What’s Causing My Neck Pain

Neck pain is the second common conditions patients come to visit a chiropractor. In fact over the years females have traditionally been having higher incidences in neck pain, higher risk for it, but with the changes in technologies, so more cell phone use, tablet use, computer use, men are experiencing neck pain at higher and higher rates as well.

Muscles In The Neck

So there are a few different structures that can cause pain in the neck. First of all, there are the muscles in the neck. When you’re holding the same postures that aren’t the best for a long period of time, the muscles themselves can actually produce neck pain. Generally this type of pain will go away soon as you change positions. So if you’ve been sitting on the couch for a really long time with your head forward, and it’s starting to get sore and you get up and it goes immediately away, most likely that’s muscular neck pain you’re experiencing.

Pain From Joints

Secondly, you can also have pain in your neck that’s coming from the joints themselves. A lot of times you’re going to experience this type of pain if you extend your neck or perhaps rotate in that position, the joint surfaces become closer together and you could experience pain there. Also over the years if you’ve maybe had not the best posture, maybe you haven’t put the best type of load on your neck over a long period of time.  You can have arthritis that sets up shop along the neck joints causing you pain.

Pain From Discs

The third type of neck pain is actually discogenic, in other words it’s coming from the discs in your neck. This is an extremely common type of neck pain. There are joints in the neck that have to move smoothly back and forth in order for you not to have pain. So if there’s arthritic buildup in there, or perhaps you have one side that’s just not moving as well as the other because you’ve been staying in one position for too long, you might need a chiropractic adjustment to kind of get that joint moving again. Once you have an adjustment your pain improves greatly.

Behind the disc is the spinal canal.  All the nerves from your brain, brain stem going down into the rest of your spine, travel through this area. This area also houses the cervical or the neck spinal nerves which actually travel out and then go to innervate your arm. So a lot of times when people have neck pain they may also have shoulder or arm pain as well, that’s because these nerves here on that side of the spinal canal are affected.

Now when you have your head in a forward head position,  additional pressure is put on the front part of your spine, so compression of the front, when your head shifts forward, it compresses the front. This causes the disc to bulge back posteriorly. Now when it bulges back posteriorly like that, it can generate pain. Now that disc bulge can also put pressure on the side based on it’s location on those spinal nerves that are exiting from the neck that supply the arm. That’s why you might get one of those pinched nerve sensations, where you’re having neck pain and then also arm pain.

So just to recap, neck pain is super common and could be coming from your muscles, from your joints, or from your discs. The good news is that chiropractors are very well equipped to treat neck pain from a conservative standpoint. So if you’re having symptoms in either your neck or the arm, please give Discover Heath and Wellness Uptown a call and we’ll be happy to help you get rid of your neck and arm pain.