With society shifting towards increasing dependence on technology and screens, neck pain is unfortunately becoming more and more common. Roughly 1 in 3 people here in Lakewood Washington will experience neck pain this year with women at a much higher risk for developing this condition. National surveys show that the likelihood of developing long term, or chronic neck pain increases as we age. If you are currently experiencing neck pain the result of not addressing it now could set you up for years of chronic issues.
The average skull weighs anywhere from 10 to 12 pounds and is surrounded by many different soft tissue components such as the muscles around your neck, tendons attaching on the bones allowing for movement, and ligaments holding bones in their proper alignment. The 7 bones, or vertebrae that make up your neck have an extremely important job. They house and protect your central nervous system. Your brain-stem and spinal cord. The scariest thing about neck pain is that our nervous system only perceives roughly 7-10% of sensations (like pain). That means the other 90-93% of our nervous system does not transmit sensation, it is only focused on providing unconscious function to our cells, tissues, and organs.
What does this mean? The problem in your neck could have started many weeks, months, or years BEFORE the pain started! And there are so many common causes of neck pain.
Here at Vital Family Chiropractic we see many common causes of neck pain such as:
Poor Postural Habits
For instance, sitting at a desk for a long time – particularly in awkward positions with slightly tensed muscles –Activities that involve tilting your head back against your neck can also cause muscle problems in the neck area. These include things like painting a ceiling, or certain types of workouts or talking on the phone with your head in a fixed position.
This is an injury that can occur if someone drives into the back of your car in a road accident. The impact of the collision causes the head to rapidly jerk forwards and then back again. This usually causes small injuries in the muscle and connective tissue.
Even if you only bend your neck forward 15 degrees to look at your phone, it doubles the weight of your head, making your head weigh around 27 pounds. Imagine bending your neck at 45 degrees — that’s almost 50 pounds of weight your neck muscles, upper back and shoulders are supporting
Other common causes include:
- Wear and Tear of Your Spine
- Sports Accidents
- Overuse of Neck Muscles
- Degeneration of Spinal Discs and Vertebrae
How we address Neck Pain in Lakewood, Washington
Consultation and Exam
Vital Family is committed to finding the root cause of your neck pain. Before we start chasing various symptoms we will first sit down with you so we can get your whole story. We want to make sure that this office is the absolute best fit for YOU. Our doctors want to understand how long you have been living with this problem, any traumas that could have contributed, or continue to contribute to this problem, and really, the toll that it is taking on your life.
After hearing your story and gathering important details the doctors will take you through a thorough hands-on exam to find the cause of your problem, not just where the pain is. This comprehensive exam will consist of:
- Postural Assessment (head to toe)
- Functional Weight Bearing Scales (to determine symmetrical vs asymmetrical gait)
- Hands on palpation of the entire spine (to determine vertebral subluxation)
- If needed, digital X-Rays taken in house (no referral needed)
- Thermal scanning of the spine
Specific Chiropractic Care
As Chiropractors in Lakewood Washington we analyze the spine for what is called “subluxation”. This term refers to the vertebrae, or multiple vertebrae that lose their natural motion becoming fixated or “stuck”. This loss of healthy motion can cause inflammation of the soft tissue as well as pressure and irritation to the nerves leaving the spinal cord. Subluxation can absolutely cause neck pain. It can also cause a whole host of other health concerns such as headaches, insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, balance disorders etc.
The only way to remove subluxation present in the spine is through gentle, specific chiropractic care. The chiropractic adjustment restores normal motion back into the spine thus removing that built up pressure on your nervous system. The biggest factor when it comes to helping resolve your neck pain is time. The amount of time in which your body has been injured and subluxated will help us determine when we should expect to see significant improvements. If subluxation is the cause of your neck pain it must be addressed, otherwise you may be stuck chasing pain without any resolution.
Every patient is unique. Every body is different! Which is why at Vital Family we use our exam findings (including X-ray) to help determine which exercises in and out of the office will be right for you.
Whether it be a 9-5 desk job, heavy construction, parenting, or students glued to their textbooks, we all have stressful lifestyles. Which is why we have to balance that stress through specific targeted therapy to mitigate that stress. Our doctors will sit with you and review all the necessary exercises to perform in our office prior to every adjustment as well as things to do at home to ensure that your body has the best possible chance at recovering.
Massage Therapy / Soft Tissue Healing
It is essential to care for all layers of the body, including the soft tissue system. Our licensed massage therapists are skilled in assessing the neck and upper back to determine the key areas of muscular imbalances, tension, and injury.
Whether it be from an automobile accident, overuse, or poor posture, the health of neck muscles, ligaments, and fascia heavily impact the level of pain we feel as well as the level of motion our spine is capable of having.
Our therapists utilize several techniques of soft tissue therapy to give you the best possible experience. Techniques include
- Swedish Massage
- Trigger Point
- Deep Tissue
- Lymphatic Drainage
- Myofascial Release
- Chair massage
- and more….
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Chiropractic good for neck pain?
Absolutely. We have helped thousands of people in Lakewood Washington get out of neck pain as well as prevent neck pain. We have seen all forms of neck pain at Vital Family, from acute injuries to chronic lifestyle neck pain.
Is Chiropractic safe for children who have neck pain?
Chiropractic care is safe and effective for children. A 2019 survey conducted in Australia asked 26,000 parents if they were satisfied with their children’s experience at a chiropractor. 98.6% of parents overwhelmingly said yes. Vital Family specializes in children and infants and our doctors have trained extensively with the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.
Is it okay to “pop” my own neck?
We highly advise against “popping” your own neck. Doing so can cause damage to muscles and ligaments in the neck due to excess force being used and can create hyper mobility in the spine, meaning it moves more than it is supposed to. Chiropractors are the only doctors who are trained to specifically and gently adjust the neck to alleviate neck pain.
When is the best time to see a chiropractor?
Chiropractic care is highly effective for the management of neck pain, however, prevention of pain is even better. Our comprehensive exams can determine whether or not there is a problem in your neck before the arrival of pain.
Does my insurance cover chiropractic care for neck pain?
Chiropractic care is covered by many insurance plans. Vital Family Chiropractic is happy to check your insurance benefits. We are in network with major insurers like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Regence, Medicare and more. Our team will discuss your coverage with you in detail as it pertains to your care.