Over 30% of the American population deals with moderate to severe neck pain over the course of a year.
The good news?
The great majority — over 2/3 — of those polled said that seeking treatment from a chiropractor effectively treated and managed the pain.
If you live Washington, have you considered seeing a Seattle chiropractor to put an end to your neck pain?
Read on to learn how they can help you to take your life back.
When Should I See A Chiropractor?
There are a variety of reasons and symptoms that let you know when it’s time to see a Seattle chiropractor.
In general, you should see a chiropractor if:
- The pain continues to worsen
- You cannot turn your head
- Your neck feels numb
- You experience tingling sensations elsewhere in the body
- You’ve had an injury/accident
- The pain is especially strong in the morning
Though these are all good reasons to seek professional attention, keep in mind that no one knows your body as well as you do. If the pain is interfering with your work and personal life, or if you’re having trouble sleeping, it’s time to get help.
What Causes Neck Pain?
One of the most valuable things a Seattle chiropractor can do is to address the underlying causes of neck pain.
For example, did you know that sleeping on your stomach, as opposed to on your side or your back, can make your existing neck pain even worse?
Of course, your sleeping position isn’t the only reason for the crick in your neck. Let’s quickly take a look at other common causes that a chiropractor will be able to diagnose and treat:
Degenerative Disc Disease
This is caused by added pressure on your intervertebral discs and may lead to a herniated disc. If you’ve noticed a tingling sensation in your arm, your chiropractor will likely test you for degenerative disc disease.
Essentially, Spinal Stenosis is what leads to pinched nerves. Over time, your nerve roots are pinched underneath the passageways of your vertebrae. This is most often caused by bad posture, obesity, poor sleeping position, or injury.
Yes, Osteoarthritis can also affect your neck. As it does in other parts of the body, this diseases can cause your cartilage to slowly wear down, leading to a growth of bone spurs that make movement painful and difficult.
Sometimes, the way you choose to live has more of an impact on neck pain than anything else.
Weak ab muscles, the normal aging process, extra hours at the office, and even stress are all to blame for neck pain.
How Can A Seattle Chiropractor Help?
Depending on your lifestyle, your diagnosis, and the severity of your pain, your Seattle chiropractor will work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan.
However, it helps to have an idea of what you can expect when you walk into your appointment.
The Initial Evaluation
The first part of your appointment will likely consist of a complete spine and neck evaluation. They’ll also identify areas of pain and places of limited mobility.
They’ll likely ask you questions about your lifestyle, medical history, and the origin of the pain — it’s important to be honest to avoid a misdiagnosis.
Sometimes, you might be asked to show your chiropractor how you normally walk. Additionally, depending on your individual case, x-rays or MRIs may also be taken.
These images help your Seattle chiropractor to determine if they’ll be able to treat your issue, or if you need the assistance of a surgeon. If it’s the latter, your chiropractor will refer you to a trusted colleague, so you can be seen as soon as possible.
Possible Treatment Options
There are several spinal manipulation techniques your chiropractor may elect to use to ease your symptoms.
The first uses small instruments that stimulate your neck and back. These instruments can gently apply pressure to ease your spine back into place and release tension.
They may also use specific movements to encourage movement in your joints.
Finally, they may also use their hands to delicately pump your discs back into place. This ensures that the amount of force used on your back and spine is safely limited.
Your chiropractor may use trigger/pressure point therapy to release the specific knots on your body, alongside some gentle massage.
They may also help you to strengthen and stretch your joints, occasionally using soft tissue instruments to release tension.
Especially popular today is the idea of ultrasound therapy, which uses gentle sound waves to release points of tension in your neck and back.
Other low-impact (and completely safe) forms of electrical therapy may be used to stimulate your muscles.
Stretches And Exercises
In addition to some of the treatment options mentioned above, your chiropractor may also ask you to take a more proactive approach to ending your neck pain.
One popular stretch is known as the “Corner Stretch.” Stand about two feet away from a corner wall, with your feet together. Then, facing the wall, gently press your arms into the wall at shoulder height.
Lean forward as far as you can comfortably, using your arms to support your body weight.
Keep in mind that you should never completely rotate your neck in a complete circle, as it can place additional weight on your spine and even make it difficult for blood to get to your brain.
Ready To See A Seattle Chiropractor?
When your neck pain takes control of your life, it’s easy to feel like you need to rely on heavy medication to stop it.
However, making an appointment with a Seattle chiropractor can help you to defeat your neck pain in a safe, more natural way.
Schedule your consultation today, and start feeling like yourself again instead of a prisoner to pain.