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Is your neck stiff and sore in the morning? Is It hard for you to turn your head all the way from side to side or forward or backward? Do you get sharp pinching or shooting pains when you turn your head? Neck pain affects millions of people each day. Its usual causes can range from sports injuries, car accidents, over use, sudden movement, sleeping in an awkward position, to arthritis, an old injury or spinal or emotional stress.
Any sudden movement, such as sneezing, coughing, turning your head suddenly, or whiplash can over stretch or tear the muscles or ligaments that hold the joints in place. This can cause swelling, inflammation, and muscle imbalance which allows the bones in the neck (vertebrae) to move and irritate the nerves. This can lead to sharp, stabbing, shooting pains, and headaches, numbness in the neck or arms, tingling in the neck or arms, weakness of the arms, dizziness, ringing in the ears, etc. Sometimes the swelling or pain can be helped with ice, rest, or pain killers. Remember, however, your pain is not caused by a deficiency of aspirin, aspirin merely masks the pain while your body tries to heal itself.
If your spinal muscles have been injured or damaged, either by trauma or even sleeping awkwardly (causing reduced blood flow and oxygen to the tissues leading to oxygen deprivation and tissue death), the resultant muscle imbalance may hold the vertebrae out of proper alignment and your spine may not heal straight. If your body does not heal straight, you may lose range of motion or function (similar to a broken arm that was not “set” properly). When this happens, the joints do not glide over each other properly, and like tires on your car that are out of alignment, the joints wear down very quickly.
This process is often referred to as degeneration or arthritis. It can happen very gradually. In fact it often happens so gradually you don’t know it until it has progressed to an advanced stage. The slower a disease process (cancer, arthritis, hearing loss, etc.), the less initial pain and the more likely the problem will go undiagnosed until it is too late.
Chiropractic treats the cause of pain. Doctors of chiropractic carefully examine the neck, they look for muscle imbalance, loss of motion, spasm, swelling, pinched nerves, and vertebrae that are out of position. Chiropractors break up adhesions that prevent the spine from moving properly. They also reposition the vertebrae to relieve pressure on the nerves, which often relieved the pain and spasm. They then carefully monitor the neck to make sure it heals properly. Remember, pain is your body’s way of asking for help, it is not the cause of your problem, only a symptom. While taking aspirin may help you “get by” for now, if you ignore the cause, just as with cancer, it can have more severe consequences later.
The only way to be sure you will fully recover and not risk arthritis and degeneration later, is to see an expert on the neck. Chiropractors have been safely and gently helping people get rid of neck pain for over 100 years. They have one of the highest long term patient satisfaction ratings of any of the health care professions. Some people have gone to the chiropractor and said their neck felt fine, but had the chiropractor look at it anyway during a routine exam. Many of these same people reported how great their neck felt afterward. If you have never tried chiropractic, you don’t know how good you can feel.
Call Dr Jas Walia, your Seattle Chiropractor for a free consultation or with any questions today!
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