Ever wonder why “pain in the neck” is used to describe someone or something that’s a real nuisance? It’s probably because neck pain is so common and uncomfortable, the meaning of the phrase is immediately recognizable to almost everyone.
More than 30% of the population suffers from neck pain, the fourth leading cause of disability. Though some mild neck pain may resolve fairly quickly, many people experience persistent symptoms that often get worse.
At Easy Reach Chiropractic, Barbara Adonis, DC, and Heather Preville, PT, DPT, offer patient-centered treatment plans for neck pain based on each patient’s symptoms and lifestyle for long-lasting symptom relief.
If you have neck pain — even mild symptoms — here’s why it’s so important to have it evaluated and treated as early as possible.
Common causes of neck pain
As the uppermost part of your spine, your neck is extremely flexible, subjected to a wide range of movement. Muscles, joints, nerves, connective tissues, and other structures all work together to support normal neck movement. Damage to any of these components can quickly cause nagging neck pain.
Sometimes, it’s easy to spot the cause of your neck pain. For instance, auto accidents or falls can cause whiplash, along with muscle and nerve strain in your neck and upper shoulders. But other times, the cause of neck pain is less obvious. Having a medical evaluation is the only way to find out what’s causing your symptoms.
Underlying diseases like arthritis or spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spine) are common causes of neck pain in older women and men. Both of these problems can cause nerve compression, along with inflammation inside your neck joints.
Other times, lifestyle factors can cause nagging neck pain symptoms. Poor workplace ergonomics or spending hours a day bent over your phone or computer all contribute to what’s called “tech neck.” Poor posture, repetitive heavy lifting, carrying heavy loads, or doing work over your head can also cause neck pain.
The dangers of ignoring neck pain
It can be tempting to ignore neck pain and see if it goes away on its own. But depending on what’s causing your pain and what components of your neck are involved, delaying care could wind up causing more severe symptoms in the near future.
The nerves in your neck travel to your arms, shoulders, upper back, and head. If your neck pain is associated with your neck joints, discs, or nerves, or if it’s causing inflammation in your neck, you could wind up with a pinched nerve, along with symptoms like:
- Chronic headaches
- Problems sleeping
- Chronic pain in your arms, shoulders, and upper back
- Weakness and muscle damage in your arms and hands
Putting off treatment can lead to permanent nerve damage and permanent loss of sensation in your arms or hands. Prompt treatment focuses on treating the underlying cause of your pain, so these and other debilitating symptoms can be avoided.
Don’t ignore that pain in the neck
Our team offers a variety of treatments for chronic and acute neck pain, including massage therapy, laser treatments, and acoustic shock wave therapy. Your treatment plan will be focused on relieving painful symptoms and restoring normal function in your neck, so you can get back to the activities you love.
To learn more about neck pain treatments at our offices in Lake Worth and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, book an appointment online or over the phone today.