Neck Or Cervical Spine:
There are seven bones of the spinal column in your neck (cervical vertebrae). They are connected to each other by ligaments–strong bands of tissue that act like thick rubber bands. A sprain (stretch) or tear can occur in one or more of these ligaments when a sudden movement, such as a work injury, car accident, or a hard fall, causes the neck to flex, extend, or rotate to an extreme position.
Other more serious causes would include:
- Pain, especially in the back of the neck, that worsens with movement
- Pain that peaks a day or so after the injury, instead of immediately
- Muscle spasms and pain in the upper shoulder
- Headache in the back of the head
- Sore throat
- Increased irritability, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and difficulty concentrating
- Numbness in the arm or hand
- Neck stiffness or decreased range of motion (side to side, up and down, circular)
- Tingling or weakness in the arms
Chiropractors diagnose a neck sprain by performing a comprehensive physical examination. During the physical examination, the chiropractor will ask you how the injury occurred, measure the range of motion of your neck, check the muscle strength in your neck,and check for any point tenderness.
They will also order radiographs (X-rays) so they can look closely at the bones in your neck. The main thing they are looking for are changes in the position of the vertebra, often known as subluxations. This evaluation will help the chiropractor rule out or identify other sources of neck pain, such as spinal fractures, dislocations, arthritis, herniated discs, and other serious conditions.
All sprains or strains, no matter where they are located in the body, are treated in a similar manner. Chiropractic adjustments are very critical to restore the proper position of the vertebrae so as the neck heals, it can do so in the proper alignment. The worst thing one can do is ignore these changes and think “the pain will go away”. While the pain may go away, if the spine is not properly realigned, the risk of developing arthritis and other neurological problems increases.
Pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen can temporary relieve your pain, but they will not restore your proper spinal position.. Muscle relaxants are typically overprescribed. Think about it; muscles spasm for a reason and that is to help contract around an injured spine and form a “muscular cast”.
This is done automatically as a defense mechanism to prevent further and more serious injury to your spine. If you take too many muscle relaxers, you are actually “disarming” your body’s own natural defense mechanism. This leaves you vulnerable to more serious injury as a result.
Ice packs applied for 15 to 30 minutes at a time, several times a day for the first 2 or 3 days after the injury if typically recommended. This will help reduce inflammation and discomfort. Although heat, particularly moist heat, can help loosen cramped muscles, it should not be applied too quickly.
Other treatment options include along with chiropractic adjustments:
- Massaging the tender area
- Cervical (neck) traction
- Aerobic and isometric exercise
Most symptoms of neck sprain will go away in 4 to 6 weeks. However, severe injuries, may take up to 6 months to a year to heal.
If you have recently suffered from a cervical sprain, or whiplash, don’t settle in on medications. Remember, misaligned vertebrae are “structural problems” while medications are a “chemical solution”.
What this means is that you don’t’ want to treat a structural problem with a chemical solution. This is where chiropractic treatment is so valuable – offering a structural solution to a structural problem.
Get Neck Pain Relief Today! Call (614) 428-9310 and start feeling better today!