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Chiropractic Manipulation of Cervical Spine

By Debra Rodzinak

I tend to carry my stress in my neck and shoulders. When I realize that I am feeling stressed or overworked, I immediately rub the back of my neck. However, this doesn’t always relieve my neck and upper back pain.  Chiropractors use manipulation of the cervical spine to relieve neck, upper back, shoulder, and arm pain. Headaches are also treated by manipulation of the upper or cervical spine.

Benefits of Cervical Spine Manipulation

The ultimate goal of chiropractic treatment is to restore proper alignment to the spine in order to let the body heal itself. When manipulating the cervical spine, some of the benefits seen include:

  • Reduction in pain of the upper body
  • Improved range of motion of the neck, head, shoulders, and arms
  • Restoring function to the head and neck area

Types of Chiropractic Manipulation Used for the Cervical Spine

There are two main approaches to chiropractic adjustments for the cervical spine. They are:

  • Cervical Spinal Manipulation – This is considered the traditional form of chiropractic treatment where short, quick thrusts are performed on one joint at a time in order to restore a normal range of motion for the affected joint. 
  • Cervical Spinal Mobilization – This involves a gentler adjustment. Less force is used in the technique and the joint is moved back into correct position. 
  • Combination – The chiropractor’s skill and preferences along with the patient’s comfort determine whether manipulation, mobilization, or a combination of both is used during treatment.

I have had both types used for my upper back and neck pain. My personal preference is the quick thrusts, but I know patients who prefer the gentler adjustments. It really is different for each person.

Additional Forms of Treatment for the Cervical Spine

The chiropractic community believes in combining many different forms of noninvasive treatment to treat cervical spine problems. Massage, application of heat and cold, stretching, and strengthening exercises are a few of the additional treatments patients can perform in conjunction with chiropractic treatments to achieve maximum relief.

I use all of the above to treat my stiff neck and tight shoulders. When I use a combination of all of the treatments, I find that my body is more receptive to chiropractic treatments. My personal favorite is applying cold to the area. It wasn’t until I tried this method, suggested by my chiropractor, that I realized the benefits of ice therapy. 

However, as with any medical concerns, you should always seek the advice of your medical practitioner first. Then, head to The Joint for your cervical spinal adjustment. The Joint is often less expensive than insurance copays and uses noninvasive, non-pharmaceutical treatments to bring pain relief to patients.

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