Neck Pain Symptoms Vary
Symptoms of neck pain vary from patient to patient. As a San Diego Chiropractor I have seen neck pain symptoms that range from limited range of motion and slight pain at the end range all the way to severe pain that prevents any movement at all. In addition to the intensity of the neck pain, the severity of the pain varies as well. For some patients the pain that they experience is dull and achy while for others it can be sharp and stabbing. Consideration of both the intensity and severity of the neck pain is important for diagnosing the cause of the pain.
Neck pain diagnosis is made after taking a careful history of past injuries and episodes of pain followed by a thorough examination by the chiropractor. Diagnosing neck pain is usually straightforward as long as the proper tests are performed and the right questions are asked. A basic examination for diagnosing neck pain from a chiropractor includes:
- Past history of neck injury
- Checking Reflexes
- Grip Strength Tests
- Tests to check if sensations to sharp and dull are intact
- Range of motion tests
- Motion palpation examination
- Chiropractic Orthopedic Tests
Depending on the severity of your specific neck injury, your ability to work, play sports and/or do household chores may be affected. More serious neck injuries can include pinched nerves which can cause radiating pain that travels down the arms. Radiating pain from the neck can cause shoulder pain, elbow pain (tennis elbow), wrist pain and numbness / weakness in the hands. Pinched nerves in the neck can be caused by spasmed muscles, inflammation, joint misalignment or herniated discs. Neck injuries can be either temporarily or, in some cases, permanently disabling – which is why examination and treatment is so important.
As with many other types of spinal injuries, when you have an injured neck, the earlier your treatment begins the faster you typically recover. Neck injury treatments with a chiropractor usually consist of chiropractic adjustments, electric muscle stimulation, ultrasound therapy and cold packs.
Neck pain treatment can require as few as one or two sessions with a chiropractor to as long as weeks or months of treatments. The frequency and consistency of your treatment is guided by the severity of your pain and your examination findings.
Neck pain treatments are normally pain free and in fact very comfortable often producing some level of immediate pain relief. In my experience as a chiropractor in San Diego I have seen patients with severe neck pain experience significant reductions in their pain levels after just the first treatment.
Patients can have difficulty distinguishing between symptoms of neck pain from neck stiffness symptoms. They can be from very different causes like different kinds of Neck Injuries.