As a Chiropractor in Springfield, IL, one of the most common conditions that presents to our office is neck pain. An estimated 20-70% of US adults will experience some type of neck pain, with women 1.5 times more likely to experience it. Up to 30% of neck pain cases become chronic (long-term) problems, which is why it’s very important to address your neck pain as quickly as possible.
Your neck supports the full weight of your head, which on average weighs about 12 pounds. Lifestyle factors, such as poor posture and electronic device use (cell phones, tablets, etc.) increase the amount of stress on the neck. In fact, for every inch forward that your neck is in front of your shoulders, it adds 10 pounds of stress to your neck. So, if your head weighs 12 pounds and is 2 inches in front of your shoulders, your head actually feels like it weighs 32 pounds! This increased stress can lead to neck pain and even cause the joints of the neck to wear down over time.
Neck pain primarily falls into one of two categories: acute or chronic. Acute neck pain typically follows some type of trauma like a car accident, sports injury, or fall. The sooner you are able to treat your neck pain, usually the better and faster your results will be. If a problem like neck pain persists for more than 3 months, it is then considered to be a chronic pain. It can be more difficult to treat chronic pain because it has been there for so long and the body is used to it. Therefore, these cases typically take more time to treat.
With neck pain, it is important to identify the cause of the problem in order to treat it properly. In the neck, there are many different structures that can be injured such as joints, muscles, ligaments, and discs. Each one can cause different types of pain and discomfort that are unique to that particular structure. Figuring out what needs to be treated is essential to fixing the problem and reducing or eliminating your neck pain.
At the Springfield Wellness Center we take an aggressive, multi-angle approach to neck pain. We offer more services and technologies for neck pain than any other Chiropractor in Springfield, IL. Check out this video to see all the ways we can help!
How We Treat Neck Pain in Springfield, IL
Consultation and Exam
Before we are able to treat your neck pain at The Springfield Wellness Center, we must perform a detailed consultation and examination. The consultation gives our doctors the opportunity to really listen to and understand your problems and how they have affected your life. We can also capture key bits of information about your condition that can help us find out what is causing it.
In the examination, we will perform chiropractic, orthopedic, and functional movement testing to help us pinpoint the cause of your neck pain. These tests help us determine if the problem is due to an issue with a muscle, bone, nerve, or some combination of those. Pain is a body signal, or a way that your body tells you something isn’t functioning properly. When we find out what is causing it, we can help it function the right way again.
Specific Chiropractic Care | Springfield, IL
Many times, neck pain is due to a condition called subluxation. Subluxation occurs when a bone or section of the spine shifts out of its normal position. This causes pressure and irritation to nerves, which can cause symptoms such as neck pain. Subluxations also affect how well your spine is able to move. If they are not corrected, over time they can cause degeneration to the joints and lead to a condition called arthritis.
As Chiropractors in Springfield, IL we perform specific adjustments to the spine, which remove pressure from the nerves and allow the joints to move easier. Subluxation can be resolved through chiropractic care, but it can take time, especially for a chronic problem. By removing subluxation from the neck, proper function can be restored to the nerves and symptoms like neck pain can diminish. If the root cause of your problem is coming from a subluxation in the cervical spine (your neck) you will continue to have symptoms until it is addressed. That is why Chiropractic is so crucial to eliminating neck pain.
Custom Therapeutic Exercise Plan
Neck pain often originates from muscle imbalance due to poor posture. As mentioned above, forward head posture is one of the most common issues that causes neck pain. This type of pain can also stem from a postural condition called Upper Crossed Syndrome. This is a pattern of muscle weakness and tightness in the neck, upper back, and shoulders that causes our posture to distort.
At The Springfield Wellness Center, our trainers create a custom exercise plan that will correct postural distortions and restore balance to the neck. This balance and stability allows our patients to hold their chiropractic adjustments better and longer, providing more sustained relief from conditions like neck pain.
Massage Therapy/Soft Tissue Work
Muscle strain or tightness is seen in most cases of neck pain. There are many layers of muscle in the neck, and factors such as postural stress can cause uncomfortable stiffness and soreness in the muscles. This stiffness can reduce neck range of motion and make some daily activities such as driving more difficult. It can also progress up to the skull and cause tension headaches
Massage Therapy is a key treatment method at The Springfield Wellness Center. Our licensed Massage Therapists are experts in alleviating muscle tension in areas that cause neck pain like the neck, upper back, shoulders, and back of the head. It increases blood flow to the muscles, which makes them looser and improves range of motion. The therapists also work with your Chiropractor as a team so that everyone is on the same page in terms of your care. If massage therapy isn’t for you, our doctors are also trained in various soft tissue techniques such as Active Release Technique and Graston Technique that can produce the same outcome and decrease your neck pain and discomfort.
Cervical Spinal Decompression | Springfield, IL
When there is an injured disc in the neck, one of the best treatments you can do is spinal decompression therapy. Discs can sometimes move backward from between the adjacent neck bones (known as vertebrae) and press on nerves. This is called a disc bulge or herniation. Disc bulges or herniations create inflammation and can cause shooting pain into the arms.
Cervical spinal decompression in Springfield, IL provides a gentle, sustained stretch on the neck. This stretch alleviates pressure on the disc and the nerves. It also creates negative pressure within the disc, which allows for the disc to be pulled back to its normal position between two vertebrae. Spinal decompression, along with chiropractic adjustments and corrective exercise, can alleviate this type of neck pain. They also provide a stable foundation to prevent the problem from happening again.
Deep Tissue Laser
Another form of advanced technology used at The Springfield Wellness Center to address neck pain is Deep Tissue Laser. Deep Tissue Laser works by a process called photobiomodulation, which means low-level lights are used over damaged or affected areas. The light penetrates to the cellular level and causes the cell to produce more energy. This laser therapy has been shown to reduce pain and inflammation, as well as speed up the healing process from the inside out.
Deep Tissue Laser treatment is very quick, with treatment usually taking only 5-10 minutes. It does not cause any discomfort, with only a gentle warmth being felt by the patient during treatment. It is fast, easy, and extremely effective in treating neck pain.
Common Causes of Neck Pain in Springfield, IL
Subluxation is the condition that chiropractors are specially trained to identify and correct. When a bone or section of the spine in the neck shifts out of its normal position, it can cause pressure on nearby spinal nerves. This can present with symptoms such as neck pain, headaches, or even numbness and tingling into the arms or hands. Many times neck pain is treated with exercises, stretches, or even medications. However, there is no exercise or drug you can take to fix subluxation. In Springfield, IL Chiropractors are the only doctors who are trained to properly correct subluxation in the spine. Chiropractic adjustments are gentle and specific, and can provide instant relief for neck pain caused by subluxation.
Tech neck is a term that refers to postural problems that occur due to looking down at our electronic devices or working at desks for too long. As technology has advanced, it has become a more prominent problem. In fact, the average person is now on their phone for around 4 hours per day! Tech neck typically presents with forward head posture, which increases stress on the neck joints and muscles. Forward head posture also reduces – and in some cases, reverses – the natural curve of the neck, which can create chronic neck issues. The Springfield Wellness Center specializes in helping people improve their posture and alleviate neck pain that stems from Tech Neck.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes narrowing of a joint space, and is commonly seen in the neck. It takes a long time to develop, sometimes even decades, and is usually the long term result of things like poor posture and lack of motion. Our joints need to move in order to stay healthy. When we don’t move our joints enough, or have poor posture, the joints gradually wear down. Osteoarthritis can also cause changes in the bone called bone spurs. These can cause irritation to nerves in the neck and cause neck pain. Chiropractic and exercise are essential for managing osteoarthritis and slowing down its progression.
Bulged or Herniated Cervical Discs
Between each of the neck vertebrae are discs, which provide support for our neck joints and allow movement to occur. A vertebral disc contains a jelly-like substance in the middle called a nucleus, which is surrounded by rings of cartilage. Due to postural or repetitive movement stress, the cartilage can be damaged. This causes the nucleus to take the path of least resistance and push into the damaged area. When the nucleus pushes through the last layer of cartilage, the disc has herniated into the space where spinal nerves are located. This causes inflammation, which brings intense neck pain that can radiate down into the arms. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to fix a disc herniation, so it is important to address the problem as quickly as possible if surgery is to be avoided.
One of the most common injuries to result from car accidents in Springfield, IL is whiplash in the neck. When a vehicle comes to a quick stop during impact, the neck moves back and forth sharply, causing damage to the muscles and ligaments in the neck. This results in neck pain and decreased range of motion in the neck. Whiplash must be addressed as quickly as possible, as it can easily lead to chronic neck problems down the road. It is common for patients in our office to have neck pain years, and sometimes even decades, after car accidents. Chiropractic is a very effective way to treat whiplash and restore normal function and movement in the neck.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a chiropractor In Springfield, IL good for neck pain?
Absolutely! Chiropractic should be your first call when it comes to neck pain. The Chiropractors at The Springfield Wellness Center in Springfield, IL have helped thousands of people with all different types of neck pain, and would be happy to help you with your neck pain.
When should you see a chiropractor for neck pain?
The best time to see a chiropractor when you have neck pain is as quickly as possible. By the time you are experiencing neck pain, the problem has usually already existed for some time. So, it is important to address the problem now before it turns into a more severe issue later on.
Is it okay to pop my own neck?
It is not recommended that you pop your own neck. Doing so can cause damage to muscles and ligaments in the neck due to excess force being used and can create hyper mobility in the spine, meaning it moves more than it is supposed to. Chiropractors are the only doctors who are trained to specifically and gently adjust the neck to alleviate neck pain.
Are chiropractors covered by my insurance for neck pain?
Chiropractic care is covered by most insurance plans. The Springfield Wellness Center is happy to check your insurance benefits. We are in network with most major insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Healthlink, Health Alliance, Coventry, Medicare and more. Your doctor will discuss your coverage with you in detail as it pertains to your care.
How should I sleep with neck pain?
The best thing you can do for neck pain while sleeping is keep the spine in a neutral position. Sleeping on your back or side is recommended with adequate pillow support. Sleeping on your stomach is not recommended at all, especially if you are experiencing neck pain.