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My Achy Breaky Neck

By Gary Picariello

We've all been bothered by stiffness in the neck at one time or another. For me personally, it's when I sleep. I could have a bowl of Jell-O under my head instead of a pillow but I still wake up in the morning feeling like my wife had me in a headlock all night. The thing is, stiffness in the neck can be a precursor of something much more serious if ignored. Persistent stiffness and/or pain in your neck is an invitation for you to seek medical help or, as a first choice, intervention by a chiropractor.

The Big Three

A report in Everyday Health points out that “a chiropractor is qualified to use many of the same techniques and therapies as a physical therapist.” Specifically, non-evasive spinal adjustments can help restore normal neck function and help alleviate pain. Similar to physical therapy, your chiropractor can manipulate the neck and thoracic joints to reduce your stiffness, improve your mobility, and increase your range of motion. Heck, right there you practically have the Holy Trinity of pain relief, so what are you waiting for?

Not to Be Ignored

My good friend, the website WebMD, posits that neck stiffness is “often caused by inflammation of the neck joints although more often than not it is caused by a strain or spasm of the neck muscles.” Would you believe severe stiffness can even cause a headache? If you've ever been challenged by aches and pains, then you know the level of discomfort can range from mild to severe and a stiff neck is no different. If ignored, stiffness in the neck can spread down to your shoulders, arms and upper back; you can figure if that happens, you'll be pretty much immobile. You certainly won't be ice dancing in the Olympics in that condition.

Help is on the Way

Although there are many things you can do at home to help yourself (including changing out your pillow) you'll sleep better knowing that chiropractors specialize in treatment for neck pain. A physical exam is standard operating procedure, then your chiropractor can help to restore motion to stiff joints through a chiropractic treatment plan that may focus on chiropractic adjustments, specific neck exercises, and physiotherapy. 

Make sure that any chiropractic consultation underscores whether or not chiropractic therapy is a viable option for you. Long-term neck health is within reach with a little common sense and a trained chiropractor!

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, visit your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pasadena, Tex.

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