Approximately 31 percent of adults suffer with chronic joint pain. Eighteen percent of those people have chronic neck pain. Chiropractors see lots of patients with chronic neck pain because most people with long standing pain don’t want to use medication to control their pain. Since chiropractic care uses a drug free approach to treat chronic pain it does not have the potential side effects that many prescription or over the counter (OTC) pain killers and muscle relaxers are known for.
Chiropractic Care and Chronic Neck Pain
Chronic pain is a serious problem. If you have chronic pain you know that it takes it’s toll on you both physically and emotionally. Chronic pain is a sign of chronic inflammation which is associated with muscular tightness and restrictions in both flexibility and endurance. Chronic pain can make easy tasks challenging, it can make getting a good nights sleep a rarity and it can create problems with focusing on tasks at home and work. The frustrations of dealing with chronic pain can also create problems with your friends, family and loved ones.
Chiropractic care for chronic neck pain begins with proper diagnosis. Typical neck pain comes from a short list of structures – joints, muscles, ligaments and nerves. In some cases the pain is related to just one of structures on this list and in other cases it is from a more than one structure. Physical examination can help pinpoint the cause of your chronic neck pain and if the exam indicates that something serious is at the root of your pain, x-ray and / or MRI can help in making the cause of your pain clearer.
In conjunction with chiropractic treatment, most of my patients who suffer with chronic pain are asked to do some of their therapy at home. Typical therapy that benefits chronic neck pain includes use of ice packs and hot packs, specific stretches and specific exercises.