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In this video, Dr. Huntoon discusses Chronic Pain and what you need to know if you do not want to end up with Chronic Pain.
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What is Neck Pain? What are causes and risk factors for Neck Pain?
Pain located in the neck is a common health condition. Neck pain can come from a number of disorders and diseases of any tissues in the neck. Examples of common conditions producing neck pain are degenerative disc disease, neck strain, neck injury such as in whiplash, a herniated disc, or a pinched nerve. Neck pain can come from common infections, such as virus infection of the throat, leading to lymph gland swelling and neck pain. Neck pain can also come from rare infections, such as tuberculosis of the neck and bone infection of the spine in the neck (osteomyelitis and septic discitis), and meningitis (often accompanied by neck stiffness). Neck pain can also come from conditions directly affecting the muscles of the neck, such as fibromyalgia and polymyalgia rheumatica. Neck pain can also come from mental and emotional concerns related to over-thinking about one’s life and their problems and not doing what is necessary to resolve the problems causing one to over-think. Neck pain is also referred to as cervical pain.
Risk factors for neck pain include injury from involvement in contact sports, motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls as well as many childhood accidents, etc. Prevention of neck pain in the context of these activities should include a visit to your Holistic Chiropractor to restore proper alignment of your spine as well as neck strengthening exercises.
What are other symptoms that are associated with Neck Pain?
Neck pain is commonly associated with dull aching. Sometimes pain in the neck is worsened with movement of the neck. Other symptoms associated with some forms of neck pain include numbness, tingling, tenderness, sharp shooting pain, fullness, difficulty swallowing, pulsations, swishing sounds in the head, dizziness or lightheadedness, and lymph node (gland) swelling.
Neck pain can also be associated with headache, facial pain, shoulder pain, and arm numbness or tingling (upper extremity paresthesias). These associated symptoms are often a result of nerves becoming pinched in the neck. For example, if compressing the nerve of sensation to the back of the head, which comes out of the neck, will cause headaches in the back of the head. Depending on the condition, sometimes neck pain is accompanied by upper back and/or lower back pain, as is common in inflammation of the spine from ankylosing spondylitis.
What are the structures of the neck?
There are seven vertebrae that are the bony building blocks of the spine in the neck (the cervical vertebrae) that surround the spinal cord and canal. Between these vertebrae are discs, and nearby pass the nerves of the neck. Within the neck, structures include the skin, neck muscles, arteries, veins, lymph glands, thyroid gland, parathyroid glands, esophagus, larynx, and trachea. Diseases or conditions that affect any of these tissues of the neck can lead to neck pain.
How is Neck Pain diagnosed?
In diagnosing the cause of neck pain, it is important to review the history of the symptoms. In reviewing the history, the doctor will note the location, intensity, duration, and radiation of the pain. Any past injury to the neck and past treatments are noted. Aggravating and/or relieving positions or motions are also recorded. The neck is examined at rest and in motion. Tenderness is detected during palpation of the neck. An examination of the nervous system is performed to determine whether or not nerve involvement is present.
Further testing of undiagnosed neck pain can include X-ray evaluation, CAT scan, bone scan, MRI scan, myelogram, and electrical tests such as electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction velocity test (NCV).
What is the treatment for Neck Pain?
The treatment of neck pain depends on its precise cause.
The ideal treatment starts with Chiropractic. This is the number one form of care for neck pain with the best results. Working with a Holistic Chiropractor will allow you to address all the underlying causes of your neck pain and help you develop a life-style that will prevent this from returning or knowing what to do if it does.
People have also had favorable results using Acupuncture.
Other treatment options include rest, heat or cold applications, traction, soft collar traction, physical therapy (ultrasound, massage, manipulation), local injections of cortisone or anesthetics, topical anesthetic creams, topical pain patches, muscle relaxants, analgesics, and surgical procedures.
What are home remedies for Neck Pain?
Home remedies for treatment, such as Jacuzzi treatment, neck pain relief exercises and stretches, and neck pain relief products such as neck pillows for sleep and hot pads can be very beneficial for relief of some forms of neck pain. There are many treatment options, depending on the particular neck problem and past treatment experiences.
Medicines Two Choices for You
Alternative Treatments are Best
Alternative treatments have been used for chronic neck pain and are the most effective form of treatment. This includes chiropractic, massage, and acupuncture. Consulting with a Holistic Chiropractor who can help you develop a well-rounded, multifaceted approach to understanding all the contributing factors for your neck pain is warranted. Failure to do so may result in your condition becoming chronic and may lead to permanent pain.
Developing a healthy life-style with proper guidance from your Holistic Chiropractor is the best prevention when considering how to approach your neck pain and your health.
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Advanced Alternative Medicine Center
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Dr. Richard A. Huntoon