Located on the base of our skulls, the neck is responsible for supporting the full weight of our head, which weighs around 12 pounds on average. Also known as the cervical spine, the neck allows our heads to move in almost any direction.
While the neck’s flexibility is what enables us to perform simple actions (such as turning our heads) it also makes our necks susceptible to injuries.
Gonstead chiropractic treatment for neck pain
While traditional methods of chiropractic are effective in treating neck pain, most are centered on manipulation involving rotary forces, or head twisting motions.
While many of these forms of chiropractic show benefits, Gonstead adjustment for neck subluxation is considered superior to traditional forms, as these do not utilize rotary forces, and are safer, more comfortable, and are proven to clinically help with reducing neck pain and improving range of motion.
Chiropractic treatment procedure
Initially, a doctor of chiropractic will need to perform several exams in order to locate the source of the pain you may be experiencing. He or she may also ask you questions regarding symptoms you’re experiencing and any treatment or remedies you’ve tried.
Once the doctor has obtained needed information, he or she will then conduct a physical exam which will analyze your range of motion, posture, and overall physical condition. During the exams, your doctor of chiropractor will observe and look for specific movements that may be causing discomfort or pain. Doctors of chiropractic will also check your spine by examining its alignment and curvature, while also feeling for muscle spasm. A neurological exam will likewise be performed, which will test your muscles, reflexes, changes in your nerves, and areas where pain is felt.
Cause of neck pain and neck injuries
Some of the common activities or events that cause neck injuries or pain include accidents, repetitive movements, falls, aging, extended sitting, impact to the head and body, and inevitable wear and tear.
Here’s a closer look at the common causes of neck pain:
Aging – as we grow older, there are certain degenerative disorders that can have a direct impact on our spines. These disorders include degenerative disc disease, osteoarthritis, and spinal stenosis.
Daily activities – Improper posture, excess weight, and weak core muscles can affect our spinal balance. In order for the neck to compensate, it bends forward, which can contribute to chronic pain, in some cases extending to the arms and the upper back.
Accidents – Sudden impacts can cause our heads and necks to violently move in a certain direction. It is the resulting “rebound” in the opposite direction that can lead to major damage, known more commonly as whiplash. Whiplash can injure the muscles that surround the head and neck area. In more extreme cases, this type of injury causes severe damage to muscles, intervertebral joints and discs, and nerve roots.
A neck adjustment or cervical manipulation may also be used to improve the patient’s spine mobility as well as to restore range of motion. Neck adjustments also improve movement and motion of the adjoining muscles.
A neck adjustment is typically performed by hand, adjusting the patient’s neck joints. When successful, patients who have undergone a neck adjustment will experience an improved ability while tilting or turning his or her head, as well as reduced pain, stiffness, and soreness.
Depending on the patient’s condition, a chiropractor will create a program that may involve different types of treatment. In addition to chiropractic care, a treatment plan may include methods such as massage therapy, rehabilitative exercises, and mobilization.