When you have pain, which doctor do you turn to first? If it’s tooth pain, I HOPE you choose a dentist. If you have a broken leg, I HOPE you choose an orthopedist. If you have neck pain, I HOPE you choose a chiropractor. Neck pain occurs in about 15-20% of the population each year, and therefore most people will experience some sort of neck pain throughout their lifetime. Now when I say neck pain, what do you picture? Just the skinny part below the head? Thing BIGGER!
Neck pain can be directly in the skinny part of the neck OR up to the head, out through the trapezius muscles, down the shoulder blades, and out through the arms! Even if you do not have pain in the neck, but you have pain in the shoulder blades or arms, it COULD be coming from the neck! The strength of seeing a chiropractor for this neck pain is their ability to diagnose. Is your pain mechanical (coming from the joints/discs/certain movements)? Is it from irritation to nerve roots? Is it pressure on the spinal cord itself (myelopathy) or something scarier? Chiropractors are great at taking the time to do an exam and narrow down which structures are the problem and directing hands-on treatment to those areas.
A chiropractor has one other amazing tool: the use of their HANDS. They take the time to feel the joints and muscles and investigate the tissues that may be causing your pain.
The main cause of neck pain is MECHANICAL PAIN!
Guess what a chiropractor is best at treating: MECHANICAL PAIN! I use mobilization, adjustments, heat, massage, and exercise targeted toward the neck for my patients. It is usually faster to respond than back pain and easier to manage.
Now, if you lose the ability to use your arms, or you experience the worst head pain you have ever experienced, that will require a trip to the ER. However, even with neck pain that is 8/10 pain, it could still be a simple mechanical dysfunction that is treated with movement therapy, functional training, and strength exercises. However, you should be confident that you can be treated and get better- by getting a good evaluation and understanding what is going on with your neck.
Get your neck/scapula/shoulder blade/arm pain checked out today by a good chiropractor! If you do not have neck pain, I would suggest getting your neck joints and motions checked out by a chiropractor anyway. Patients who come into my office with MINIMAL problems who come in for prevention of mechanical issues leading to future pain are some of my favorite visits!
Are you that patient who wants to take care of problems BEFORE they arrive?
Then I speak to you, make sure mechanical issues do not become future pain: preventative medicine at its finest!