Neck Pain Treatment in Tustin

The neck contains the cervical spine, which starts at the base of the skull and goes down to include seven small vertebrae (C1-C7). The cervical spine supports the weight of your head and can move in nearly every direction. This flexibility makes the neck very susceptible to injury and pain.

Activities that can affect the mechanics of the neck include prolonged or improper positions, accidents, repetitive motion, falls and blows to the body or head, aging, and everyday wear and tear. Neck pain can be bothersome, painful, and result from a variety of things.

Neck Pain Therapy

Your Body, Your Way

Together, we will create a personalized treatment plan catered to YOUR body, YOUR pain points and YOUR speed. What is right for one won’t be right for another. We specialize in the following methods to create a customized treatment plan.

Rather than trying to mask your symptoms temporarily, chiropractic care traces your pain back to the root of the problem. Though everyone’s pain is a bit different, chiropractic care most often involves treating the muscle, joint, and nerve in your neck using chiropractic adjustments or “cervical manipulations.” Though the name may sound intimidating, cervical manipulations place gentle pressure on your neck and spine, to loosen your stiff joints and bring immediate relief.

Massage therapy helps remove tension in the muscles that may be a contributing factor to neck pain. Massage can increase blood circulation and remove toxins that cause inflammation and lead to pain. It can also help increase range of motion and flexibility and improve the functions of the nervous system. Massage therapy combined with chiropractic spinal adjustments have a stronger ability to reduce neck pain.

New biological treatments such as Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), Prolotherapy and Cellular Therapy have been used with great success to treat a variety of conditions including neck pain. These offer a long-lasting, natural solution to neck pain. PRP uses highly concentrated growth factors from your own blood to attract repair cells and initiate the body’s healing process. Prolotherapy is a concentrated solution of Dextrose and anesthetic that can be used in conjunction with PRP. It helps stimulate the body’s own ability to strengthen tendons and ligaments surrounding the cervical spine. Cellular therapy is another biological treatment for neck pain by injecting special cells into the area of pain to stimulate regeneration of tissue.

What can a chiropractor do for neck pain?

Chiropractic neck adjustments, also called cervical manipulation, help loosen the joints of the vertebrae in the neck. This may reduce pain caused by muscle spasms, pinched nerves, sprains and strains, and more.

Can a chiropractor fix a pinched nerve in the neck?

A chiropractor can use gentle manipulation to realign the spine and take pressure off a pinched nerve to get you back to optimal health. There are a lot of factors that can cause a pinched nerve and many chiropractors specialize in reducing stress on pinched nerves as well as preventing them from happening.

In addition to spinal adjustments, what are some other methods that a chiropractor may use to treat neck pain?

Your chiropractor may use stretches and exercises to loosen muscles and improve flexibility. They may also offer massage therapy to improve circulation and loosen tight muscles to help you feel better. A chiropractor may also offer advice regarding adjustments to your daily habits and lifestyle that can help you improve neck pain and avoid it in the future.

I haven’t been in an accident, so why does my neck hurt?

Cervical spine alignment problems and abnormal posture can also create unequal weight distribution on muscles causing chronic strain in the neck. Degenerative conditions to spinal structures and vertebral discs can also cause pain and other symptoms by impinging nerve roots in the neck.

WHIPLASH

Whiplash is a neck injury that occurs due to a rapid back and forth, forceful movement of the neck. It is commonly the result of rear-end car accidents, but may also result from physical abuse, sports accidents, and other types of trauma. 

You may also hear whiplash called a neck strain or sprain, but these terms also include other types of neck injuries. Most people recover from whiplash in a few weeks following a treatment plan by their doctor, but others have long lasting complications.

Symptoms of whiplash usually develop within a few days of the injury and may include stiffness and pain in the neck, pain that gets worse with movement, loss of range of motion in the neck, headaches that start at the base of the skull, pain or tenderness in the shoulders and upper arms, numbness or tingling in the arms, dizziness, and fatigue. Some people with more severe symptoms may experience tinnitus (or ringing in the ears), blurred vision, irritability, trouble concentrating, memory issues, sleep problems, and depression.

Whiplash occurs when your head is forcefully thrown backward and then forward in a rapid motion. The movement can injure the spinal bones as well as the discs between the bones, muscles, ligaments, nerves, and other tissues of the neck. It may result from automobile accidents – most commonly rear end collisions, physical abuse or assault, or contact sports such as football.

Chiropractic care is actually one of the most effective ways to treat whiplash symptoms. Regaining movement and motion in and around your neck area is incredibly important for your body to heal. Chiropractic care is beneficial from the onset of your symptoms and throughout your recovery.

Gentle adjustments of the spine and extremities that your chiropractor may perform help to alleviate pressure in your joints, decrease inflammation, and allow your entire body to function optimally. They may also choose to add some manual soft tissue work to help the muscles around your neck relax, again helping with mobility.

What happens if I leave whiplash untreated?

Whiplash is like many other types of injuries. If you leave it untreated, serious side effects may occur. Stiffness and loss of motion, as well as chronic neck pain may result when whiplash goes untreated. It can also lead to degenerative disc disease and vertebral misalignment.

Will whiplash ever really go away?

For those who experience mild whiplash, the symptoms will likely diminish within a few days or weeks with appropriate treatment. For those with more severe symptoms, whiplash may last for several weeks or even months and require more extensive treatment to heal.

Will whiplash symptoms get worse over time?

It may take up to 12 hours for symptoms of your whiplash to become apparent. The pain and stiffness will likely get worse the day after the injury and may continue to get worse over the next few days.

Do I have to be in a high-speed accident for whiplash to occur?

If you think you have to be traveling at a high rate of speed to sustain whiplash from a car accident, think again. Whiplash can occur at speeds as low as 5 miles per hour or even lower, meaning even a small run of the mill fender bender can do serious damage to your neck.

CERVICAL HERNIATED DISC

Symptoms of a herniated disc include neck pain that is typically felt toward the side or back of the neck. The pain may be sharp and burning or a mild pain that feels tender when touched. Radicular, or radiating pain, that stems from a nerve pinched in the neck that runs through the shoulder, arm, fingers, or hand. It may feel like an electric shock. Numbness or weakness may also result from cervical radiculopathy. Symptoms may worsen with specific head positions or certain motions such as tilting the head forward or side to side.

Common causes of herniated discs include trauma to the spine that caused a direct impact to the spine. Disc degeneration can also occur over time as discs naturally lose hydration and become less flexible and durable. When this happens, tears and cracks are more likely to develop. Other less common causes of herniated discs include abnormalities of the spine and connective tissue disorders.

Cervical herniated discs can often be managed with non-surgical treatments. Your doctor may recommend rest, physical therapy, ice, and anti-inflammatory medications. Chiropractic, massage treatment, and non-surgical spinal decompression are also great options for a disc herniation. Your medical practitioner will first evaluate the entire spine to better understand where your pain is truly coming from before providing any treatment. Once they have a better understanding of your personal pain pattern and symptoms, they may apply some gentle adjustments that can help to realign the spine for better overall function during the healing process.

How are bulging discs related to neck pain?

Discs tend to bulge as we age because they lose water content. As they flatten out, the space between the vertebrae decreases. This causes stress to the facet joints increasing joint pain in the neck. Bulging discs may also herniate resulting in irritation and pinching of the nerve tissue.

How serious is a herniated disc in the neck?

In some patients a herniated disc in the neck may cause spinal cord compression where the herniated disc pushes on the spinal cord. This is a much more serious condition and may require an aggressive treatment plan.

Will I need surgery to fix my herniated cervical disc?

Some doctors may recommend surgery to correct a herniated disc. However, surgery is invasive and has potential for serious side effects. We suggest visiting a chiropractor as multiple studies have shown that spinal adjustments can help manage the discomfort and pain associated with herniated discs.

There are six vertebral discs in the cervical spine, and each is situated between adjacent vertebrae to cushion the bones and distribute loads from the neck and head. Each disc has two basic components – the annulus fibrosus and the nucleus pulposus. 

The annulus fibrosus is the sturdy outer layer of the disc and is made to shield the soft inner layer. It helps absorb shock and handle the heavy load of the spine. The nucleus pulposus is the gel-like interior of the disc and provides additional cushioning and flexibility for the spine. 

A herniated disc occurs when part or all of the protective outer layer of the disc tears and the inner gel leaks into the tear.

CERVICAL STENOSIS

Stenosis of the cervical spine (or neck) is the narrowing of the spinal canal in this area. The spinal canal is the open area of bones that make up the spinal column. The nerves in this area allow us to feel, move, and control bodily functions. 

With cervical spinal stenosis, this canal narrows and can compress the nerve roots or even damage the spinal cord itself. This can change how the spinal cord functions and cause stiffness, pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms, neck, and legs, and may also affect your ability to control your bowel or bladder.

Many people over the age of 50 have at least some narrowing of the spinal cord but do not have symptoms. Spinal stenosis doesn’t cause symptoms unless the nerves or spinal cord are compressed. Symptoms typically develop gradually over a long period of time and may include pain, stiffness, weakness, or numbness in the neck, shoulders, arms, legs, hands or feet. Balance and coordination problems may occur as may loss of bladder or bowel control. Cervical spinal stenosis may be crippling if the spinal cord is damaged.

Cervical stenosis is typically caused by age related changes in the size and shape of the spinal canal and is most common in people over the age of 50. The aging process can cause bulging of the discs and lead to destruction of the tissues that cover the bones and excessive growth of the bones in the joints. In rare cases the spinal canal may be narrowed from birth if the bones don’t form correctly.

In mild cases of stenosis, anti-inflammatory medications, exercises to maintain flexibility and strength, and physical therapy may help relieve symptoms. If symptoms are more severe, your doctor may recommend more extensive treatment options such as non-surgical decompression or possibly surgery to fuse the spine depending on the severity.

Chiropractic care is also a good treatment option for cervical spinal stenosis. It can help reduce the pressure on the nerves while restoring your range of motion and reducing pain. Chiropractic care is a proven, safe and effective treatment option for those who are searching for an alternative and natural method to treat spinal stenosis.

Is spinal stenosis a form of arthritis?

Arthritis is a common cause of spinal stenosis, and although it can affect younger patients, spinal stenosis is most common in those ages 50 and older.

Is chiropractic safe for cervical stenosis?

If you are suffering from cervical stenosis, chiropractic care is considered a safe treatment option. Stenosis is often accompanied by other issues and symptoms that respond well to chiropractic care such as joint stiffness and back pain.

How can a chiropractor diagnose cervical stenosis?

Cervical stenosis is diagnosed by obtaining a medical history and performing a physical examination. Your chiropractor may also take digital images of your spine to determine the severity of the narrowing of your spinal canal.

CERVICAL RADICULOPATHY

Symptoms of the condition typically include pins and needles type tingling, electric shock type feelings, and numbness or weakness in the areas that are served by the nerve root that is affected. Pain is also typically present. In most cases the symptoms are felt in only one area but may progress into more areas if left untreated. If symptoms become severe, they may reduce the ability to perform routine tasks such as gripping or lifting objects, getting dressed, and writing.

Cervical radiculopathy may be caused by a variety of things. The most common causes include stenosis, or a narrowing of the bony opening where the nerve root exits the spinal canal, and herniated discs. Much less common causes include fractures of the vertebra, tumors, infections, and sarcoidosis (a rare disease that causes lumps to grow on any area of the body).

Fortunately, there are plenty of treatment options for the condition. The treatments depend on the underlying cause of the symptoms and the severity. Nonsurgical treatments are typically tried first. These include activity modification and rest, ice or heat therapy, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and chiropractic care. A chiropractor can gently adjust the spine to improve mobility and promote a better healing environment.

I didn’t do anything to injure myself, but I’m still having symptoms. How is that possible?

Injuries aren’t the only cause of neck pain. Posture is one of the most common culprits of cervical radiculopathy. From sleeping in the wrong position to working at a computer or looking at other electronic devices, your posture is challenged daily and incorrect posture can lead to neck pain.

What can a chiropractor do about cervical radiculopathy?

A chiropractor will diagnose you through a detailed examination of your neck, symptoms, age, medical history, lifestyle, and other risk factors. This will reveal which nerve roots need treatment. Gentle adjustments to the cervical spine can ease symptoms by treating the underlying cause of your cervical radiculopathy and restore normal flow of nerve signals.

How can spinal decompression help with cervical radiculopathy?

Spinal decompression will provide an axial lift to decompress the discs and take pressure off the nerve root. It is a pain-free, safe method for reducing pain, reversing disc degeneration, and eliminating further nerve damage.

Cervical radiculopathy is when a nerve root in the cervical spine, or neck, becomes inflamed and damaged. This can create symptoms such as altered reflexes, weakness, and numbness that radiates from the neck into the shoulders, arms, hands, or fingers.

NECK SPRAIN & STRAIN

A neck strain is an injury to the tendons or muscles of the neck and typically happens when a tendon or muscle stretches too far and tears. A neck sprain is the same type of injury but occurs to the ligaments in the neck instead of the muscles or tendons. 

Neck strains are classified in three grades from I to III with three being the worst and I being the mildest. A doctor will generally treat sprains and strains using the same treatment protocol. These can also cause misalignments in the vertebrae, making a chiropractor the ideal choice for treating these injuries.

The most common signs of a neck strain or sprain include pain with a decreased range of motion. Other symptoms may include muscle spasms and tightness, headache, weakness, numbness, tingling, stiffness of the neck, inability to perform daily activities, and problems chewing, swallowing, or breathing.

Neck sprains and strains are typically caused by injuries to the neck. Injuries may result from a direct blow that makes the neck fling forward or backward, or when a force lands on top of the head. They may also be the result of an accident. Other causes of neck strains and sprains include lifting a heavy object, falls, poor posture, diseases, and repetitive motions.

If your injury is a grade I or II your doctor will likely recommend rest, heat or ice therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications. Your doctor may also recommend physical therapy or chiropractic treatments. Your chiropractor may use gentle spinal manipulation to restore normal joint function after a sprain or strain injury. They may combine manipulation with ultrasound or massage therapy to further enhance healing.

What is tech neck?

Tech neck is a condition caused by overuse of digital devices. Neck muscles are strained when your head droops down for extended periods of time to look at your phone, computer, or other digital device.

How do you get a neck strain?

Car accidents are a leading cause of neck strains and sprains followed by sporting accidents. Athletes are at highest risk when playing contact sports or when performing high speed activities. In addition, daily activities such as pushing, pulling, or moving heavy objects or long periods of looking down or computer use can result in neck sprains and strains.

Are neck sprains and strains common?

Yes, they are very common. Studies show that over one million adults in the U.S. suffer from cervical sprain or strain each year. Neck sprains and strains affect all age groups, but children seem to be at an elevated risk due to the immature facets and ligament flexibility. Females are also more prone to cervical strains and sprains.

How To Fix Neck Pain In Tustin

While over-the-counter and prescription medications may bring temporary relief, many patients experience unpleasant side effects or limited effectiveness. Thus, the pain continues–and you feel worse from the medications.

Rather than trying to mask your symptoms temporarily, chiropractic care traces your pain back to the root of the problem. Though everyone’s pain is a bit different, chiropractic care most often involves treating the muscle, joint, and nerve in your neck using chiropractic adjustments or “cervical manipulations.” Though the name may sound intimidating, cervical manipulations place gentle pressure on your neck and spine, to loosen your stiff joints and bring immediate relief.

If you’ve tried treating your neck pain at home and it’s not subsiding, make an appointment with us to discuss your symptoms and begin a treatment plan. Your neck–and body– will thank you.

During your new patient evaluation, we will determine 3 things:
What is the
underlying issue?
Is that a problem
we can help?
What will it take
to get you better?

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