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Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain

by Dr. Dean Collins (Edmonton Chiropractor)

The prevalence of neck pain amongst Canadians is high.  Approximately 20-50% get neck pain in the form of a variety of conditions such as whiplash, torticollis, or osteoarthritis.

When Chiropractors assess someone with neck pain, they focus on the alignment and movement of the spine in relationship to nerve function.  When the vertebrae (spinal bones) in the neck lose mobility or alignment, the sensory nerves from the spine can become hypersensitive enough to cause neck pain, mid-back pain, headaches and even arm pain, numbness, or tingling (see nerve chart).  Chiropractic adjustments restore alignment and mobility to the spine decreasing pain.  The adjustments do more than decrease pain, but that is a topic for another discussion.  Click here to see other benefits

Many people do not utilize Chiropractors for neck pain because they are apprehensive about Chiropractic adjustments to the neck.  Usually the adjustments they are worried about are the manual adjustments where a "cracking" or audible sound is heard.  What a lot of these people don't realize is there are lighter ways to adjust the spine such as light touch, utilizing the table to assist in the adjustments, and using a mechanical adjusting instrument such as the activator or arthrstim.  The other belief many people have that makes them worried is that neck adjustments cause strokes.  At present time, the research indicates that although there may be a temporal association with a rare kind of stroke (vertebral artery dissection) there is no causal relationship between a neck adjustment and stroke.  The most recent research into the rare cases found that patients who visit a chiropractor are no more likely to experience a stroke than are patients who visit their family physician.  The study concludes that this type of stroke commonly begins with neck pain and/or headache which causes the patient to seek care from their chiropractor or family physician before the stroke fully develops.  In fact, long-term use of non-prescription pain relievers carries a far greater risk of serious complications than neck adjustments.  Click here for 'The Safety of Chiropractic Neck Adjustments' article

Chiropractic Care is a safe and effective treatment option for neck pain.  Call us today and schedule a FREE 15 minute consultation or simply schedule a comprehensive consultation and examination to see if we could help you.


References

  1. Côté P, Cassidy D, Carroll L. The Saskatchewan Health and Back Pain Survey: the prevalence of neck pain and related disability in Saskatchewan adults. Spine 1998; 23: 1689-98.
  2. Guez M, Hildingsson C, Stegmayr B, Toolanen G. Chronic neck pain of traumatic and non-traumatic origin: a population-based study. Acta Orthopaedica Scandinavica 2003; 74: 576-9.
  3. The Belgian Neck Pain Task Force. Non-specific Neck Pain: Diagnosis and Treatment, KCE Reports 119C, Belgian Health Care Knowledge Center 2009.
  4. The Bone and Joint Task Force on Neck Pain and its Associated Disorders, Spine Journal, January 2008.
  5. Safety of Chiropractic Manipulation of the Cervical Spine: a prospective national survey. Thiel HW, Spine, October 1, 2007, 32:21.
  6. American College of Gastroenterology
  7. Risk of Vertebrobasilar Stroke and Chiropractic Care. Cassidy JD. et al. Spine, February 15, 2008, Volume 33, Issue 4S Supplement.