Neck pain is the fourth leading cause of disability in North America1. The neck includes the seven vertebrae (referred to as C1-C7) in the cervical region. The spaces between the vertebrae are maintained by round, rubbery pads called intervertebral discs that act like shock absorbers throughout the spinal column to cushion the bones as the body moves. Bands of tissue known as ligaments hold the vertebrae in place, and tendons attach the muscles to the spinal column. Symptoms of neck pain can spontaneously resolve, but more than a third of people effected by neck pain will have symptoms or reoccurrence more than one year later2. The cause of neck pain can be from a range of disorders/mechanisms: Congenital (things you were born with), injuries (sprain/strains, or traumatic injuries), degenerative problems (degeneration, spondylosis, arthritis), neurologic origins (nerve compression, inflammation, injury). Symptoms of neck pain can present as a dull ache, sharp pain, throbbing pain, or even headaches. Pain can also travel away from the neck into the head, into the shoulders, or even into the hands. Many anatomical structures could be involved with neck pain. At Performance Health Clinics, our job is to figure out which structures are involved. This is done through a thorough history and exam. Treatment options for neck pain consist of spinal manipulation, deep-tissue laser therapy, non-invasive spinal traction/decompression therapy, trigger point release, instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization, myofascial therapy, therapeutic exercises, cupping therapy, or any combination of these modalities. Interested in learning more, schedule a visit with one of our providers!
- Popescu A., & Haewon L. (2020, March). Neck Pain and Lower Back Pain. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32035569/
- 2. National Institute of Health (2020, March). Back Pain Fact Sheet. Retrieved from https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/Patient-Caregiver-Education/Fact-Sheets/Low-Back-Pain-Fact-Sheet