Getting a stiff neck every once in a while is quite normal. Correct? It may be at the end of a long tiring day, after you’ve completed a very stressful project; or the first thing in the morning, in case you slept wrong.
You try and turn your head left and right, but you barely succeed. Ouch! That hurts.
There is a significant difference between a common stiff neck and one that hurts extremely bad to make your head spin. But how do you decide when a neck pain is bad enough for you to see a chiropractor?
Here are 5 signs to help you know when it’s time to see a chiropractor for neck pain.
- Looking to the left and right is causing serious neck pain, and does not seem to improve even after several days.
- You’re worried that your neck pain may create a serious issue for you, thus you feel like using over-the-counter pain medications to relieve all the pain and make it through the day.
- You had an accident and your neck pain started a few days later.
- Your neck pain initiated in the neck but moved to tingling or numbness in your wrists or hands.
- Your neck pain is severe in the morning when you wake up, but as the day progresses it gets better.
Since chiropractors have specialized in treatments for neck pains, they restore movements within joints safely through chiropractic treatment which includes neck exercises, chiropractic adjustments, and physiotherapy. Here is a little more detail about how they diagnose and treat neck pain.
How do chiropractors diagnose neck pain?
The chiropractor starts by evaluating your spine, since other parts of your neck such as the lumbar, thoracic, and cervical may also be affected.
They treat the whole of you, and not just specific symptoms. They carry out an examination to diagnose the particular cause of neck pain.
Next, they determine your restricted movements and examine your overall posture and alignment of the spine. This is all done to understand your body mechanics. They also inform you in case you have a serious neck pain condition that can only be fixed through surgery.
Chiropractic treatments for neck pain
Chiropractors use a different combination of manual therapy, spinal manipulation therapy and other techniques to treat your neck pain. A few of these include:
- Specific spinal manipulation: This technique uses a gentle thrusting technique to restore movement in the joints.
- Flexion-distraction technique: Rather than direct force, this technique uses a hand-on spinal manipulation involving a pumping action on your inter-vertebral disc.
- Trigger point therapy: This manual therapy relieves tight points over a muscle.
- Soft tissue therapy that is instrument assisted: In this technique, special instruments are used to diagnose and then treat tension within muscles.
- Ultrasound: This helps in sending sound waves to the muscles in your tissue to improve stiffness and heal your neck pain.
- Inferential electrical stimulation: this technique involves the use of low frequency electrical currents to trigger the muscles in the neck.
Visiting a chiropractor for neck pain is the right choice if you know that an abnormal motion or specific movement such as a whiplash injury, falling, or lifting, caused your neck pain.