Neck pain affects over half of the popul

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 restricted joint in your neck.

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. Normally, each joint in your neck should move freely and independently.

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.

Joint restrictions 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. 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.

Joint restrictions most commonly cause local tenderness and discomfort. 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/or jaw problems may result from joint restrictions in your upper neck.

Our office offers several tools to help ease your pain. To speed your recovery, you should avoid carrying heavy bags or purses on your shoulder, as this may aggravate your condition. Be sure to take frequent breaks from sedentary activity. http://ow.ly/i/uSbXs

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