Cervical Joint Restriction causes Neck Pain
Neck pain affects over half of the population at some point in their life. Neck pain is second only to lower back pain as a cause of lost workdays. One of the most common causes of neck pain comes from a slightly misaligned or restricted joint in your neck. We call this neck pain from cervical joint restriction.
Your neck is made up of seven bones stacked on top of each other with a soft “disc” between each segment to allow for flexibility.
Each joint in your neck should move freely and independently. Our examination of your spine has shown that one or more of the joints in your neck is slightly misaligned and restricted. We call this cause of neck pain, cervical segmental joint restriction.
To help visualize this, imagine a normal neck functioning like a big spring moving freely in every direction. A neck with a joint restriction is like having a section of that spring welded together. The spring may still move as a whole, but a portion of it is no longer functioning.
Cervical joint restriction can develop in many ways. Sometimes they are brought on by an accident or an injury. Other times, they develop from repetitive strains or poor posture. Restricted joints give rise to a self-perpetuating cycle of discomfort and neck pain. Joint restriction causes swelling and inflammation, which triggers muscular guarding leading to more restriction. Since your spine functions as a unit, rather than as isolated pieces, a joint restriction in one area of your spine often causes “compensatory” problems in another. Think of this as a rowboat with multiple oarsmen on each side. When one rower quits, the others are placed under additional stress and can become overworked.
Cervical joint restriction most commonly causes neck pain, muscle pain and stiffness. You may notice that your range of motion is limited. Moving your head and neck may increase your discomfort. Pain from a restricted joint often trickles down to your shoulders and upper back. Headaches, light-headedness and jaw problems may result from joint restrictions in your upper neck.
Long-standing restrictions are thought to result in arthritis – much like the way a slightly misaligned wheel on your car causes premature wearing of your tire.
Fortunately, chiropractic care has been shown to be the safest and most effective treatment for cervical joint restriction. Mind & Body Chiropractic at Mudgeeraba on the Gold Coast offers treatment to quickly ease your pain.
To speed your recovery, you should avoid carrying heavy bags or purses on your shoulder, as this may aggravate your condition and be. Also be sure to have a quality pillow for sleeping and take frequent breaks from your workstation.
Mind & Body Chiropractic, The Gold Coast Chiropractor