The severity can range from being a mere nuisance to a major disability but most cases may be dealt with effectively.
Poor posture, a slipped disc, whiplash injury, smoking and muscle strain have all been blamed on neck problems. Age, gender, and genetics can also increase the risk.
A chiropractor can accurately diagnose the cause of your problem to design a tailored rehabilitation plan for each patient in order to correct problems as quickly and fully as possible.
Occasionally the plan may include treatment from other health professionals, such as a neurologist, pain specialist, acupuncturist, massage therapist or personal trainer.
Neck pain may also be linked to headaches, jaw problems, disturbance of vision, some types of stroke, disorders affecting the arms, shoulders or hands, fibromyalgia and wear and tear.
However neck pain is not strongly associated with degenerative changes due to ageing, tumours or infection.
The advice to people with neck pain from a major recent study published by the United Nations and World Health Organisation is:
- Stay as active as you can, exercise and reduce mental stress
- Don’t expect to find a single ’cause’ for your neck pain
- Be cautious of treatments that make big claims for relief of neck pain
- A variety of therapies or combinations of therapies may be needed to find relief
- Once you have experienced neck pain, it may come back or remain persistent
- Lengthy treatment is not associated with greater improvements. If the treatment is the right one for you then improvements should be seen after two to four weeks
- There is relatively little research on what does or does not prevent neck pain, for example: workplace design, specially shaped pillows, improvements in posture may or may not help