Neck pain, properly called cervicalgia, like back pain, affects about 10% of the adult population, at any given time, but is only about half as common as low back pain in the workplace, with less than half the working population suffering symptoms. However, we all suffer from neck pain at various times in our lives, from the “crick” we wake up with for no apparent reason, to the more severe symptoms of whiplash, associated with a motor vehicle crash or something similar.
Unfortunately there is always a trade off with flexibility vs. stability. The flexibility of the neck, which we rely on to function in our daily lives, comes at the cost of stability. This means we are more susceptible to the everyday events that eventually wear on the joints of our cervical spine, the neck. We have the equivalent of a 10-12 lbs. bowling ball on a spring that can get knocked around pretty hard sometimes, resulting in wear and tear to these joints, if not outright traumatic injury.
The cause of neck pain, resulting from osteoarthritis, daily wear and tear, to the traumatic results of motor vehicle induced whiplash are bad enough, but the symptoms don’t always stop there. Similar to sciatica, from low back injury, nerve pain from neck injury can travel into the shoulder, along the shoulder blade or down into the arm or fingers, causing pain, tingling or numbness. The good news about these types of symptoms is that, just as in low back pain, chiropractic is a very effective, conservative treatment.