When the ligament structures are damaged, or the muscle goes into spasm, it causes a flattening of the curve in the neck and causes the misalignments which the body cannot always rectify by itself. These misalignments change the way the neck moves and can even cause problems in other areas of the spine as they are forced to compensate.
Poor posture, weak musculature and obesity can all cause the head position to go forward to compensate. Stress and emotional trauma can cause muscle spasm and forward head carriage. Over time, the discomfort can spread across the shoulders and upper arms.
As we grow older, this cumulative trauma leads to osteoarthritis of the neck which involves the discs between the vertebrae to disform, bulge and wear away. This break down of tissue can lead to nerve impingement or irritation. Arm pain, shoulder pain, pins and needles can all result from this progression of degeneration.
Chiropractic care of the neck:
During your initial visit, Dr Nothling will perform an extensive examination to locate the source of the pain.
The testing usually includes the following:
A full case history.
He will then also perform a physical exam which involves the following:
- Looking at posture, alignment and physical condition.
- Orthopaedic testing
- Functional and neurological exams.
- Motion and static palpation. (feeling the movement of the individual segments to see if they are moving as they should while checking for pain and muscle guarding)
- If indicated, he may take an x ray or order further testing like scans or blood work to assist in the diagnosis
If he diagnosis a condition outside his scope of practice he will refer to the appropriate medical physician.
This may include a cervical adjustment. This is a precise procedure applied to the vertebrae to move it in a very particular way to restore movement and proper position of the vertebrae. Patients typically report improved mobility and less discomfort following this procedure.
Dr Nothling will develop a treatment plan which may include other modalities of care such as mobilization, exercises, acupuncture or dry needling just to mention a few options.
Recent reviews of scientific literature found that patients with chronic neck pain reported significant improvement following chiropractic care.
Researchers reviewed 9 previous studies and found that there was high quality evidence that patients with chronic neck pain showed significant pain level improvement following chiropractic manipulation of the neck. --Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics March/Aril 2007 issue.