes to administer. Our patients usually see results within three to five treatment sessions. Laser therapy stimulates cellular activity, utilizing the healing power of your own body. The stimulated healing process actively reduces inflammation for up to 24 hours after treatment.
Common Causes of Neck Pain
What is a Disc?
Discs function as shock absorbers in the spine, positioned between each bony vertebra. They are tough fibers that hold the vertebrae of the spine together and keep enough space between the vertebrae to allow the spinal nerves to exit without getting pinched.
Bulged Cervical Discs
Over time your discs can wear down and dehydrate. Fibers begin to tear and allow the fluid-filled sac called the nucleus pulposus to protrude, putting pressure on the corresponding nerve root. This may cause neck pain, numbness, tingling, or headaches. This pain can radiate into the shoulders and arms.
Herniated Cervical Discs
When the annulus fibers tear more, the nucleus pulposus breaks through the exterior of the disc. This may cause more severe pain, numbness, and tingling across the shoulders and into the arms. Healthcare professionals usually recommend conservative care first to avoid spinal surgery. Non-surgical decompression therapy is a successful conservative treatment.
Degenerative Disc Disease
DDD occurs when the vertebrae lose motion or mobility. The spinal discs need nutrients to stay healthy. When subluxations are present, the joint loses its motion. Less motion means fewer nutrients for the disc. Fewer nutrients cause the disc to begin to lose height and become thin. The longer subluxation is present, the more damage it causes to the discs. Obesity, smoking, and work that is hard on the spine can contribute to the discs shrinking at an accelerated rate. When the discs degenerate, the holes (foramen) the spinal nerves exit from get narrow and begin to pinch or put pressure on the spinal nerves. This condition is called stenosis.
Stenosis results from pressure on the spinal cord or the exiting spinal nerves due to a narrowing of the spinal canal or intervertebral foramen. This can cause pain, weakness, numbness, or affect organ function like bladder or bowel control. Standing or walking can become very painful.
Muscle strain pain is usually dull and achy, intensifies with movement, and stays localized in the neck. Muscle strains may be caused by sudden activity or over time due to repetitive motion, poor posture, or weak neck muscles.
Tech neck is when the cervical spine’s normal lordosis (curve) becomes straight or reversed. Causes include looking down at mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and video gaming devices, as well as poor posture at desks. Loss of the normal curve in the cervical spine may cause stress on the spinal cord and cause the neck to be weaker and more susceptible to injury.
Forward Head Posture
Forward head posture is when the head moves in front of the center of the shoulders. This causes increased stress on the neck muscles resulting in tightness, stiffness, and muscle spasms in the neck.
Subluxation is a misalignment of the vertebral bones in the spine. This may cause dysfunction in the spinal joints and lead to pressure or pinching on the spinal nerves. Specific chiropractic adjustments are the best and most successful solution to correcting a subluxation.
Osteoarthritis is usually caused by a lack of motion or long-term bad biomechanics due to improper alignment. This may lead to the formation of bone spurs. The bone spurs can irritate the spinal nerves and create neck pain.
Whiplash is commonly caused by car accidents and may result in the straightening of the cervical lordosis. If whiplash is not addressed with proper treatment, it can lead to long-term, chronic issues such as pain, blurred vision, difficulty sleeping, and memory problems.