Chiropractor Helps Neck Pain and Headaches
Neck pain and headaches are often the result of stuck or irritated joints. Our daily postures and activities place stress and strain on the muscles and joints as we move, turn, bend, or stare at a computer monitor. The accumulation of trauma adds up over time. It is not the eight hours you spent staring at computer today with bad posture – it’s the weeks and months you’ve stared at computer slouching forward even though you know you shouldn’t. The accumulative trauma, or chronic repetitive trauma, causes microscopic damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. The micro trauma adds up over the months resulting in dispersed injuries throughout the neck and upper back.
People with chronic headaches and neck pain often describe stiffness that fluctuates up and down in a day. It is often present first thing in the morning, and then loosens up with movement before breakfast. The stiffness and tightness returns in the afternoon or evening hours. These people often describe knots or soreness in their neck trapezius muscles. These spots in the neck are worse after long and stressful days.
These small injuries to the many muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints in the neck are all sending pain signals to the brain. The chronic neck stiffness and soreness is the result of many pain sensors all saying “ouch.”
How Chiropractors Help Neck Pain
Chiropractic helps decrease neck pain and headaches by increasing joint range of motion and movement. Chiropractors can perform several types of adjusted techniques that apply pressure to a joint to help push and open it up. Think of a stuck joint like a rusty door hinge. With the rusty door hinge, we can either apply slow and firm pressure to the door to help open and restore them motion. We could rock the the door back and forth several times to break the rest and increase the motion and movement, or we could give it a firm and controlled kick to establish movement.
Those stuck joints not only limit movement but they also send pain signals to the brain. Joints were designed to move and they do not like staying in one position for too long. Ever sit on a long car ride and feel the urge to stretch or move your legs back-and-forth to relieve pressure inside the needs? This is the same concept; because the knee joint was stationary for too long it started sending pain signals to the brain. Those pain signals accumulated in discomfort and caused you to straighten your knees to relieve the ache.
Chiropractic Manipulation For Neck Pain
Chiropractic adjustments restore the normal motion and movement in the neck and upper back joints, thereby reducing the pain signals being sent to the brain. Chiropractic adjustments can also be complemented with exercises and stretches. The exercises and stretches enhance the adjustment and help maintain joint movement throughout the day. Performing neck range of motion exercises during the day minimizes the stiffness and pain from sitting in a prolonged posture, especially with long hours at the computer.
Physiotherapy modalities can be used to decrease muscle spasms and block additional pain signals to the brain. Electric stimulation, heat, ice, ultrasound, and manual therapy are common modalities used in the office. Massage therapy can also be used to decrease pain and muscle spasms in the neck and upper back.
Graston Technique For Headaches and Neck Pain
Graston Technique utilizes stainless steel tools to help break up scar tissue that accumulates in muscles with chronic repetitive movements and postures. Scar tissue is a common source of pain in the neck and upper back. People often describe knots or sore spots in their neck muscles that are usually the start of their pain. At the end of the long day they are begging their spouse to rub their neck, especially on these knots. These knots are accumulations of scar tissue that is preventing normal muscle movements. Graston Technique helps break up the scar tissue between muscle fibers and at the tendons insertion along the bone. People who experience chronic neck pain and headaches often find significant improvement of symptoms when Graston Technique is utilized in their therapy.
Class IV cold laser is another treatment that decreases pain and inflammation in muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. Specific wavelengths and frequencies decrease inflammation in the body. Specific wavelengths can also enhance cellular repair and healing, which promotes recovery and proper tissue repair.
Neck pain and headaches are often the result of multiple tissues sending pain signals to the brain. Therapeutic treatment goals are to decrease the pain signals that are being transmitted and enhance normal movement in muscles and joints. Therapy often reestablishes proper motions and movements that have been lost due to chronic repetitive stress injuries. Chiropractic is an excellent treatment option for restoring joint motion and movement that has been lost in people who are experiencing chronic neck pain.