Answer: Your neck is the most vulnerable part of your spine. Not only does it support your 10 to 12 pound head, maintain a gentle forward curve, and permit head rotation, but it must also allow the free flow of nerve impulses to the head, face, hands and the rest of your body. Besides discomfort and annoyance, chronic neck pain is a sign that something is wrong.
Many everyday things can cause neck pain, such as watching TV, using your computer, reading a book or falling asleep in a chair or an airplane, or the improper use of the telephone (like resting it between your shoulder and ear). The temporary pain that results can resolve on its own, especially when the offending activity is discontinued.
When it doesn’t, a more serious underlying problem may be indicated. The most common cause of neck pain is functional distortions in the spine resulting from vertebral subluxations. These subluxations are seen in cases of reverse cervical curve, whiplash and joint instability. The body responds by tightening muscles in the neck, “splinting” the joint to protect it from further insult. Chiropractic can help.
Most of the pain-sensing nerves in the neck are located in the pairs of facet joint on the back of each vertebra. These smooth, interlocking surfaces allow you to rotate your head and bend your head up and down. If these joints become locked or fixated, neck pain can result. Chiropractic care can help restore proper joint motion.
A more difficult problem to correct is the degenerative changes that result from neglect. Years of uncorrected spinal problems can cause bone spurs, disc thinning and other forms of spinal decay. These types of problems respond more slowly, and some type of on-going supportive chiropractic care may be necessary.
Our response to stress is another common cause of neck pain. Deadlines, rush-hour, traffic, overcommintments, work pressures, family obligations just to mention some.
If the weakest link in our bodies is our neck, stress shows up there. While chiropractic care cannot reduce stress of your busy life, it can help improve your ability to handle and tolerate it. Without drugs or surgery.