Understanding Neck Pain

Up to 70% of working Americans will suffer with neck pain throughout their working lives, which will directly affect their everyday activities. If you are reading this and suffer with neck pain, ask yourself this question, what has my neck pain prevented me from doing that my family and friends are able to do? Now ask yourself a similar question, what could I do better if I woke up tomorrow without neck pain?

I’m sure some of you have paused here and actually thought about significant events in your life that have been affected by your neck pain, the truth is, life is too short and valuable to be living with neck pain. As Emerson once said, health is our wealth. The majority of us take our health for advantage until it’s too late and our quality of life is affected.

The average annual cost for treating lower back and neck pain is over 86 billion dollars a year, costing each individual around $1,800 a year due to lost productivity in the workplace. The important question here is, can you or your family afford to suffer with neck pain? A simple answer to that question is a resounding no.

There are two types of neck pain, acute and chronic. Acute pain usually lasts for 3 months or less and is often brought on by trauma, such as a car accident or a workplace injury. Chronic pain is pain that has been present for over 6 months and is a result of an old trauma that was not addressed and corrected, or a repetitive use injury such as sitting for 50+ hours a week at your desk.

The mechanism of injury, such as, was your neck pain been caused by a car accident or from sitting at your desk for 50+ hours a week for the past year will determine how the specific condition should be treated, but essentially when all said and done, they follow similar paths to recovery.

Pain is the body’s way of telling us something is wrong, and the sooner we listen to our body and address the issue means that there will be a shorter course of treatment and a better patient outcome. Procrastination is the thief of health, the longer we leave an issue, the worse it will get over time, meaning we will end up spending more time, energy and eventually money on correcting it.

When evaluating a healthy neck, we expect to see good alignment in the spine, you can do this by taking a picture of your neck from the side and checking to see that your ear is above your AC joint (bony part on the top of your shoulder). We then need to see full range of motion within all joint planes, which should also be pain-free. This is difficult to assess on your own, however, a health care professional such as a chiropractor will be able to do this for you. Lastly, the neck should be stable and strong through the same planes of motion. 

If you are reading this and any part or all of the parts of that quick at-home assessment is not the case then chances are, if you are not already in pain, over time neck pain will develop. It is important to address all of these points because over time compensatory factors will begin to break us down. Classically the soft tissue (muscles, ligaments, and tendons) will begin to break down, which will begin to limit our flexibility, which in turn will break us down further and at an accelerated rate. Also, we will increase the pressure on our discs, which over time will degenerate, which can lead to issues such as numbness into the hands or even loss of motor function. Once we start to see changes in our bone and disc health these are things that we cannot reverse or get back. Hence why addressing our issue now, is better than putting it off and creating long term damage.

Here at Advanced Health Chiropractic we have helped thousands of your Chicago land friends and neighbors with all forms of neck pain, and have allowed them to get out of pain and start living life as they should be able to, without restriction. At Advanced Health Chiropractic we pride ourselves on a detailed and thorough Initial consultation, including a detailed health history, orthopedic and neurological testing followed by some state of the art imaging, which allows us to pinpoint your issue, allowing for a clear diagnosis and a specific course of treatment addressing the root cause of your issue and a tailored plan to achieve all of your health and wellness goals.

We use a blend of chiropractic care, and physical therapy to achieve your goals, including state of the art spinal traction and soft tissue therapy, which allows us to offer objective long term results. If you are suffering with neck pain, have tried other forms of treatment with other providers and are frustrated with trying to get it corrected I encourage you to give us a call so we can help you live life as its intended, pain-free. We look forward to meeting you here at the clinic and be the resource you have been searching for.

          Best Regards,

                    Dr. Luke Stringer.

(312) 987-4878