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Why Is Neck Pain So Common?

Why Is Neck Pain So Common?
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Neck pain is one of the most frequent reasons patients seek chiropractic care, second to low back pain. One study noted that neck pain was the primary cause for work absence among 25.5 million American adults in 2012. When considering lost productivity, disability, and healthcare spending, neck pain takes a heavy financial toll on society. Why is it so common?

The answer rests with the relationship between flexibility and stability. The more stable a joint, the less flexible it will be. Likewise, the more flexible a joint, the less stable. If you notice, the neck is very flexible. We can look up, look down, tilt, and rotate from side to side.  Unfortunately, this comes at the cost of stability. There are a lot of joints and soft tissues in the neck that attach to the chest, upper back, and head to allow these various movements to occur.

In the case of a traumatic event, the soft tissues in the neck can become injured, leading to acute neck pain and disability. More often, the neck pain process can develop slowly over time, especially among people with forward head posture from excessive device use. When the head rests forward of the central plane, the effort required for the muscles on the rear of the neck and upper back to keep the head upright increases dramatically, heightening the risk that a seemingly harmless event like sleeping in an awkward posture can trigger neck pain and stiffness.

While it seems logical that immobilizing the neck during a neck pain episode is a smart idea, researchers have found the practice can actually worsen the patient’s condition. When the neck is restricted either physically with a brace or through inactivity out of fear of causing further injury, the muscles can become deconditioned, allowing fat to infiltrate the muscles. This can prolong neck pain and lead to chronic neck pain that severely affects quality of life.

In addition to manual therapies to help restore normal movement to the joints and to break up adhesions and address trigger points in the muscles, doctors of chiropractic frequently provide patients with neck-specific at-home exercises to strengthen the cervical muscles as well as to encourage them to carry out their normal activities within pain tolerance. With this three-pronged, multimodal approach, patients often experience a significant reduction in neck pain and disability within a short time, especially if they sought treatment soon after their neck pain started.


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provide my patients convenient, affordable,
and mainstream Chiropractic care.
I will not use unnecessary long-term
treatment plans and/or therapies.”

To locate a Doctor of Chiropractic who has taken The ChiroTrust Pledge, google "The ChiroTrust Pledge" and the name of a town in quotes.

(example: "ChiroTrust Pledge" "Olympia, WA")