The truth about neck pain (and how to banish it!)

Neck pain is one of the most common complains among the general population. Literally millions of people struggle with neck pain every day and research suggests that over 70% of the population will suffer with neck pain at some point. Neck pain is always a source of discomfort, but sometimes it can also be a chronic condition exacerbated by daily stress. Thankfully, treating neck pain can be quick and easy – once you understand the real problem. This week, lets take a look at neck pain, and how to beat it.


The truth about neck pain

Sadly, many people don’t understand neck pain and its real cause – the result is that most people try to treat their pain in the wrong way. More often than not, we turn to painkillers to overcome discomfort, but very often it’s simply not effective. Over­ the-counter or prescription pain medication does nothing to solve the problem’s underlying cause – worse, by simply trying to cover up the pain you wont improve the problem, but you also risk making it worse. Furthermore , perpetual use of these drugs is linked to a host of side effects, such as gastrointestinal issues, chronic headache and fibromyalgia.

As an alternative, doctors of chiropractic focus on the true root of spinal pain – our approach is designed to identify the cause of the problem and to fix it! Neck pain is the body trying to tell you that something is wrong so don’t ignore this important warning!  More often than not, your neck pain is really a signal that somewhere along your spine a slight misalignment has developed. This incredibly common condition is known as vertebral subluxation, and addressing it is the real key to resolving your neck pain. At Complete Chiropractic we resolve these misalignments with safe and effective manoeuvres called chiropractic adjustments.


Fast, Effective Pain Relief

Since Chiropractic care addresses the actual cause of neck pain its not only highly effective at reducing that pain, it also works quickly to restore mobility.  New analysis illustrates that improvement may start after one chiropractic adjustment and many of our patients can confirm this result!

Scientists from Toronto assessed nine clinical trials involving people with neck pain. Through a systematic analysis, they assessed each patients reported change in neck pain after a single chiropractic adjustment. The study shows that where the patients received chiropractic adjustments (also called spinal manipulation) they almost always reported “immediate changes” in a rating scale measuring neck pain and mobility.[1]

Of course, its also worth remembering that since chiropractic care involves no medication whatsoever, there’s no risk of problematic side effects.

While chiropractic care can have very rapid results, its important to create a proper care plan which lasts for an appropriate period of time in order to correct the issue for the long term. This is why our approach is always to create a treatment plan with your needs in mind – initial treatment is normally more frequent, and can become less so as we work towards maintaining optimum spinal health.


Muscle Tension – a common cause

So how do spinal bones become subluxated in the first instance?  In fact there’s a very long list of causes which might be responsible, but muscle tension is probably the most common. Did you know that most adults sit for 10 or more hours each day?  Extended periods of sitting (especially in a head down position at a laptop) can lead to poor posture, which in tum may cause the neck muscles to stiffen. The result is a tug-of-war with spinal bones which eventually leads to subluxation.

The ideal solution would therefore be to simply avoid sitting in the same position for large parts of the day! – but for most of us this just isn’t practical. The good news is that since the spine and its supporting muscles are interlinked, appropriate chiropractic care not only corrects the subluxation, but also works to relieves neck tension. This which makes Chiropractic a great preventative approach for those of us who just cant avoid the desk. For example, in one study, 119 patients enjoyed a 54% overall drop in neck pain and tension after just four weeks of chiropractic care[2].


The spinal connection

Chiropractors, unlike some other health professionals, realise that the spine functions as a single integrated unit, not as isolated segments just strung together – this is an important fact to appreciate, because it means that an issue in one area may trigger problems in another location. For example, misaligned vertebrae in the middle back in particular are also a common cause of neck pain. Since the connection isn’t always obvious, its easy to understand how so much neck pain is written off as “unexplained” – thankfully, this kind of diagnosis is quick and easy for a qualified chiropractor.

Its therefore not a surprise that research shows that chiropractic adjustments to the mid back are some of the most effective in alleviating pain. What’s more, once under chiropractic care, adjustments are so quick and easy that we will usually treat the whole spine together, addressing your problem and ensuring that the rest of the spine remains properly aligned.

In addition to being effective, research shows that chiropractic adjustments for neck pain are extraordinarily safe- far more so than pain medication. One large-scale, national study performed in across England included 19,722 chiropractic patients with neck pain .

Over the course of the study, the patients received 50,276 cervical spine manipulations. After each adjustment, the researchers assessed each patient for immediate side effects as well as reactions up to one week later. The outcome? – not a single problematic outcome occurred.[3]


Headaches and Migraines

Research shows that neck pain sufferers often also endure migraine and tension-type headaches.  [4] The two are closely linked, and again, vertebral subluxations are often to blame. Fortunately, scientific studies show that chiropractic care may prevent migraines and headaches. In one report, researchers divided 127 migraine sufferers into two groups. While 83 patients underwent chiropractic care, the remaining 44 formed a control group that received no chiropractic adjustments. After two months of care, the chiropractic patients reported ‘statistically significant” improvements in migraine frequency and duration, compared with the control group. The chiropractic cohort also used less medication and reported less disruption to their daily lives.[5]


The secret to preventing neck pain

As chiropractors, we emphasise preventive care which involves warding off health problems before they ensue. While chiropractic is a pain free and effective way to stop neck pain when it does occur, regularly scheduled chiropractic care can also work to prevent a re-occurrence of the pain, making our approach a long term solution rather than just a short term fix. That’s why we believe we can help our clients overcome neck pain for good, not just for a while!


If you’re suffering from neck pain, why not take advantage of our special offer?  –  Get in touch and book a consultation today?!


[1] J Man Manip Ther 2008;l 6:E42-52

[2] J Manipulative Physiol. The r 2000;23:307

[3] Spine 2008;33:576-7

[4] Cephalalgia 2007;27:793-802

[5] J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000;23 :91

Blog by / January 19, 2018 / Blog

Dr. Paul Irvine is a doctor of chiropractic who graduated in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of NSW and in 1996, attained his Master of Chiropractic degree from Macquarie University in Australia. He practised in North Sydney for 5 years before he left Australia to travel and practise in the UK. He joined Complete Chiropractic in 2003 (est 1999) and took over the clinic in 2007