Treatment of Chronic Neck Pain is an important decision that should be made by the Chiropractor or Physiotherapist, preferably after seeing a Chiropractor or Physiotherapist specializing in the treatment of Neck Pain. The main aim of Chiropractors and Physiotherapists working in this field is to relieve the pain and restriction of movement caused by Pinched Nerves. Chiropractors work with the bones, muscles and tendons of the spine and can therefore relieve pressure and stress on these areas. They are also trained to locate the nerve roots that are either pinched or compressed so as to promote the free flow of energy in the spinal cord and to repair damage to nerves. For most patients, especially those with Neck Pain, Chiropractic Care is a natural, non-invasive form of treatment that can have a major impact on their quality of life.
Unfortunately, neck pain medications do not always work. In addition, many neck pain medications have dangerous side effects. For example, ibuprofen, acetaminophen (Tylenol), aspirin, and naproxen sodium (Naprosyn) are anti-inflammatories, which can reduce swelling and alleviate pain but can also reduce blood flow and increase pressure in the body, especially in the brain. The result can be increased stroke risk or even a serious condition such as a heart attack.
Patients who receive non-steroidal anti-inflammatory treatments or NSAIDs for chronic pain usually suffer one or more setbacks later on in life. After using NSAIDs for a while, the Treatment of Chronic Neck Pain patient can begin to notice some improvements in their mobility but then their mobility is affected again. Even worse, prolonged use of NSAIDs can cause the deterioration of the Disk (the cushioning material in the spine) due to its constant exposure to inflammation. This can eventually lead to the herniation (the formation of a bulge in the Disc’s cushioning layer) or herniated (the protrusion of the Disc material outward). These debilitating side effects can lead to further difficulties and pain.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory treatments are much safer for long term use. They are able to reduce pain from NSAIDs and in turn improve the quality of life. The pain is often lessened even when treatment is not ongoing since the Disc content is not constantly being threatened by irritation. Such treatments are also beneficial for people who use medications containing steroids and other forms of anti-inflammatory drugs because these drugs can affect the delicate balance of the Disc material and reduce its protective cushioning. Some of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory treatments (NSAIDs) which can be used to reduce pain from chronic neck pain are:
Spinal Decompression is also a good method to avoid pain due to muscle spasms. This is especially effective in cases where there are no obvious neck pains and in fact may not be too painful for the patient until very recently. Spinal decompression can help to realign the spine, reducing herniation damage to the discs and vertebrae in the neck and shoulders, and improving blood circulation to the affected areas of the spinal cord.
Chiropractic Care For some patients, chiropractic care is an effective treatment for acute or chronic spinal disc herniation and related pain. Chiropractors can perform spinal manipulation, which helps to realign the spine and discs, relieving pain, and allowing the discs to work more efficiently. This is a non-surgical approach, which uses a series of gentle, directed adjustments to realign the spine, relieving pain and avoiding further stress on the joints. Although this treatment can be effective, many chiropractors do not perform invasive spinal manipulations. If a patient does not respond well to chiropractic manipulations, other methods such as NSAIDs, steroids, or interventional procedures may be suggested.
Cervical Interpositions The cervical spine is lined with nerve endings called cervical spine nerve fibers. When this nervous tissue becomes inflamed, it is referred to as Cervical Spondylosis or CSTD. Treatment of this condition includes spinal adjustments or specialized programs that align the vertebra in order to relieve pressure on the spinal cord. When cervical spondylosis is severe, alternative therapies such as ultrasound, electric stimulation, laser therapy, or transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation may be recommended.
Therapeutic Use of Ice Packs Doctors sometimes recommend the use of ice packs to reduce swelling and decrease the occurrence of pain in the neck. This procedure is often referred to as “icehydrotherapy” and it relaxes the muscles and reduces irritation to the spinal cord and nerves. It has been found that spinal manipulative therapy can also benefit people who suffer from Cervical Spondylosis.