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neck pain

Chiropractic Treatment for Neck Pain: What to Expect

Have you scheduled an appointment with a chiropractor for your neck pain and are not quite sure what to expect? How long will I need treatment? Will it hurt? How exactly will the doctor treat my pain? These are just some questions you may have about your impending appointment with your chiropractor.

Common Causes of Neck Pain

There are many things that can cause neck pain, from aging to a simple muscular strain. The following are the most common causes of neck pain.

  • Sports injuries
  • Car accidents
  • Bone spurs
  • Aging
  • Osteoporosis
  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Anxiety
  • Spinal stenosis 
  • Pinched nerve
  • Herniated discs
  • Strained muscles or joints

General Symptoms of Neck Pain

  • Pain or stiffness in the neck and shoulders
  • Radiating pain that can travel to the fingers
  • Stabbing or sharp pain
  • Limited range of motion
  • Tender muscles

What to Expect at the Chiropractor

At your initial visit with your chiropractor you may be asked the following questions, as well as your medical history.

  1. When did you first notice the pain?
  2. How have you treated the neck pain so far?
  3. Are you in pain anywhere else?
  4. Has anything reduced the pain?
  5. Have you done anything out of the ordinary before you first experienced the pain?

Next, they will perform both a neurological and physical exam to test for the following:

  • Muscular strength
  • Reflexes
  • Range of motion
  • Posture
  • General physical condition

If the doctor needs further information to obtain a diagnosis, your chiropractor may order tests such as a CAT scan, MRI, ultrasound or EMG. 

Treatment for Neck Pain

A cervical manipulation (or neck adjustment) is the most common treatment plan for neck pain. This is usually administered by hand to restore the range of motion while improving spinal mobility. Neck adjustments also will relieve stiffness and pain. 

As well, your treatment plan may include rehabilitation therapy, mobilization, ice and/or heat therapy, interferential electrical stimulation or massage therapy. These procedures are non-invasive and you should start to experience a decrease in symptoms almost immediately.

Depending on the severity and cause of your neck pain, your doctor might also prescribe pain killers, advise you on diet and teach you techniques for stress management. In addition, they may give you some stretching routines and other exercises you can do at home to continue to relieve your neck pain.