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Chiropractor In Naperville IL | Treating Neck Pain Requires Knowing the Source

Neck pain comes from a variety of sources, and understanding where it stems allows you to treat it properly.  Whether your pain stems from arthritis, disc issues, whiplash or muscular strains, you need to address the underlying pathology to be successful in treatment.  Each type of neck pain has specific treatment modalities, here you will find a primer on these options.

The most common source of whiplash injuries is a motor vehicle accident.  When your car is struck by another vehicle, your neck is whipped back and forth, resulting in strains or tears to the muscles on the front of the spine as well as the rest of the neck.  Symptoms can include stiffness, headaches, nausea, difficulty swallowing, paresthesis and shoulder and back pain.  

Whiplash doesn’t always present immediately, it can creep up on you in the days, weeks and even months following the accident, which sometimes makes it difficult to make the connection.

Treatment usually includes NSAIDS, ice and heat, muscle relaxants and massage or physical therapy.  If pain continues for more than a few weeks, x-rays are in order to check for spinal damage.  Most people have a successful resolution.

Disc Issues
If you have a herniated disc in you neck you may experience numbness and tingling in your arms and hands as well as neck pain.  The discs are gelatinous structures that provide cushioning between the vertebrae of the spine.  When damaged they can protrude and put pressure on nerves that run through and near the spinal column.

A number of treatment options exist, and you and your doctor will come up with a plan that is best for you.  Chiropractic treatment can help alleviate your symptoms with adjustments.  Massage can ease the pain of straining muscles that try to maintain the appropriate spacing between vertebrae.  

Over-the-counter medications and prescriptions can help manage the pain and inflammation and injections can work as well.  Physical therapists can provide relief through a variety of techniques and exercises.  A final option is surgery to relieve the pressure caused by the bulging or herniated disc.

Arthritis is defined as the inflammation of a joint.  There are two causes of inflammation.   In Osteoarthritis the cartilage between two bones has worn away causing an increase in friction.  In Rheumatoid arthritis,, an autoimmune disease has attacked the joints.  Early diagnosis of either of these conditions improves your odds of successful treatment.

Rheumatoid arthritis needs to be treated aggressively.  Specific drugs can help reduce the autoimmune response of the body.  Other, biologic drugs are particularly effective in reducing the inflammation that RA produces.  Each person’s response to the medications is unique, so treatment is a process of trial and error until the right combination is found.

With osteoarthritis anti-inflammatory medications, exercise, and massage are your best bets for continuing with a good quality of life.  Since there are no options to replace joints in the neck surgery like that performed for the hip or knee isn’t available.  Some supplements can help according to research studies.  Things like Glucosamine may help relieve some of your discomfort.

Neck pain is, well, a pain in the neck.  Proper treatment can help you resume normal levels of activity.

About the Author

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