Neck Pain & Headaches
Your cervical spine connects your brain stem to your spinal cord. It is an area rich in blood vessels and other soft tissue, such as ligament and tendons. Neck pain is slightly less common than back pain, but no less important or treatable.
Common causes of neck pain include, but are not limited to:
- Cervical herniated disc.
- Cervical stenosis, which is caused by a herniated disc or degenerative joint, can cause pain to radiate down the arm, and lead to shooting pain and coordination problems in the arms and legs.
- Muscle strain degeneration of the facet joint cartilage.
- Osteoarthritis of weight-bearing joints, such as hips and knees.
A sprain of the muscles, ligaments, or tendons in the neck area usually causes acute neck pain. Vehicular accidents, repeated carrying of heavy items (such as luggage), or awkward sleeping positions are often the culprits. Most minor ligament or tendon injuries in the neck will subside with proper care, including rest, ice or heat application, and rehabilitation such as chiropractic care and physical therapy.
One common symptom of chronic neck pain is an ache that radiates down the arm, sometimes into the hands and fingers, accompanied by numbness or tingling. Foraminal stenosis, a condition caused by degenerative changes in the neck joints, involves a herniated disc or a pinched nerve. This in turn causes chronic neck pain.
Chronic headaches and migraines afflict many Americans. The severity of pain can go from mild and intermittent to episodes of debilitating throbbing, unrelenting agony, as well as nausea. Relief comes from a variety of means, including over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs, rest, and ice/heat packs on the forehead or neck. Sources of headaches include, but are not limited to, certain kinds of foods, sounds and excessive noise or bright lights, changes in blood sugar, and even too much exercise.
Some recent studies have shown that patients suffering from chronic headaches and migraines may benefit more from long-term chiropractic care than drug therapy alone. For headaches that originate in the cervical, or neck, area, chiropractic treatment, such as spinal manipulation, has been shown to be quite effective. A 2001 Duke University study, for example, found that spinal manipulation provided relief for patients with headaches that originate in the neck, and resulted in fewer side effects than medication. Researchers in that study concluded that such treatments as relaxation training, thermal biofeedback combined with relaxation training, electromyographic (EMG) biofeedback, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and to a lesser degree, acupuncture, are all modestly effective in treating migraine headaches.
Close to 15 percent of people who visit a chiropractor do so to seek relief for pain from chronic headaches or migraines, according to the American Chiropractic Association.
For more information on Neck Pain in the Minneapolis, MN area call Shoff Chiropractic at (612) 772-8554 today!