Pittsburgh Chiropractor >    Acts that Can Lead To Upper Cervical Aches and Holistic Care that Possibly Be Helpful
Acts that Can Lead To Upper Cervical Aches and Holistic Care that Possibly Be Helpful
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Pittsburgh, PA
15203


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Acts that Can Lead To Upper Cervical Aches and Holistic Care that Possibly Be Helpful

The cervical spine (better known as the neck), which has seven vertebrae, has its origin at the base of the skull. Your neck is what holds your head upright, which actually weighs several pounds ? this is quite a job. And while your cervical spine possesses a great deal of flexibility, allowing movement in many directions, this very same flexibility renders it prone to injury and pain.

The biomechanics of the neck is what renders it vulnerable. Some factors that can affect your neck's health are: injury, sitting for long periods, and side effects associated with aging ? to name a few. Cervical pain is very uncomfortable, no matter what the cause is.

The following are contributing factors to neck pain?

1. Accidents and injuries: Take whiplash, for example. The sudden jolt of the neck provokes a rebound effect that can harm the tissues that hold up the head and neck. The ?rebound? results from muscles that react to strain by constraining themselves. Contractions provoke pain, stiffness, and muscle fatigue. Serious cases of whiplash are associated with intervertebral injury in the joint, or impaired nerve roots, muscles, discs, or ligaments. Whiplash is commonly associated with car accidents.

2. Age: Conditions that are degenerative in origin can produce the likes of osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and disc conditions that are age-related. These, in turn, influence the spine.

What spinal stenosis does is contract the vertebrae's nerve passageways. This, in turn, also contracts the nerve roots and hinders them. As well as neck pain, spinal stenosis may negatively affect the arm and shoulder, bringing numbness and pain to these regions.

The intervertebral discs? elasticity and height is affected by a degenerative disc disease. A bulge or hernia may occur in a disc, causing tingling, numbness, and arm pain.

Progressive degeneration of cartilage occurs with osteoarthritis, a common condition. The way the body responds is to form bone spurs, and affecting joint motion.

In addition, some routine habits can exacerbate problems with the cervical spine. Obesity and poor posture, for example, alters spinal balance and forces the neck to compensate by leaning forward. Stress and emotional issues cues the muscles to compress and tighten, which in turn, creates pain and stiffness. Stress on the spine may induce persisting neck pain, and could also end up bringing about problems in the upper back and arms.

A thorough evaluation of the experienced symptoms is employed in order to find out the exact source of the pain. The chiropractor may ask questions regarding the amount of time you've had the discomfort, what remedies or tactics you've tried, whether other parts of your body are affected, and what, if anything, helps to alleviate the pain. Physical and neurological exams will also be conducted. The physical exam will disclose your range of motion, posture, and general physical shape while noting the kind of movements that bring pain. The doctor of chiropractor will manually assess your spine's (and possibly, your shoulder's) condition to see its alignment, curvature, and possible muscle spasms.

The focus of the neurological exam is to check for reflexes, muscle strength, and the extent and reach of pain. Some cases may also make it necessary to perform additional tests to diagnose the exact condition. X-rays, for instance, may reveal bone spurs, fractures, and the likes of a contracted disc space. An axial tomography scan, in the form of CAT or CT scan, or a magnetic resonance imaging test, known as a MRI, shows where a dilated disc may take place. Your chiropractor may also suspect that nerve damage is causing the pain. An electromyography (EMG) can help in such cases, as it can assess how well the nerves respond.

Neck Adjustments: Neck adjustments usually translate into manual adjustments of the joints on the neck. The goal of these neck adjustments is to improve mobility of the spine, and aid its range of motion. These adjustments can also increase the amount of movement of connecting muscles. Patients receiving cervical adjustments report an increase in their ability to move their heads, as well as less soreness, stiffness, and overall pain.

According to different studies, patients who suffer from chronic neck pain benefit from chiropractic neck adjustments. Thorough clinical tests have shown that patients with chronic neck pain experienced marked improvement of their symptoms as a result of spinal adjustments. Following weeks of treatment, the different trial groups demonstrated improvement of reported symptoms.

Each patient receives an individualized program care that may include different types of treatment. Such complementary approaches like massage, rehabilitative exercises, and mobilization of the treated area could also be recommended. Your chiropractic doctor will show you how to care for your cervical spine. Contact him/her!

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