The neck—or cervical spine—is a network of nerves, bones, joints, and muscles directed by the brain and spinal cord. Commonly, there are a number of problems that cause pain in the neck. Additionally, irritation along the nerve pathways can cause pain into the shoulder, head, arm, and hand. Irritation of the spinal cord can cause pain to radiate into the legs and other areas below the neck.
Most instances of neck pain will go away within a few days or weeks, but pain that persists for months could signal an underlying medical cause that needs to be addressed; in some instances, early intervention may be necessary for the best results. If you suffer from neck pain, your chiropractor may perform a technique referred to as manipulation of the cervical spine. Manipulation of the cervical spine or neck is a common technique utilized by chiropractors to treat a range of conditions that affect the neck, upper back, and shoulder/ arm, causing pain and sometimes headaches.
The goals of the cervical spine manipulation include (but are not limited to) reducing pain and improving motion. Although chiropractic manipulation is not a treatment for every type of neck problem, it can address several causes of neck pain, including mechanical neck pain and stiffness generated from muscles, tendons, joint capsules, ligaments and/or the fascia, as well as cervical disc problems. Similar to the treatment for many conditions affecting the low back, chiropractic is considered as a first line of treatment for a range of cervical spine conditions.
Types of Chiropractic Manipulation There are two general chiropractic manipulation approaches for cervical spine complaints: • Cervical spinal manipulation, often thought of as the traditional chiropractic adjustment, or a high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) technique. This technique often results in an audible “pop,” as chiropractors use their hands to apply a controlled sudden force to a joint while the body is positioned in a specific way.
• Cervical spinal mobilization is a gentler/less forceful adjustment, or a low-velocity, lowamplitude (LVLA) technique moving the joint through a tolerable range of motion. The combination of the approaches varies from patient to patient depending on the chiropractor’s preferred techniques and preferences, the patient’s comfort and preferences, and the patient’s response to the treatment, as well as both past experience and observations made during the course of treatment. Chiropractors may also use adjunctive therapy to treat cervical spine complaints. Typical adjunctive therapies may include massage, therapeutic heat and/or cold application, gentle stretching and strengthening exercises, and more.
Talk to Dr. Kaliko about specific questions related to your unique health situation.