Neck Pain

Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Overview of Neck Pain

Neck Pain is an incredibly common condition that we see and treat in our clinic on a near daily basis.  There are a lot of things that can cause neck pain but most of them boil down to injury or aggravation of muscles, joints or connective tissue (such as ligaments or tendons).  When joints, muscles or connective tissue become inflamed they stiffen and restrict movement.  This is the body trying to hold things in place so the tissues can heal and is a normal and natural reaction.  If this reaction persists however, it could be a sign that the body is compensating for an injury or condition that requires further treatment. 

Common Causes of Neck Pain

Neck pain often starts as the result of an event or activity.  Sometimes symptoms begin instantly and sometimes they come on gradually but there is almost always an associated cause.  We have listed many of the common causes in this section but it is important to know that this is by no means an exhaustive list.  The best way to know what exactly is the cause of your neck pain is to be evaluated by a professional.  Getting evaluated can help to isolate the cause and then build a plan for recovery and prevention.

Commonly Associated Activities

  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Falls
  • Sports injuries
  • Workplace injuries
  • Poor desk posture
  • Sitting for long periods of time
  • Poor sleeping posture
  • Poor exercise form
  • Improper lifting technique
  • Long periods of driving

Commonly Associated Conditions and Diseases

  • Bulging Disks
  • Herniated disks
  • Stenosis
  • Facet Syndrome
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Nerve Compression/Pinching
  • Repetitive Stress Injuries
  • Arthritis
  • Spondylosis
  • Whiplash

Symptoms Associated with Neck Pain

While neck pain is somewhat self explanatory, it is frequently accompanied by other symptoms. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms in addition to neck pain, we recommend you see a doctor as soon as possible.   In most cases starting treatment earlier leads to faster recovery and better outcomes.  It is always better to address a problem immediately so that we can help prevent the body from developing compensatory behaviors that lead to larger problems down the road.

Commonly Associated Symptoms

  • Radiating nerve pain
  • Shooting pain in the arms and legs
  • Numbness or tingling in hands, fingers or both
  • Headaches
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Muscular spasms
  • Shoulder pain
  • Upper back pain

Treatment and Prevention of Neck Pain

Most of the common causes of neck pain are treatable.  When seeking treatment for neck pain it is important to address more than just the symptoms.  Neck Pain is almost always a symptom of a greater underlying condition or injury.  Addressing this condition or injury is critical to prevent symptoms in the future.  Treatment in office helps to relieve the symptoms but it is important to figure out the root cause and provide tools for prevention in the future.  That is why we involve our patients in their care by teaching them both ways to manage the pain and whenever possible correct the underlying activity causing the problem.  We always work to fix the symptoms and the problem.

Common Treatments for Neck Pain

  • Chiropractic Adjusting
  • Massage
  • Muscle Work
  • Cupping
  • Electronic Muscle Stimulation
  • Therapeutic Ultrasound
  • Pin and Stretch