Our spine is the literal lifeline to our body’s vitality and overall health. The nerves that come out of the spine carry all of the information from the brain that allows every single cell in our body to thrive and produce healthy tissues and functions. Pain in the spine and the rest of the body can be due to a lack of communication between the brain and the body and neck pain is no exception.
Neck pain has become one of the most common complaints that we see in our office on a regular basis. Research shows that 1 out of every 3 people will experience neck pain at some point, with the average length of time for those episodes being 7-10 days. As with many conditions, once there is an initial injury the chances of experiencing future bouts of pain increase. Musculoskeletal pain is the number one cause of physical disability in America and yet there is no call to arms to eradicate the issue. Why is this such a widespread issue in Westernized countries you ask? Because of our societal norms in the 21st century. How we drive, sleep, work, sit, and the amount of exercise we get (or don’t get) can all have a great effect on our muscles, joints, and nervous system. Our current day-to-day routine does not allow us to express the healthiest versions of ourselves.
While neck pain has become more common, it is nowhere near normal. Many people who seek care state that they’ve “had this pain before but it usually goes away after a couple of weeks on its own.” This is where most people fall into the trap of “the absence of pain means the absence of a problem”. Multiple bouts of minor pain in the same area over a long period of time simply means that your body is just adapting its position, giving you warning signs that something worse is on the horizon. Having multiple episodes can also mean that you have a chronic issue that if not addressed can lead to permanent damage to multiple areas of your body.
Neck pain can also be brought on by acute trauma, like slips, falls, or car accidents. If these injuries go untreated and the body’s natural motion is altered for an extended period, the acute problem can develop into a chronic disorder. These chronic issues will almost always end in some form of physical disability or worse, a permanent change brought on by reconstructive surgery of one or more joints in the body.
How We Treat Neck Pain at Excel Chiropractic and Wellness
Comprehensive Consultation and Exam
Here at Excel Chiropractic and Wellness, our goal is to get to the root cause of the issue and not just treat the symptoms. We know that many people would not seek out Chiropractic care if they did not have some level of discomfort.
Getting our patients back to a healthy, normal lifestyle is our main focus but it should be a result of improved function that leads to healing and not just taking away the pain. We accomplish this with a comprehensive consultation, exam, and x-rays if needed. If the results of the exam show that the patient is qualified to receive Chiropractic care, we develop a tailored treatment plan, customize a therapeutic exercise and stretching regimen, and educate the patient on how to prevent the disorder from happening in the future.
Diagnostic Digital X-rays
To See Is To Know, To Not See Is To Guess
X-rays are invaluable to properly determine where your neck pain is coming from. Poor posture, arthritis, imbalanced muscle groups, and even birth defects can lead to pain in the neck.
X-rays are used to diagnose the severity of the issue and in some cases used to determine how long the ailment has been around. Many patients are surprised to see abnormal findings such as improper alignment of joints, degeneration, and even scoliosis with minimal to no pain in the areas of change.
At Excel Chiropractic and Wellness, we have the advantage of having a digital x-ray unit in the office. This means X-rays can be evaluated immediately, providing our patients with instant results and speeding up the process of getting on the road to recovery.
Tailored Chiropractic Neck Pain Treatment Plan In Lincoln, NE
After completing the Chiropractic, functional, orthopedic, and neurological exams, we are able to pinpoint the true cause of your neck pain. With that information, we can tailor a plan that is right for you.
The main focus of any treatment plan is to, yes, relieve pain, but more importantly to restore function. When an area of the body is not functioning properly it could be due to something called a subluxation.
While we don’t focus a great deal on this term in our office, we do want our patients to be aware of what we are talking about if they hear us using this word. Think of it as one end of a joint that is out of position in comparison to the other end of the joint that can result in a possible loss of proper function. Locating and identifying these areas of malfunction allows your doctor to customize a treatment plan that is right for you, getting on track to true health and wellness.
Many people think that as you age it’s inevitable that you’re just going to have to live with decreased mobility and pain. However, with the latest research and practices that belief is quickly becoming something of the past.
If we are able to identify and rehabilitate the body’s inability to function, research shows that we can maintain up to 75% of our highest mobility through the age of 80 years old. Along with our patient’s tailored treatment plan, we believe that it is crucial to have a unique, customized functional rehab program to help transition our patients quickly and safely back into their daily routine.
After your functional assessment, this program may include minimally invasive interventional procedures, a customized stretching regimen, and therapeutic exercises.
Active Release Technique
Active Release Technique, or ART, is a hands-on soft tissue technique used to address the soft tissues that support our joints. We feel that it is important to address not only the joint dysfunction we find in our evaluation but also the soft tissue dysfunction that is contributing to any specific condition as well.
We often use an example of a tower that is standing on one end straight up in the air. That tower, in this case the spine, would have to balance perfectly without any supporting structures. As you may imagine the chances of that happening are slim to none, but if we put guide wires on multiple sides with equal tension all of the sudden you have a very stable structure. The guide wires are our muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Our muscles not only serve to support the joints but they also create the movement of each joint. Just as with the tower, if one side of the guide wires were to tighten or loosen, the structure becomes less stable and over time there could be a problem.
We often use Active Release Technique in the initial phases of care for several reasons. Coupled with Chiropractic adjustment, these treatments expedite the healing process. It can also help to improve a person’s overall function and help prepare the tissue to be rehabbed and maintained to prevent future injuries.