We’ve all been there. Neck pain can ruin your day (or days). Waking up in the morning with a stiff neck or trying to get through the work day with a pinched nerve can drastically lower your quality of life. Yet, a majority of people will choose to live with day-to-day neck pain, when, in reality, you don’t need to live with it at all. We are readily available and can minimize or eliminate your nagging neck pain. Please look at the following signs that tell you it is time to visit our practice.
Seek chiropractic care if…
- Your neck pain or stiffness does not improve after a few days.
- You cannot look to the right or left without severe neck pain.
- You feel like you must use over-the-counter pain medications just to make it through the day and are using it regularly to treat your neck pain.
- You’re worried that your neck pain may have a serious cause.
- Your neck pain started in the neck but has moved to numbness or tingling in your hands or wrists.
- Your neck pain started within a few days of a car accident.
- Your neck pain is worse when you first wake up in the morning but then begins to feel a little better as the day progresses.
Do any of these sound familiar? Although varying in levels of seriousness, each one can be remedied by our integrated neck and spinal care at Van Ness Chiropractic.
In addition to chiropractic care, it is essential to boost your preventative pain management. Using an ergonomic pillow, incorporating basic rehab exercises and limiting repetitive strain can help to keep your neck pain at bay.
Check your pillow.
Extra plush pillows might sound like the most comfortable for a night’s sleep, but a good orthopedic pillow is the answer when it comes to support and stabilization. Flat pillows force your neck to bend in an unnatural position, leading to your neck muscles becoming stretched out. Sleeping on your back or side allows your neck muscles to stay in a comfortable resting state, while being supported by a firm pillow. Dr. Van Ness also recommends against sleeping on the stomach.
Try neck exercises.
Simple exercises can be a key factor in neck health. With your chin level, you can gently pinch your shoulder blades together and push your chin back. Hold this for 3-5 seconds, repeating 20-30 times daily. This is one way to help loosen stiff muscles and reduce neck and upper back tension. Remember to never extend your neck past its physical boundaries, as it is possible to do more harm than good with stretches.
Other things to consider.
Wearing progressive lens, bi or tri-focal glasses while working on the computer, poor workstation ergonomics, and clenching or grinding the teeth can also create repetitive strain on the neck and upper back and should be managed appropriately.
A stiff neck is the enemy of safe driving. The constant turning left and right (or even to the back) can be a detriment to the healing process of your strained neck muscles. If at all possible, take rides with others until your neck begins feeling better.
Chiropractic Neck Care
We specialize in conservative treatment to restore motion to stiff neck joints with chiropractic adjustments, specific neck exercises and stretches, massage therapy and self-help education. Taking the time to visit us will speed up your neck’s recovery time and get you back into your daily routine quickly. For more information on neck pain or to schedule an appointment, call us at (847) 842-8070.