Your neck pain / symptoms may be caused by a variety of reasons. It is vital to the successful outcome of your chiropractic treatment, to find the underlying cause of your symptoms.
Your neck pain / symptoms may as a result of an injury to any of the tissues of the neck, including muscles, nerves, joints, tendons, connective tissue or reduced blood supply. The area or spread of symptoms may involve the whole neck or may only affect specific areas. The symptoms may be constant or intermittent and may improve or worsen with motion.
Common symptoms of the neck may include: pain, decreased mobility or stiffness. The type of pain / symptoms may be described as burning, dull, sharp or throbbing. These symptoms may range in intensity from mild to severe. Frequently, symptoms perceived in the neck are actually referred from a problem in the shoulder.
Here is a selection of common injuries that have been diagnosed at this clinic.
Cervical facet syndrome is inflammation on one or more joints of the cervical spine (neck). There are two facet joints to each spinal vertebra (left and right). These joints are enclosed by a fibrous capsule which encapsulates synovial fluid around the joint, to keep it lubricated. The capsule can also be a source of pain, should it be stretched or ‘pinched’ in between the spinal joint.
If the joints are ‘closed’ with great force, as in whiplash injuries, then the joint surfaces will be traumatized and possible micro fractures may appear on the facet surface. Whiplash injuries may also cause other tissue lesions to the discs, muscles, tendons and ligaments of the cervical spine.
If the cervical joints were hyper-extended (whiplash), mis-aligned (subluxated) due to inappropriate neck movements, if you have a muscle imbalances and / or you sustain a poor posture, then facet syndrome may develop to one or both sides of the neck.
Facet syndrome will cause pain and stiffness in the neck but may also refer symptoms into the head, shoulder and / or upper back. The neck stiffness tends to be greater in the morning and improves as more movement of the neck is produced. Symptoms tend to increase again in the evening, if the neck is stressed too much during the course of a working day or prolonged poor posture.
Facet syndrome to the upper cervical joints may cause also headaches, ear face pain. If the cervical dysfunction is not addressed in its early stages, then the rate of spinal joint degeneration is greatly accelerated, resulting in chronic pain syndromes in later life.
Early intervention is recommended to correct any spinal mis-alignment and muscular imbalances, to help delay spinal degeneration.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome comes from the words ‘myo’ which
means muscle, and ‘fascia’ which is the connective tissue that covers all
muscles and organs of the body. You will
have no doubt heard of a ‘knot’ in a muscle and most probably experienced some
‘tension’ in a muscle or group of muscles.
Myofascial pain, often referred to as ‘trigger points’, are points of hyper-tension (knot) within a band of tense muscle fibres. These trigger points can be either ‘active’ or ‘latent’. Active trigger points may refer pain to areas of the body, far from the trigger point.
Active trigger points in the muscles of the upper shoulder girdle may refer into the neck and vice versa, depending on where the trigger points are located. When these active trigger points are further stressed by poor posture, sustained contraction, cold / hot weather, then they may refer symptoms to their predictable site.
Latent trigger points do not refer symptoms but do cause local pain. These latent trigger points will evolve into active trigger points if left untreated and if the original stress continues.
A diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation is required to de-activate these trigger points which will alleviate the symptoms.
A Slipped Disc in the cervical spine (neck) may
refer pain and symptoms into the neck and shoulder, due to compression or
chemical irritation of the cervical nerve from the adjacent ‘bulging’ or
herniated cervical disc. The cervical
nerve is ‘irritated’ by the slipped disc as it exits the cervical spine, before
it courses down the neck.
It may produce symptoms of pain, pins and needles and/ or numbness and is often called ‘radicular’ pain or a ‘radiculopathy’. The symptoms are often described as ‘shooting’ or ‘throbbing’ pains and symptoms may increase when you cough or sneeze. Surgical intervention is sometimes required, to reduce the nerve compression.
Another cause of a ‘radiculopathy’ is osteoarthritis of the cervical spine. In this case, the exiting cervical nerve is trapped by the surrounding bony cervical vertebrae, commonly found in people with degeneration (wear and tear) of the neck joints. This diagnosis is not amenable to chiropractic intervention.
It is absolutely paramount to your good health that the underlying causes of your neck symptoms are found and correct diagnosis is made. Dr Doherty will use his wealth of experience to achieve this and to make the appropriate management plan for you.
Similar symptoms are not always as a result of similar causes. The consultation and examination will differentiate between the many causes that may be producing your neck symptoms.
Please phone 0161 482 0786, to make your consultation and examination appointment or to make further enquiries.
The Family Chiropractic Clinic, 15 Station Road, Cheadle Hulme, Stockport. SK8 5AF.
Chiropractor serving the people of Cheadle, Stockport, Manchester, Trafford and Tameside.