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What’s Causing Your Neck Pain?

Most people experience neck pain at some point in their lives. Whether it’s from bad posture, tech neck, or a night of bad sleep, it’s not fun to deal with.

While the cause may be an easy fix like working on your posture, sometimes chiropractic intervention may be necessary to help find the cause and alleviate symptoms.

What are the most common causes of acute neck pain?

Acute neck pain has a range of common causes, including:

  • Poor posture: Poor posture can cause neck pain by straining the muscles that support the weight of your head. Incorrect posture places pressure on the cervical spine that can cause overload on the back and neck muscles, resulting in neck pain if it’s left uncorrected.
  • Repetitive motions due to exercise or sports: One of the largest contributors to exercise-induced neck pain is once again, poor posture. While exercising, make sure that your chin is in a neutral position and your shoulders aren’t slouched.
  • Whiplash: Signs and symptoms of whiplash typically develop shortly after the incident, and include neck pain and neck stiffness.
  • Falls or collisions: The sudden movement from a fall can overstretch the ligaments in your neck. If you’ve taken a fall and have neck or head pain, you should see a healthcare professional to rule out a concussion as well.
  • Sleeping with your head in the wrong position: If you sleep on your stomach (the worst position to sleep in!), your neck is twisted to one side for an extended amount of time, especially if your mattress isn’t supportive. If you must sleep on your stomach, use either a thin pillow or no pillow at all.

What are the most common causes of chronic neck pain?

Neck pain that lasts for three months or longer may indicate a more serious injury than a sprain or strain. These causes can include:

  • Cervical Herniated Disc: Cervical discs are the cushions between the vertebrae in the upper back and neck. Herniated discs occur when one or more of the discs become torn, causing the inner layer to leak out. You may feel pain that radiates down your arm and into your hand, or pain when turning or bending your neck.
  • Cervical Degenerative Disc Disease: As intervertebral discs lose hydration as we age, they also lose their height and become less flexible. This degenerative process can cause the disc to become painful and cause nearby nerves to become compressed.
  • Cervical Osteoarthritis: When a joint’s protective cartilage starts to wear away, bone starts rubbing against bone. The joint may grow bone spurs and become inflamed and cause neck pain.
  • Whiplash: When left untreated, whiplash can cause persistent neck pain. If you’re in a car crash, it’s imperative that you see a chiropractor to check for any neck injuries even if your pain is mild. Within the first 72 hours of injury, your body begins to form scar tissue to heal and can heal incorrectly if preventative measures aren’t taken.

I have neck pain, what do I do?

If you’re experiencing neck pain and aren’t yet sure of the cause, it’s best to consult a chiropractor to create a treatment plan. The chiropractors at Keith Clinic can help you rule out and diagnose chronic causes of neck pain and alleviate symptoms through chiropractic adjustments or other therapies such as heat therapy, ultrasound, electric muscle stimulation, traction, cold laser, and other methods to help alleviate any pain or discomfort. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call a Keith Clinic Estramonte Chiropractic location or request an appointment online today!