Many Americans suffer from neck pain, due to poor posture, arthritis, injury and many other factors. However, if you have a pain in the neck, you don't have to rely on pain medications. Chiropractic treatments can help joint pain, including neck pain. If you are nervous about what to expect at the chiropractor, learn a little more about what your chiropractor will likely do to ease the pain.
Examinations and Tests
Typically, your first visit begins like a first visit to most doctors; with an examination. However, the examination is mostly to test your range of motion. You'll be asked to twist and tilt your neck and back, lift your arms, bend your hips and any other similar action needed to identify limitations in movement. You will redo the range-of-motion test after a few treatments to measure your progress. In some cases, especially if you've been in an accident or have been injured, the chiropractor may also request tests, such as X-rays. These are to ensure there is not damage to the spine or neck that may be worsened with treatment.
The main treatment is joint manipulation. While any joint can be manipulated, the chiropractor will likely focus on your neck and upper back if you have neck pain. During the treatment, gasses are released from the joints, which improves movement. You'll feel a strange popping sensation as the gas is released. There are many ways the chiropractor can manipulate your back and neck joints. With the neck, however, the chiropractor will likely perform manual manipulation or use a small adjustment tool that lightly taps the neck to release gasses.
Modalities are treatments the chiropractor may perform before joint manipulation. They are usually designed to help relax muscles, so the provider can adjust your joints better. In some cases, you may get a short massage, but electrical stimulation is often used instead. With these machines, tiny electrical pulses are used to relax your muscles. Heat is often applied during this modality. Traction is another common modality that stretches your spine before treatment. This helps open the joints a little, making manipulation easier. In some cases, your provider may also offer ice packs after to reduce swelling.
If you have neck pain, don't avoid the chiropractor anymore. Spinal manipulation can do a lot to relieve joint and muscle tension by improving range of motion. For more information about treatments, contact a chiropractor in your area today.