CONDITIONS WE TREAT
Most people do not realize how often they move their neck until pains kick in. The neck is very susceptible to injury due to the fact that it has a large degree of flexibility and a very little amount of muscular stabilization. The human head weighs about the same as an average size bowling ball, 10-12 lbs. Can you picture a bowling ball being supported by a thin stick? Well, then you can see that it doesn't take much force to disrupt this delicate balance.
The neck consists of seven cervical vertebrae (neck bones) that stack up on top of each other. The extension of the brain—the spinal cord—runs down through the neck and sends out a pair of nerves between each one of these vertebrae. These nerves run up to the head, down into the arms, and to the upper back. Problems in the neck can contribute to:
Numbness, tingling, cold, aching, and “pins and needles” in the arms or hands.
Muscle spasms in the shoulders and upper back.
Ringing in the ears.
Otitis media (inflammation in the middle ear, often mistaken for an ear infection in children).
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ).
Restricted range of motion and chronic tightness in the neck and upper back.
Headaches and Migraines
A very common way that many people treat headaches is to reach for that bottle of pills and hope the headache subsides. Unfortunately, people can develop side effects from many medications and occasionally some people develop ulcers or organ damage over time.
Many studies have identified spinal manipulation therapy, the main type of care utilized by chiropractors, as being very effective for different types of headaches—in particular, tension-type headaches that arise in the neck. Tension from tight muscle due to physical or emotional stress can cause irritation nerves that travel into the head, thus causing pains that throb, pound or ache.
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries to the neck. Whiplash is caused by a sudden movement of the head, either backward, forward, or sideways that injures supporting neck muscles, ligaments, which can seriously irritate nerves in the spine. Whiplash should be taken very seriously because the symptoms can take hours to months to manifest and create bigger problems down the road. Many studies show nearly half of whiplash victims still suffer from symptoms years after their injuries, and possible years after their insurance companies would be liable for reimbursement. Don’t assume that you escaped injury because you didn’t have much pain immediately after an accident. Have your neck evaluated by a doctor South Shores Chiropractic Center.
Forward head posture and poor posture is very common for people who are hunched over their computers, cell phones, desks, or drive for long periods of time. Bad posture can create imbalances in the muscles and spine, which can lead to nerve irritation, headaches, back pain, and spine deformitySomething to think about!
When people become stressed their muscles become tight, especially in the neck and upper back. This tightness is a survival response the body uses to guard itself. Stress can be a good thing, but constant pressure can become a problem when and unwanted aches and pains sneak up on you.
Disc Herniation, Bulges and Injury
The discs of your spine act much like shock absorbers do on your car. Your discs provide a cushion and protection to the essential nerve function to your body. Sometimes discs can become weak over time or in an instant from trauma causing it to bulge, herniate or rupture. When this happens it can not only create back pain but sensations such as pins and needles, numbness, tingling or shooting pains down your arms or legs, depending on where the bulge occurs.
In most cases, conservative chiropractic care can alleviate these symptoms and with proper treatment and time, the bulging disc can shrink and heal. In severe cases, a CT or MRI will be necessary to identify the size and exact location of the bulge to see if surgery is necessary for pain relief.
Overexertion, overuse, sports injuries, dislocation, fracture, frozen shoulder, joint instability, and pinched nerves can all give rise to shoulder pain. The most common source of shoulder pain arises from strains which are small tears in the muscle or tendon. When the bursa (the fluid-filled sacs that lubricate, cushion, and protect the sliding tendons of muscles) or rotator cuff tears, the bursa swells and impinges the shoulder area. When this occurs, it’s very painful to raise the arm up from the side of the body or above one’s head.
The diagnosis of what’s actually contributing to a person’s shoulder pain is often determined by the history of how an injury occurred or the “mechanism of an injury.” This is followed up by specific orthopedic tests that are performed on a patient to see if they can be helped with chiropractic care. Imaging, such as an x-ray or an MRI may be warranted to assess the damage that may have happened. Outside of a medical emergency, patients should always try non-surgical treatment options such as chiropractics. While resting the shoulder may yield some immediate pain relief, chiropractic treatments emphasize mobilization exercises and self-care strategies to restore range of motion and function, as well as decrease pain to the shoulder area that is typically slow healing.
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