Neck Pain & Tech Neck

Neck Pain Treatment Chatswood

Neck Pain and Tech Neck Treatment by Family Chiropractic Chatswood

If there is one thing that we have seen a huge increase in over the past 25 plus years, it is neck pain.

Neck Pain is, well a pain in the neck.  It can come in many shapes and sizes. 

From the acutely painful inability to move your head or even hold your head upright; to a generalised stiffness and ache; to a decreased range of movement.

Neck Pain Chatswood
Neck Pain Treatment Chatswood

Causes of Neck Pain

Much like the lower back, the majority of neck pain is commonly caused by two different forms of Physical Stress: Macrotrauma and Microtrauma.

Macrotrauma

These injuries are the easy ones to pinpoint as the pain you experience will normally start at or shortly after the time of the incident. They are the injuries to your neck caused by falls and accidents. These can include motor vehicle accidents (MVA), workplace injuries, falls, head trauma and concussion, and sporting injuries.

Microtrauma

The most common words that we hear associated with microtrauma when asked what caused the problem is either “nothing, it just started”; “all I did was…”; or “I must have slept wrong”.

There was some trivial everyday activity, like washing your hair that has somehow created a vast amount of neck pain, stiffness and immobility. Of course, it was not the trivial activity that caused the symptoms. This was just the tipping point, the straw that broke the camel’s back. These types of injuries are caused and created by repetitive overuse type injuries. The type that arises from bad habits, poor posture, slouching, sleeping posture, incorrect repetitive habitual movements, poor ergonomic set up, and a sedentary lifestyle. These all result in undue stress and strain being placed upon the muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints of the spine.

Most neck problems are due to a combination of Microtrauma and Macrotrauma. What we have found is, that in the correction of neck related issues, it is important to identify any and all of the contributing factors (especially Microtrauma), as majority of neck pain is caused by bad habits and environmental lifestyle factors.

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What are the most common causes of neck pain?

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Sprains, Strains and Spasms

Your vertebral column acts as a ‘suit of armour’, protecting the delicate and vitally important spinal cord. The soft tissues surrounding the spinal column giving it both strength, stability and movement are the ligaments, tendons and muscles. Sprains, strains and spasms of these soft tissues often happens when we overload the spine and its soft tissues, and they can no longer cope with the added tension. This creates small tears in the soft tissues leading to inflammation, swelling and pain.

Disc Bulge or Herniation

A disc bulge or herniation can be significant enough to cause referred pain into your shoulders, arms, hands and fingers. Numbness, pins and needles and muscle weakness might also occur.  It can be so severe and excruciating that even breathing hurts!  Yet, on the other hand, a 2015 study found that half of all adults, without any back pain, had at least one disc bulge.  Rather than create pain, this however can cause your body the inability to function to its full potential.

Posture

Your neck delicately balances your head (about the weight of a bowling ball) for all of your waking hour.  This is done magnificently and is very energy efficient, as long as your body’s own biomechanics and ergonomics are proper working order.  All too often we see and feel misalignments in the neck created by the lifestyle that we live.  Things like sleeping on your stomach, looking down at a mobile phone for hours, or long hours at a computer can affect how the vertebra position, thus leading to your body being out of balance. The further away the head goes, the harder the back muscles need to work.  Over time this leads to fatigue, loss of strength, microtrauma, degeneration and pain.

Stress

Whenever you become stressed (physically, mentally or chemically), your body runs a natural physiological cascade of events.  Stress will naturally increase your blood pressure and heart rate, increase cholesterol, releasing stress hormones, increase inflammation and tense up the muscles in your spine and body. You are getting ready for the fight or flight response. Long term stress causes serious health problems and when it comes to the muscles, they eventually fatigue, chronically inflame, and become painful.

In looking at neck issues it is always important to consider one’s life, previous traumas and lifestyle. Things like Sleeping position and posture; Occupational posture and repetitive movements; the amount of time spent on technology, including laptops and mobile phones; stress levels; and even your birth process can all influence your neck and neck pain

Tech Neck

Smartphones, tablets, and computers have quickly become a part of our everyday life. People spend hours per day using these devices for work, messaging with friends and playing the latest games. Often, people sit for hours on end with their neck bent forward, shoulders rounded, and arms holding the phone.  Instead of the phone being at eye level it tends to migrate down into one’s lap.  This type of awkward, unnatural position can lead to a painful condition called “Tech Neck.”

Associated with this can also be tightness across the chest and shoulders; loss of shoulder motion and shoulder pain; tightness across the traps (trapezius muscles) and down the upper back (upper thoracic spine); headaches; loss of movement; inflammation; and even a horn starting to grow out of the back of the head.  When Tech Neck is left or ignored symptoms tend to accumulate and worsen with time, even potentially leading to conditions such as osteoarthritis and degenerative disc disease.

All this due to the excessive amount of time (the most someone has told me is 14 hours each and every day) on technological devices.

Neck Pain Relief Chatswood
Neck train Chatswood

Chiropractic Care for Neck Pain & Tech Neck

Just like with any condition, the successful treatment of neck pain and tech neck first requires us to make sure that chiropractic care is right for you and that you are in the right place to get the best possible care.

At Family Chiropractic Chatswood we start with a complete history.  This not only looks at your presenting symptoms, but we also look at your lifestyle as what could have caused the back problems (microtrauma) over the years.  This is often followed by a complete Chiropractic, orthopaedic and neurological examination.  If we find that we can help we will let you know.  Diagnostic films may be requested when indicated.  This allows us to see the extent of spinal decay and deterioration.

Our recommendations of care are based on your goals and the results of your tests.   This will not only alleviate the pain but more importantly address the root cause.  Allowing you to resume the life that you were destined to lead.  After all life becomes hard when you are sick and run down yet becomes easy when you are healthy and strong.  Chiropractic Care keeps you strong!