It is estimated that 70% of people will experience neck pain sometime in their lifetime. Many forms of treatment are available, but it is sometimes difficult to know, specifically, what will be the most effective method to gain neck pain relief. This article will discuss the most common cause of neck pain and a safe, effective approach to achieve relief of neck pain.
A scientific research study in 2012, which evaluated 272 patients with neck pain, compared three treatment approaches: chiropractic, medication and exercise. Patients who received chiropractic care or exercise instruction reported the greatest reduction of pain. In fact, the researchers found that those patients receiving chiropractic care and exercise therapy had twice the likelihood of achieving complete pain relief than the patients in the medication group.
The most common cause of neck pain is due to misalignments and improper movement of the joints between the spinal bones. The spinal bones of the neck are called the cervical vertebrae. There are seven of these vertebrae. Just as we have joints in the rest of the body, we have joints between the cervical vertebrae. Those joints are called the facet joints. These joints allow the vertebrae to move through a limited range of motion. The joints should move just the right amount. If the joint doesn’t move freely is called hypomobility. If the joint moves excessively it is called hypermobility. If either hypomobility or hypermobility exist neck pain can result. Any abnormal movement of the facet joints is termed dysfunction.
Chiropractors are doctors who are trained to determine whether there is proper motion of the facet joints of the cervical spine. Chiropractic training focuses on doctors of chiropractic being able to feel facet joint movements. It takes many years of training for a chiropractor to learn this skill. Chiropractors also are able to feel if muscles around the facet joints are normal tone or if they are in spasm, which typically occurs if there is joint dysfunction. Other than chiropractors there are very few doctors or therapists of other professions that have the level of skill and sense of touch and feel to be able to diagnose joint dysfunction.
Once joint dysfunction is determined as the source of neck pain chiropractors can provide treatment through a chiropractic spinal manipulation. Spinal manipulation is also a skill that is unique to the chiropractic profession and takes many years of training and practice. Chiropractic spinal manipulations restore proper movement to the facet joints to bring about neck pain relief.
For over hundred 25 years gentle, safe chiropractic care has been considered the gold standard of treatment for neck pain relief.