The neck, also known as the cervical spine, has two main purposes: protecting the spinal cord and supporting the head allowing it to move with good range of motion. It is made up of bones, nerves, muscles, ligaments, and tendons that are organized in a complex way that allows the neck to be protective while also remaining flexible. This ability to remain flexible also creates quite a bit of vulnerability to damage due to the constant pressure from the head to keep it upright. Some movements whether gradual and repetitive in nature (Like poor posture) or sudden and sharp (Like whiplash) can result in strain and discomfort. Cervicalgia is a fancy term for an injury of the neck (Cervical spine) that causes pain due to this strain without spreading to other areas such as the arms.
Most people will experience neck pain at some point in their life and it is often easily treated. Many cases of neck pain are reoccurring and can come and go from time to time or may become persistent and turn into a more chronic condition. Some common causes of cervicalgia may include:
- Poor posture from sitting too much, many hours in the car or working at a desk and computer
- Lengthy periods with the neck at an awkward angle, such as when sleeping.
- Injuries that involve a sudden neck movement, such as whiplash from a car crash
- Long-term stress and clenching of neck and shoulder muscles, leading to a strain on the neck.
- Bone conditions, such as arthritis or osteoporosis. (more common in older populations)
The symptoms of cervicalgia are pain that is worsened by holding your head in one position, such as driving or working at a computer, muscle tightness and spasms, many patients will describe what feels like muscle knots in there shoulders, decreased range of motion and/or difficulty moving the head, and sometimes headaches can be associated with neck pain. Most neck pain is not severe and will improve gradually but in many cases, it is important to seek treatment.
When is it time to see the chiropractor?
Contact us if the pain in your neck:
- Is severe
- Persist for more than a couple days
- Is reoccurring and/or becoming chronic
- Spreads to other areas (arms, legs, upper back, shoulders, etc…)
- Is accompanied by headache, weakness, numbness, or tingling
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please make an appointment with our office as soon as possible and one of our highly trained chiropractic physicians will diagnose and treat the problem accordingly.
Village Family Clinic
1500 Rt. 517 – suite 108
Hackettstown, NJ 07840