Neck pain frequently occurs with headaches. Both of these are common in our society. Understanding the causes and contributing factors to reduce them will go a long way to living a healthy and less painful life.
Common Conditions treated at Empowered MVMT:
TMJ (jaw) Pain
A sprain occurs with an injury to the ligaments of the neck. A strain occus with an injury to the muscles of the neck.
Pain usually occurs with attempting to move the head and neck. Headaches may also accompany either one of these injuries.
Contact sports injuries
Repetitive overuse injuries
Lack of movement throughout the day
Accidents are almost impossible to avoid. However, you do not need to be in pain for longer than absolutely necessary. If you are looking for a drug free alternative to pain following an accident, schedule an appointment.
When the injury stems from overuse or lack of movement, education in workplace ergonomics, improving movement habits and proper knowledge in exercising can help to decrease pain now and in the future.
The intervertebral discs are composed of two components, an outer ring of fibrous tissue called the annulus fibrosis and a thick gel like center called the nucleus pulposus. The disc is connected to the vertebrae by ligaments on the front and back. The muscles of the trunk provide additional support.
Cervical disc pain can arise from a variety of reasons, whether by injury or a degenerative condition. In most cases, the condition can be treated to allow the person to continue his/hers active lifestyle.
Direct trauma - falls, motor vehicle accidents, whiplash, sports injury
Overuse, fatigue, repetitive microtrauma - cummulating over hours, days, months in the same position/movement
Sudden unguarded movement
Degenerative disc disease
Symptoms will vary depending on the cause of the condition. Many people have herniated discs with no symptoms, while others with may or may not experience the following: neck pain, headaches, radiating pain, tingling, weakness, numbness down the arm or around the shoulder blade.
Conservative treatment can successfully manage many cervical disc herniations. Initial treatment will focus on controlling pain and inflammation. Once pain and inflammation have decreased, early rehabilitation will help prevent chronic pain and disability.
This will consist of chiropractic manipulation, soft tissue therapy, activity as tolerated, and pain-free range of motion exercises. Late rehabilitation will be administered as the condition improves and will include stabilization exercises, patient education, and postural training. Education in proper training, biomechanics, and a home exercise program will help strengthen the spine and decreases the likelihood of future injury.
If you fail to respond to conservative treatment, or in cases of severe pain, diagnostic imaging (x-ray, MRI) will be warranted, and an orthopedic consult may be necessary.
Cervical radiculopathy can result in pain, numbness, or weakness and though the problem occurs at the nerve root of the cervical spine, these symptoms will often radiate to parts of the body controlled by that nerve. The seventh (C7) and sixth (C6) cervical nerve roots are most commonly affected.
Causes will depend upon your age. In younger people, it is usually the result of a disc herniation or acute injury causing injury to the nerve root. In older people, cervical radiculopathy is usually due to foraminal narrowing from osteophyte formation, decreased disc height, or degenerative changes.
Cervical radiculopathy due to sports injuries can result from several mechanisms. Typical these injuries occur from forced extension, lateral bending, or a rotation mechanism, which closes the foramen and results in the exiting nerve root being injured
The pain may range from deep aching to severe burning neck pain. Usually, the pain will be referred to the shoulder blade, which might be described as shoulder pain. If the radiculopathy progresses, radicular arm pain (“sharp, shooting, electrical”) or sensory changes (“numbness, tingling, loss of sensation”) may develop down the arm and into the hand.
Arm symptoms will depend on which nerve root is involved.
Occasionally, a motor weakness may develop of the shoulder or arm. Certain neck positions which cause increased foraminal narrowing may increase the pain. The symptoms may be relieved by lifting the arm over the head which decreases the tension at the nerve root.
The focus will also be on centralizing (reducing) any radicular symptoms by decreasing nerve root compression and pressure within the herniated discs. This will consist of manual traction and pain-free active non-resisted ranges of motion while avoiding positions that increase neck and arm symptoms.
Once pain and inflammation have decreased, therapy will progress to restore full range of motion and mobility of the neck and shoulder.
This will include muscle stretching, strengthening and proprioceptive training, and corrective exercises as tolerated. Cervical manipulation and soft tissue therapy may be administered as tolerated and as long as it does not cause an increase in symptoms. If you fail to respond to conservative treatment, or in cases of severe neurological loss, a secondary consultation with a neurologist or neurosurgeon will be recommended.
Your lower jaw (mandible) connects to you skull at the temporal bone. It creates a hinge joint with a cartilage disc (meniscus) that pivots to allow you to open and close your mouth.
The main physical causes of this condition are:
Overuse from a commonly chewing on one side of your mouth
Keeping the mouth open for extended periods of time (like at the dentist)
Treatment for this condition involves soft tissue therapy of the inner & outer muscles of the jaw and home care exercises.
The best way to prevent TMJ disorder is to wear proper mouthpieces while playing sports, wearing mouth guards while sleeping if recommended by your dentist, making sure to chew food evenly on both sides of your mouth, cutting tough meats and other foods into small pieces and minimizing gum chewing.
While common, headaches can be helped by lifestyle changes and chiropractic treatment.
Learn more about the different types of headaches commonly treated at Empowered MVMT here.
If you are currently suffering from headaches, you should get evaluated & if indicated treated for this condition.
Treatment methods include:
Soft tissue therapy
Depending on the cause of your pain, we may recommend anything from chiropractic adjustments to stress management techniques. If your condition requires further testing or treatment, we can refer you to one of the trusted specialists in our network.
Without treatment, this problem can hinder your quality of life. In some cases, chronic neck pain can lead to depression and anxiety. If you are experiencing neck pain due to an accident, injury, stress at work, or even if you're not sure where it came from, we recommend scheduling an appointment earlier rather than waiting too long.