Neck pain affects almost two-thirds of the global population at some point in their lives.
Diagnosis and treatment of neck pain conditions is the second largest sector of the chiropractic profession, bested only by low back pain. In much the same way as other spinal complaints, chronic neck pain has a tendency to be hard to diagnose and treat, making life a real challenge for anyone who can’t find lasting relief.
Among the many types of neck pain, there are some which stand out as being chronic in nature. These problems may exist due to previous neck injuries, such as whiplash or arthritic degeneration. The most common anatomical issues blamed for causing chronic neck pain are disc pathologies, such as disc desiccation (disc desiccation is abnormal dryness of the discs) and herniations (a tear in the outer, fibrous ring of an intervertebral disc allows the soft, central portion to bulge out). The second most commonly implicated painful process is osteoarthritis (degradation of the joint). Other types of neck pain may include spinal postural concerns, such as hyperlordosis (too much curve) or hypolordosis (too little of curve), cervical spondylolisthesis (anterior displacement of a vertebra or the vertebral column in relation to the vertebrae below ) or non-spinal issues, such as thoracic outlet syndrome (compression at the superior thoracic outlet that affect the nerves that pass into the arms from the neck, and/or blood vessels that pass between the chest and upper extremity. In some cases neck pain may be from an acute spasm or one or more of the supportive musculature of the neck region. You may have just “over did it!”
If you have had chronic neck pain, you could begin to develop neurological symptoms. These may include numbness, tingling, or a “pins and needles” feeling. Sometimes this can be felt in the fingertips or up and down the arm. This could be an indicator that the neck problem is becoming worse.
Most people do not realize how much stress is on their neck, with its great degree of flexibility and support of your 12-14 pound head, coupled with the fact that it has the least amount of muscular stabilization in the spine. This is why a “whiplash’ type injury can have such severe effects. Neck pain may also arise from many other physical and emotional health problems.