When to See a Chiropractor for Neck Pain
When we experience neck pain, it's easy to let it go and think it's unimportant. You may think I probably slept weirdly on my neck and assume the pain will disappear. Unfortunately, this isn't the case for as many as 85% of neck pain sufferers, primarily if your neck pain was caused by an accident.
But do you know when to see a chiropractor? Chiropractors adjust the spine to maintain good alignment, decreasing pain and complications in the neuromusculoskeletal system. It can be challenging to know if your neck pain is alarming enough to see a professional. Here are signs that it's time to see a chiropractor for neck pain.
Spinal adjustments benefit multiple areas of the body, namely your posture. Incorrect posture can cause increased stress on the cervical spine, overloading the neck and back muscles. All of this can cause neck and shoulder pain.
How do you know you have an unbalanced posture? Some common signs of incorrect posture include the soles of your shoes wearing out, a potbelly even though you don't have excess fat in the abdomen, rounded shoulders, your head leaning forward or backward, and bent knees.
While we're always told to live an active lifestyle, there's such thing as too much of a good thingespecially if you have a sore neck. Living an active lifestyle will put additional pressure and stress on the body. This can result in many issues, spinal misalignment being one of them.
An active lifestyle also increases your risk of injuries. Common injuries sustained from sports and fitness include slipped discs and pinched nerves, both of which will benefit from chiropractic care.
Does your neck pain last all day? This can be for several reasons. Even something minor, like stress, can make your pain more severe and long-lasting.
If your neck pain was caused by something severe, such as whiplash from a car accident, you'll want to see a chiropractor. But if you suspect your persistent neck pain comes from daily bad habits and actions, you can still benefit from chiropractic care. For example, certain chiropractic care services, such as cervical manipulation, are safer than many over-the-counter pain relievers.
You Work a Physically Demanding Job
Some jobs are worse for the neck than others. Jobs that force us to look upwards and hold our neck in an awkward position are often the culprit. Career examples include painters, plasterers, welders, mechanics, dentists, dental assistants, nurses, caregivers, and hairdressers.
There are also some surprising jobs that you wouldn't guess were physically demanding. For example, taxi and Uber drivers sit all day, straining their neck muscles. Sitting at a desk with poor posture also puts stress on your neck.
If you suspect your job is causing your neck pain and posture issues, see a chiropractor for a spinal adjustment.
Pain in Other Parts of the Body
What if you're experiencing pain in more places other than your neck? This is likely due to posture issues. Most also experience back pain. Neck and back pain likely stems from a posture issue. You may also experience knee pain, restricted motion, and sciatica. All of these problems can be a sign that you need a spinal adjustment.
Related to the last section, frequent headaches also indicate that your neck pain calls for chiropractic care. However, headaches are a complex form of pain. If you get the occasional headache, it may not be related to neck pain. Lack of sleep, stress, too much exercise, and not eating a nutritious diet can all set off a headache. However, frequent headaches may be a sign of an underlying problem.
There are three main types of headaches:
- Tension headaches
- Cluster headaches
These headaches have varying triggers. For example, those who struggle with migraines report different triggers, from lack of caffeine to hormones. However, tension headaches have similar triggers as general neck pain, such as poor posture and looking upward or downward for an extended period. Tension headaches can also be caused by misaligned vertebrae in the back of the neck.
Limited Range of Motion
If you also experience a limited range of motion in addition to your neck pain, you'll benefit from chiropractic care. We often associate a limited range of motion with simple actions, such as putting on your seatbelt, dressing, or picking up light items. You may also experience limited motion in your neck; for example, you may not turn your neck to the side.
A limited range of motion is a sign that your bones and joints and misaligned. A chiropractic adjustment will increase your body's range of motion and relieve neck pain.
Seeing a chiropractor is a top priority if you suspect your neck pain was due to a recent accident. Accidents, notably car accidents, can cause spinal misalignment. This not only leads to neck pain, but you may experience problems in your arms, back, and legs. Seeing a chiropractor can prevent future problems from stemming.
Shooting Pain Down Your Legs
One of the most common signs of a pinched nerve or a slipped disc is shooting pain down your legs. The pain is often sharp and can be accompanied by weakness and a tingling sensation.
There are many reasons why you may have sustained these problems. Both standing up and sitting down for long periods can cause these complications. A chiropractor can alleviate the pain you feel in your neck and legs, as well as the other symptoms you're experiencing.
Keep in mind that tingling and numbness may also have other underlying causes. Be sure to visit your general practitioner first to rule out any serious medical conditions.
See a Chiropractor for Neck Pain
Are you experiencing neck pain and think it's time you see a chiropractor? You'll need to find the best chiropractor for neck pain. Our team is passionate about corrective care, and we'll be there for you during your healing process. If you're based in north Miami, contact us to schedule a consultation.