Total Health

Neck Pain

Cervical pain, also known as neck pain, has been affecting people around Australia for hundreds of years and can be debilitating and frustrating. The neck is made up of vertebrae that extend from the skull to the upper torso. The bones, ligaments, and muscles of the neck support the head and allow it to move. Abnormalities, inflammation, and injury may cause neck pain or stiffness.

What are the common causes of Neck Pain?

Neck pain is commonly caused by three main aspects – 

Structural misalignment of the vertebrae

The spine consists of vertebrae that extends from the bottom of the skull to the pelvis. The spine provides stability and support for the upper body. The spine does more than just stabilise the back, meaning misalignment can affect other parts of the body.

Muscular dysfunction in neck

The neck is held upright by two things – your spine and the muscles surrounding the neck and head. When these muscles become tight, sore or dysfunctional, the neck starts to sit forward from a neutral position thus creating poor posture. This poor posture due to muscular dysfunction leads to a number of symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, sore/tight shoulders and neck and poor focus. 

Postural abnormalities

When the joints in your spine are under extra pressure, it can cause muscle imbalances and put additional pressure on your nervous system. For many people, the longer you leave neck pain untreated, the more the imbalance can increase.

Symptoms of neck pain

Total Health Chiropractic has found neck pain to be a common presentation at our practices around Australia. People can experience symptoms including: 

  • Pain that becomes worse by holding the head in one place for long periods of time 
  • Limited movement or rotation 
  • Muscle tightness 
  • Muscle spasms 
  • Headaches 
  • Aching 
  • Sharp pain 
  • Stuck feeling 
  • Difficulty sleeping or getting comfortable 
  • Irritability 

Acute Neck Pain

Acute neck pain is pain that has typically just occurred or has occurred within a 0 – 48-hour window. Neck pain can occur from trauma, but many people experience neck pain from just one restless night’s sleep. Left untreated, acute neck pain can mend itself, but we recommend seeking extra medical advice if any of the following symptoms occur: 

  • Associated headache that is waking you up at night 
  • Increased body temperature or fever 
  • Referred pain – pain going down arms 
  • Any weakness of arms or legs 

Chronic Neck Pain

Chronic cervical pain is defined as pain that has been ongoing for more than three months. Symptoms can be frustrating, can come and go, and can range in intensity. Chronic neck pain has been reported to impact life through restless sleep, increased irritability and anger, and decreased productivity. 

If you are experiencing chronic cervical pain or any other kind of chronic pain, it is recommended to seek advice from a Chiropractor or other allied health professional. If you are unsure on what health professional to see, you can contact us directly or speak to your local GP. 

How Chiropractic care may help neck pain

A recent systematic review looking at all studies completed on cervical pain since 2000 has shown an improvement in pain scores and mobility in patients under Chiropractic care(1). While the evidence is low-moderate, it indicates a far better improvement in scores compared to sham or placebo treatment. Like any field, further studies are recommended to achieve high quality supportive evidence.

Through a combination of manual adjustments, low force techniques, soft tissue techniques and exercises, chiropractic care aims to help reduce pain levels, reduce headaches severity and frequency, decrease muscle tension in and around the neck, increase range of motion, encourage healthy nerve function and bring out many other benefits.

(1) Coulter ID, Crawford C, Vernon H, et al. Manipulation and Mobilization for Treating Chronic Nonspecific Neck Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis for an Appropriateness Panel. Pain Physician. 2019;22(2):E55–E70.

At Total Health Chiropractic we have over 25 years combined clinical experience in managing cervical pain across a range of locations in Victoria and Queensland. 

Contact Us

If you have any questions, or wish to book an appointment with one of our experienced Chiropractors, head to our contact us page and select your preferred practice.

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