When your life consists of neck pain, it is hard to be able to maneuver anything else in your life without worry that your pain could stop you from enjoying it. Neck pain can present itself with many different symptoms, making it harder to diagnose than some other ailments, and with such a wide variety of causes, it can also be difficult for doctors to recognize as simply an issue with the neck. If you have been suffering from neck pain and need to get some relief, take a little time to learn about what you could be facing before you go to the doctor.
Doctors see a wide range of causes of neck pain. It could be that you have simply wrenched your neck by turning the wrong way at the wrong time for your neck to compensate, or you could be on the other end of the spectrum and have degeneration in your neck or spine. There are also hundreds of possibilities in between those two options that could be causing your neck pain. Sprains and strains of the neck are very common, and they can leave you reeling, wondering if there is any type of relief in sight, so if you have pain in your neck that has caused you to change up how you live or miss out on things you used to enjoy, then you need to make an appointment with your chiropractor or your doctor to get seen.
Typically, a person with neck pain is suffering from some type of injury to the neck. This could be a minor and temporary injury due to something simple like talking on your phone with your neck bent down too long, or one that is a bit longer lasting due to how you must hold your head while doing your job (such as a welder). You could also have experienced something like whiplash from an auto accident that caused an injury to your neck. These types of injuries all need to be dealt with as soon as you know they happened so that you can get relief as quickly as possible.
When you are suffering from neck pain, you could also be dealing with a wide range of other symptoms that are ailing you that you may not even attribute to your neck. One of the most common symptoms people go into the doctor or chiropractor with is a headache that just does not want to go away. This can be from tension and stress, or this could be caused by nerve pinches in the neck from your discs breaking down from some illness that you may or may not even know you have. You could also have soreness in your shoulder that does not seem to even radiate from your neck, but it could be coming from an issue in your neck as well. Sometimes people even go in to see their doctor because their arm is weak or tingling, or they have numbness that is radiating from the arms to their temples or anywhere in between.
Your doctor or your chiropractor is going to make sure to look at your injury or pain very carefully if your neck pain radiates to any other part of your body. This typically only happens when you have a nerve that is involved in the inflammation, which can show your physician that your neurologic issues could extend beyond the actual skeleton of the spine. If you notice that you have weakness or numbness that radiates out from an area near your neck, make sure to go in and get checked out quickly. It is often easier to treat these types of issues when you catch them early, versus when you wait to be seen.
Your doctor or chiropractor is going to want to take a thorough family history of your pain and those of your family to see if there is any underlying issue to be on the lookout for. For example, if your parents had disc degeneration of their necks, it could be something you have coming down the line to you, so they will know to look for those symptoms. Once the family and medical history is complete, your doctor is going to want to do an exam to see what type of pain you are currently in and see what kind of range of motion you currently have. They will talk with you during this exam, and likely ask you about what motions cause the most neck pain out of what you do each day. This can help them properly diagnose what is going on in your neck and know where to get started in terms of treatment.
If your doctor does not see any major issue that would require their treatment for your neck pain, you may be advised to see a chiropractor to make sure that you can get some relief. Obviously issues like cancer or degeneration would need a doctor’s treatment, but injuries can often be realigned and balanced out with the help of a chiropractor.