Neck pain can make every action in your life a misery, or at least limit your enjoyment in the world around you. Whether you have a hard time turning or tilting your head, sore muscles, pinched nerves, and other factors can lead to tight shoulders and grinding headaches.
Poor posture, or holding one position for too long, can turn a little muscle stiffness into serious discomfort. As muscles are strained, they become inflamed. This swelling puts pressure on the nerves in the neck along the spinal column, increasing your discomfort.
To get a handle on muscle stiffness, it’s a good idea to get your neck checked by a chiropractor to make sure you don’t have a pinched nerve. A sore muscle can be treated with ice, heat, and some stretching, but pinched nerves won’t stretch out.
When applying ice and heat packs, keep the time short. Fifteen minutes of ice every two hours is a good start. Put a folded kitchen towel in a large plastic bag and keep it in the freezer, or you can heat it in the microwave for 30 seconds if you prefer heat. Don’t apply your pack to bare skin. Use a timer to let you know when it’s time to apply and remove the pack. Never lay down on a cold pack or a heat source to avoid falling asleep on it.
Worn Bones or Joints
Over time, the joins in our spine can wear out. This wear and tear can lead to osteoarthritis as the bones simply grind down. To reduce damage from bone loss, make sure to engage in weight-bearing exercise and look for exercise programs to keep your core strong and your spine properly aligned.
Yoga and tai chi are both great exercises to build a strong center, but walking with proper alignment is a wonderful start. Pay careful attention to your posture when reading, working on the computer, or doing any craftwork. One simple change in the placement of a reading light or a new desk chair can do a lot to protect your neck.
Your spinal bones protect the largest nerve in your body, the spinal cord. There are many nerves that come off the spinal cord, and spinal injuries or degradation can trap or pinch these nerves and create pain in your neck, a tingling feeling along your spine, and weakness in your extremities.
If you’re struggling with a pinched nerve, your chiropractor may start with gentle manipulation, massage for spasming muscles, ice, and electrical stimulation. You can reduce the compression of a pinched nerve with simple stretches, such as a
● Chin tuck: slowly lower your chin toward your sternum and hold to stretch the back of the neck
● Head turn: slowly turn your face to point your chin over each shoulder
● Heat tilt: gently tilt your ear toward your shoulder
Your skull is quite heavy in relation to your spinal bones, particularly the neck. Any stretches you do should be slow and very controlled. If it hurts, stop. Ice or heat as directed and try the stretches again as the pain eases.
Old (and New) Injuries
Neck pain rarely occurs out of the blue, though it is possible to sleep awkwardly and wake up with a terribly sore neck. Say you live in Georgia, if you have a fall, a car wreck, or another form of injury, get an assessment for your neck pain chiropractic in Jonesboro, GA before you try to stretch things out or start any pain medication.
Whiplash occurs when the weight of the skull is flung back and forth over the spinal column. It’s a terrible jolt to the bones, joints, muscles, and nerves in the neck and can cause serious health issues over time. Don’t wait to see what happens; get into your chiropractor as soon as you can after such an event.
Rheumatoid arthritis can strike any joint in the body; this inflammation in the joints of your neck can be particularly destructive and painful. Working with a rheumatologist to get on top of your pain and keep inflammation down as much as possible is key.
Your neck is a very delicate part of your body through which nearly all the tools of living, including breathing, eating, and motion, move. To make sure that you maintain the best health possible, get in to see your chiropractor anytime you notice neck pain, tingling or weakness in your arms and hands.