We’ve all been there at one point or another: we sit up in bed and find our neck feels tight, we feel stiff after a long day of working at the computer, or our neck hurts after a stressful day. Stiffness or pain in the neck is a common occurrence that usually goes away on its own within the week, but it can sometimes plague patients for far longer.
Many people instinctively reach for a bottle of painkillers to curb pain in their neck. However, if you are experiencing a stiff neck, there may be an underlying issue you need to address. Often, joints in the neck tense up and need to be stretched and loosened to allow free movement and prevent routine stiff neck symptoms in the future.
At Advanced Spine and Posture in Las Vegas, NV, we serve many patients suffering from stiff necks by using a variety of stretches and exercises to loosen the neck joints and stabilize the muscles around the cervical spine. Next time you experience a stiff neck, monitor your pain closely and consider seeing a chiropractor instead of taking medications to ease the pain.
Causes of stiff necks
Stiff necks usually involve difficulty moving the neck from side to side and may also be accompanied by a headache or pain in the neck, shoulder or arm. Pain may persist between a part of a day to a week, in which case you should seek professional help.
There are a few common causes of stiff necks that can be remedied with rest or chiropractic care. Muscle strains may occur when the levator scapulae, or muscle that connects cervical spine to shoulder, is overused or strained. Strains may occur after a variety of everyday situations like sleeping with your neck at an odd angle or holding tension due to stress. They can also be caused by a misalignment in the spine, resulting in the muscles in the area to be unable to provide adequate support for the neck and skull.
A pinched nerve might also be causing neck pain. When this occurs, one of the vertebrae in your spine becomes misaligned and pinches a nerve that protrudes between the spinal segments.
Other, less common causes of a stiff neck are larger, underlying issues such as a herniated disk, osteoarthritis, or disc degeneration disease.
When to seek chiropractic help
When you notice you have a stiff neck, try resting for a day or applying an ice pack for 20 minutes. These methods usually help relieve tension within a day or so. In some cases, though, the stiffness and pain will not subside, requiring professional care. It may be time to see a chiropractor if you experience the following:
- Stiffness or pain that does not go away in a few days;
- Stiffness or pain that is not alleviated by cold therapy;
- Severe pain that makes it difficult to look to the left or right;
- Stiffness or pain following a traumatic incident such as a fall or car crash.
When you visit the chiropractor, they will examine your neck and work to determine the cause of the pain. If you have misaligned vertebrae, they may conduct a spinal adjustment to get everything back in place. They may also walk you through neck stretches and light exercises to keep the joints and muscles strong and mobile.
The chiropractors at Advanced Spine and Posture treat patients with neck stiffness and pain using Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP), a holistic approach to patient wellbeing and chiropractic methodology in Las Vegas, NV. Visit us today to learn more about how we may be able to help mitigate your neck pain.
Chiropractic BioPhysics, or CBP, is one of the most scientific, researched, and results-oriented corrective care techniques. CBP-trained chiropractors aim to realign the spine back to health, eliminating nerve interference and addressing the source of pain, fatigue, and disease. As with all chiropractic care, CBP is gentle, painless, and non-invasive.