By Dr. Jenni Clear
Aloha Big Island residents and visitors.
This column’s topic is Neck Pain, which includes mysterious migraines and headaches. I hope to bring you some helpful information which may relieve some of the symptoms, or better yet, alleviate them altogether. We’ll explore causes, treatment options, and prevention of neck pain.
Neck pain can range from simple musculoskeletal discomfort to extreme migraines. Causes of neck pain can vary. Stress and tension, motor vehicle accidents, poor posture, dehydration, food allergies, and musculoskeletal imbalance can all induce neck discomfort. Sometimes neck pain will progress to a headache.
There are 129 different types of headaches, according to the International Headache Society. Three of these are most common: migraines, tension-type, and cervicogenic (from the neck). Migraines effect about 11 million people; tension headaches (180 headaches/year) effect about 9 million people; and cervico-genic headaches effect about 7 million people. Way too many people are suffering with headaches.
Headaches can range in location, frequency, and symptoms. Some people experience unilateral (one-sided) pain, while others may feel pain behind the eye or at the base of the skull. Some may see flashes of light, some become nauseous, and some even vomit.
There are lots of treatment options. Many people rely on medicine; however sometimes it is ineffective, expensive, or has too many negative side effects. Other options include massage, physical therapy, biofeedback, relaxation techniques, and chiropractic care. In our experience, chiropractic has yielded tremendous results for patients suffering from headaches and neck pain. It usually reduces frequency, duration, and severity of these issues. Many of our patients have gained complete relief of these problems while under our care. There have been many studies conducted in order to prove chiropractic’s effectiveness.
Our necks have a natural spring in them in order to hold up our heavy heads. Thus, a healthy neck has a lordodic curve which acts as a shock absorber. When this curve is compromised or becomes locked up, too straight, or misaligned, problems will result. This can occur because of motor vehicle accidents, chronic poor posture, or misaligned vertebrae from sports, child birth, etc.. When vertebrae are not in their neutral position, the muscles on the sides of the vertebrae will spasm up and become painful. Nerves will become irritated as well.
Neck pain can lead to secondary symptoms such as: depression, anxiety, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, hearing loss, visual disturbances, sleep problems, arm numbness, irritability, difficulty swallowing, forgetfulness, arm pain, tingling in the hands, ringing in the ears, jaw or face pain, shoulder tension or pain, etc.
Chiropractors can often fix these misalignments using adjustments, muscle work, stretches, exercises, traction, and sometimes special pillows. Patients are often amazed with the results that chiropractic care can provide, and they are so thankful to find such a pleasant and non-invasive treatment option. We hope that if you are experiencing neck discomfort, you will try chiropractic care and see if it can help you. I hope this article helps you or someone you care about. A hui hou; have a healthy and happy month!
Dr. Jenni Clear and her husband Dr. James Clear have a chiropractic practice in Kea’au.