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6 Main Types of Neck Pains, Home Remedies & Professional Help for Neck Pain Relief!
If you’re suffering from neck pain it may bring you some comfort knowing you are not alone. In fact, at Saltash Chiropractic Clinic, neck pain is the second most common reason people visit us for help, only beaten by lower back pain.
It is said that by the time you hit middle age between 30% and 50% of people will experience at least one bought of neck pain within a 12 month period. In Saltash alone, this means there could be between 5,000 and 8,000 people experiencing neck pain each year (from the 2015 equality and diversity demographics).
Although not all neck pain is equal it is highly unpleasant and can have a significant impact on someone's happiness, family life and work life.
Some people experience a dull ache so intense the need to self crack is almost limitless.
Diagnose Neck Pain in Saltash
Some people experience sharp stabbing pains where they cannot turn their head in it’s full range making things like driving difficult or even dangerous.
Some people experience a ‘crick’ in the neck.
Some people’s neck pain is so unpleasant that it causes headaches and migraines.
Some people simply cannot get comfortable when trying to sleep which then affects their mood for days and week.
No matter what experience you have with your own neck pain… it’s not fun.
In this article, we hope to shed light on causes of neck pain, the types of neck pain you may be experiencing, and how you could become free from neck pain.
Understanding Your Neck
To fully understand why we experience the pain we do it will help to have even a basic understanding of your neck and how it is made up.
Your neck is the start and top of the spine and spinal cord containing 7 of the spine’s vertebrae, known as the cervical spine. These vertebrae help support the skull, move the spine and protect the spinal cord.
Each vertebra is numbered starting from the top being C1. C1 is also known as the ‘atlas’. This then follows onto C2 to C7.
Why is knowing this important? If you are to see a professional about your neck pain they may start talking about something like ‘the compression between C3 and C4 is a cause for concern’, this basic understanding gives you a bit more of an idea about what they are talking about and doesn’t leave you in the dark.
Note: If you do seek professional help about your pain and they say something you don’t quite understand do ask them to clarify it. It is their job to tell you everything you need to know in a way you can best understand it. We do our best to never leave our patients in the dark or confused about what is going on.
Around the seven vertebrae, the neck is made up of a complicated, strong and efficient combination of muscles, fascia and flexible ligaments that give us the relatively large amount of movement we are used to.
With any complicated system, things can go wrong and we can then experience neck pain. There are 6 main types of neck pain you may have to deal with.
The 6 Main Types of Neck Pain
The Most Common: Muscle Pain & Muscle Spasm
When it comes to Neck Pain the most common we see at Saltash Chiropractic Clinic is Muscle Pain and Muscle Spasms.
Muscle Pain is when you feel an ache or soreness within the muscles. This is often caused by overexertion or prolonged physical (or even emotional) stress. This could be due to the way you sleep, or even the way you sit at your computer, there are many causes.
Muscle Spasms are like Muscle Pain, but far more intense. They are often a powerful tightening of a muscle resulting in pain and limited movement. These can be caused due to muscle injury but also because of vertebral or nerve problems.
Both muscle pain and spasms can cause all kinds of unbearable problems within your life which is why it’s one of our most common neck issues to treat in our wellness centre.
Headaches & Migraines
Although headaches aren't experienced ‘in’ the neck, headaches are a major secondary issue caused by neck problems.
If your neck pain is causing headaches it is often felt in the back of the head and upper neck around the base of the skull. These headaches are usually dull and achy rather than sharp and are often caused by muscle pain and muscle spasm.
Note: We often have people visit us because after suffering from headaches for months without realising the true cause is their neck.
Even though the pain is only dull it still impacts your day to day life. The dull ache can affect your concentration, your comfort and your mood making things like sleeping and work much harder than they should be.
Although muscle pain, muscle spasms and headaches can be uncomfortable they can be ‘lived with’ for a while before seeing a professional for help.
As the pain is often described as ‘dull’ it’s easy to try and ignore it while getting on with your day.
Nerve pain is the complete opposite. This pain is extremely sharp as if you are being stabbed in a very specific area. Pain so uncomfortable people often do everything they can to not move their head in a way that causes pain.
When people experience Nerve Pain, especially in the neck, they often look for professional help almost immediately as it isn’t something you can live with for long.
Nerve pain in the neck is often caused by an injury to the nerve, a loss of curve in the neck, a prolapsed disc, or compressed joint which pinches the nerve.
Thankfully not all pain that feels like nerve pain is nerve pain. For example, an injury to a muscle may give the same type of pain.
Referred pain is when there is an issue in one part of the body that causes pain in another.
For example; If you have an issue with one of the muscles in the shoulder it may cause you pain and discomfort (muscle pain, muscle spasms, or even nerve pain) in the neck even when your shoulder feels fine.
That is one example of many and also why at Saltash Chiropractic Clinic we make sure every new client has a thorough consultation and assessment so we can see the full picture of what is going on in their body. You may visit us with neck pain, yet we may end up treating a different part of the body that doesn't seem related.
Tenderness and aching in the bones themselves are far more uncommon than muscle pain, muscle spasms and nerve pain. Generally speaking, bone pain comes under two main categories; neurological (it’s a nerve issue) or there’s a break. There are, of course, other categories too but those are the most common of this uncommon type of pain.
If you believe you are experiencing bone pain it’s best to seek professional help as soon as possible. Give us a call on 01752 845451 today and we will get you booked in for a full consultation including essential scans as soon as possible (often the same week, even the next day!).
The Least Common - Facet Joint Pain
Facet joint pain is the least common issue we see at Saltash Chiropractic Clinic with neck pain. Usually, this type of pain feels deep, sharp and achy and may radiate down to the shoulders and upper back.
Generally, this type of pain is due to arthritis in the neck.
As You Can See...
There are 6 main types of neck pain you may experience, the most common being muscle pain and muscle spasms. It’s worth understanding that these types of pain do overlap and you may experience a combination of them.
Now we understand the pain let’s take a journey into how we can reduce it and get it treated.
Home Remedies for Neck Pain
Depending on the pain you are experiencing depends on what you may be able to do from home to help relieve it. The following may help with muscle pain, muscle spasm and headaches.
Heat & Cold
If you have minor neck pain or stiffness then applying an ice pack or heat pack to the area may start to loosen up the muscles and give you some relief. Commonly it is recommended to use ice for the first 24 to 48 hours after injury to reduce swelling followed by heat to loosen the muscles. This is not a stance we currently take due to some evidence showing that ice may delay the healing process.
Stretching can be used to reduce neck pain and improve flexibility. Stretches are best performed after warming the neck up with a warm shower, bath or towel.
If bad posture is the cause of your neck pain then taking steps to improve it can be vital. This may mean reviewing how you stand and sit, your position in the car, your workstation in the office and maybe even your mattress and pillow for bed.
There are many over the counter medications that can help relieve your pain and may help reduce inflammation. It is our professional opinion that these shouldn’t be relied on long term as a fix for your neck pain.
Although they may remove most the pain it doesn’t mean the cause has been fixed and may give you a false sense of security with how bad it may actually be.
Professional Help for your Neck Pain
Although your neck pain may be managed from home with a mixture of improving your posture, heat & cold therapy, stretching and drugs there may be a more serious structural or muscular problem that needs to be addressed to solve the pain, rather than manage it.
This is why the examination we do at Saltash Chiropractic Clinic is not only thorough but highly specialised. We aim to leave no stone unturned.
That way if you are suffering with muscle pain, muscle spasms, headaches, nerve pain or joint pain we can pinpoint with a high degree of accuracy exactly why you are suffering and from there create a recommendation of care to get you out of pain as soon as possible.
Our examinations include two main areas depending on what your specialist thinks you need.
Getting Professional Help To Treat Neck Pain Can Make All The Difference
PRECISE POSTURAL ANALYSIS
Your posture is largely determined by the shape of your spine. If your spine is healthy on the inside then your posture on the outside should be healthy too, with just small variations. When it comes to the neck, if it has the right shape your head will also be positioned on what is known as the "gravity line". If your head is not positioned on the gravity line we may need to make further in depth evaluations of "why not?"
In many cases we will only utilise postural analysis in order to determine your spinal/structural abnormalities, this is because UK law states that we must make every effort to minimise the use of X-Rays. Therefore, we will only utilise X-Ray analysis when absolutely necessary and we believe that there is a serious structural problem that has occurred.
Your postural analysis is made by accurately placing coloured dots on specific landmarks on the surface of your body. Again we utilise the most sophisticated computer software that we know of to analyse what is happening to your structure.
NERVE FUNCTION ANALYSIS
Your nerve system is the master communication system of the body. It is also the most delicate and vital system of the body and it is easily harmed. It's a fact that it needs to be healthy for you to be healthy. That's why we focus on your nerve system, because it can offer us advanced signs of health problems developing in your body long before you experience the symptoms. That way we can tackle them before they become a problem.
The combination of these two technologies gives a clear picture to you and your specialist about how your body is functioning and why you experience the pain you do. The more we know and understand the better we are able to help improve the quality of your life.
Once the cause has been highlighted treatment can take many forms.
It could be structural based with manual treatments applied to the spine, it could be muscular based with deep tissue release, there could be specific-to-you activities to perform from home to help make faster progress, and more.
Regardless of what form your treatment takes the aim is always simple. Fix the real cause of your pain so you don’t have to experience it again.
It’s fair to say that living with neck pain is not a fun experience. Although it can be easy to ‘live with’ for a while it does start to get in the way and cause more harm than good to your day to day life.
Of the six main types of neck pain, the most common is Muscle Pain and Muscle Spasms however, it is not unusual to see a mixture of the six affecting the same person.
Although your pain can be managed at home it is doubtful the true cause will be fixed without some professional help, especially if there is a structural or muscular issue and especially if you’re suffering with referred pain that has little to do with your neck (from home you may be treating the wrong area and never know!).
Saltash Chiropractic Clinic Treatment & Therapy
After your consultation has taken place our highly experienced Chiropractor will analyse your results and create a thorough recommendation of care to help take you towards being pain-free.
Your Chiropractor will be able to answer any questions you have and put your mind at ease knowing you are in good hands.
As each person is different we are unable to say in this article how much treatment you may need. Some need a few regular treatments over a short time, others need regular treatments over a longer time. It all depends on the real cause of your pain and how simple it is to treat.
Since our doors first opened we have been able to help and treat over 4,000 people from across Saltash, Plymouth, Liskeard, Looe, South East Cornwall and west Devon .
We Hope This Has Been Useful…
As you can see from the information above, there are many types of neck pain and many potential solutions from home remedies to seeking professional help.
If you do want to discover the cause of your neck pain and you live in Saltash, Plymouth, Liskeard, Looe, South East Cornwall or West Devon or one of the surrounding areas then why not come to Saltash Chiropractic Clinic for a Consultation. You’ll be in good hands with our Chiropractor.
Normally Consultations cost £86.00 due to how in-depth and powerful the testing is, however, right now you can get the same consultation for only £21. Enter your name, number and email in the form below and one of our team will give you a call as soon as possible to get your Consultation booked.
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An Introduction or Full Examination
Could Be The Beginning Of
THE END TO YOUR PAIN!
"But what does life without Pain look like?"
A Forecast of The Future?
A snapshot of life when Pain is properly identified, treated and managed.......
Let's just pretend we're looking into your future - say 30 Days from now
What might it look like?
- Waking up pain-free, fully recharged, energized, optimistic and excited for each new day.
- Back to life without pain in you body
- without any suffering whatsoever!
- Feeling the tight embrace of a loved one such as a spouse, child or grandchild without any pain or irritation.
- Your future self reveals you being able to fall asleep without any difficulty and staying asleep without awakening due to your pain.
You're now enjoying a full night's sleep and waking fully refreshed - since breaking free from the vicious cycle of pain and suffering.
- Pain gone!
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We look forward to meeting you and helping you on your journey!
Dr Jonathan Clarke
Doctor of Chiropractic
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