Our modern lifestyle entails long hours of driving and hunching over workstations, activities which can place significant strain on our necks. This is therefore not surprising that neck pain is among the most common condition treated by chiropractors at OHP Kelowna.
While neck pain is less common compared to back pain, millions of people report experiencing neck pain along with arm-related pain at some stage in their lives. If you are suffering from neck pain, it is highly beneficial to understand the most common underlying causes as well as how OHP, the leading chiropractic Kelowna can provide assistance.
Common Causes of Neck Pain
Neck pain often results from abnormalities in the soft tissues – ligaments, muscles and nerves as well as the joints and bones of the spine. It is often brought about by a number of factors such as trauma, wear and tear, overuse and poor posture. All these can eventually lead to pain due to the injury it causes to the structures surrounding the spine.
Among the most common issues identified by OHP chiropractors Kelowna are soft tissue abnormalities arising from prolonged wear and tear or injury.
In some people, the source of pain is in the shoulders, arms and upper back. In such cases, neck pain is caused by muscle strain, which results to stiffness and ache that spreads to the forearm and upper arm.
In some cases, patients may experience shooting pain that spreads down the arm towards the hand and fingers. This can be a symptom of pinched nerve or what is called nerve entrapment in the neck. In rare cases, disc injuries may also be the cause of nerve entrapments.
Injuries to the neck caused by a sudden movement of the head backwards and forwards or sideways, are referred to as “whiplash”. Whether it is brought about by a car accident, a sporting injury or an accident at work, whiplash or neck injuries warrant a thorough chiropractic examination.
Whiplash is most commonly suffered as a result of a road traffic accident. An impact or collision causes the head to suddenly jerk back and forth beyond its normal limits.
Overuse or Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI)
There is a constant process of breakdown and repair of the soft tissues in the human body. RSI develops when the balance is upset either from increased use and/or impaired healing. RSI is caused by mechanical irritation, which upsets the body’s highly tuned natural balance. It is an inflammation of the fibrous layer that covers soft tissues. Repeated physical movements, such as typing, can cause damage to tendons, nerves muscles and ligaments.
Often problems in the spinal joints of the neck and upper back can aggravate or even cause RSI to develop in the arms and hands. This is because the nerve supply, which controls both the tension in the muscles and blood supply of the arms comes from the neck.
RSI may present as tightness, discomfort, stiffness or pain in the neck, arms or hands. You may experience tingling, coldness or numbness in the hands. There may also be an associated clumsiness, loss of hand strength and loss of co-ordination.
We all have occasional aches and pains that go away within a few days, especially when we have overdone things. But if your symptoms are progressive, persistent or recurrent see your Chiropractor as soon as possible.
Wear and Tear
Wear and Tear, Osteoarthritis or Joint Degeneration occurs due to the accumulation of stresses and trauma over time.
Throughout life the spine is required to withstand considerable weight bearing strain, purely as a result of the pressures of daily living. The overall effects of degenerative changes of the spine leads to a feeling of stiffness and reduced spinal mobility.
However, just like any other part of the body, the better care that is taken of the spine, the less degeneration is likely to occur.
Chiropractic treatment is usually very effective for the symptoms caused by wear and tear. It is never too late to take proper care of the spine and reduce the ill effects of aging.
Chiropractors at OHP Kelowna recognize that poor posture can contribute to spinal pain. Very often poor posture is a result of an existing muscle imbalance, pain or bad habits and conversely, having poor posture can also contribute to you developing pain and a muscle imbalance.
Sitting on an office chair for long periods can contribute to spinal problems. Sitting doubles the pressure on the discs in your low back. The static posture will also affect the muscles in the lower back, neck, arms and legs. The muscles prefer to be used in dynamic rather than static activities, the reason being that they depend on movement to help the blood flow in the musculature. This is important, as it helps to flush away build-up of lactic acid and other by-products in the muscles, which can result in pain.
The postural muscles are the ones that are most likely to suffer. Prolonged sitting can cause muscles that support the spine to weaken and over time this weakness becomes significant. As our muscles fatigue it often results in the upper back being more slumped. A slumped posture causes increased musculo-skeletal stress, which in turn may lead to conditions such as; headaches, neck pain, jaw pain, shoulder pain, numbness or tingling in the arms or hands and pain in the shoulder blades.
Over time a poor sitting posture and incorrect work ergonomics can damage spinal structures and become the cause of recurrent episodes of pain. Chiropractors place great emphasis on giving both postural and ergonomic advice as part of the chiropractic treatment.
Once symptoms have arisen, the problem is usually fully established and a chiropractic treatment program including postural advice, manual treatment (chiropractic adjustments and soft tissue therapy) and rehabilitation exercises help to re-establish a flexible, strong and pain-free posture.