Did you know women are 150% more likely to experience neck pain than men? And did you know nearly 70% of US adults experience neck pain at least occasionally?
These statistics hold true to what we see here at Bright Futures Chiropractic here in Kalona, IA, as neck pain is one of the most common symptoms of people who present to our office.
Your neck supports the full weight of your head, which on average weighs about 12 pounds. When your head rests directly above your shoulders, it rests on your neck with very little effort from your neck muscles. When it drifts forward, however, your neck quickly takes on the big job of straining to hold it up–imagine tipping a hammer forward after holding it upright.
Modern posture due to smartphones, computer monitors, and chronic seated positions create forward head posture, increasing the stress on the neck, and often leading to chronic neck pain. What’s worse is that when this isn’t caught or corrected, these stresses frequently cause the spinal joints in the neck to wear down, literally changing the bone structure in an effort to compensate.
No wonder so many people have stiff, painful necks and achy upper backs!
Neck pain can also be acute, meaning it has started recently. Sometimes that is from an injury, a long travel trip, or a new lifestyle stressor like a new job or when a mom or dad has a new baby to hold.
With neck pain, it is important to identify the cause of the symptom in order to correct it properly. The neck has many different structures that can be injured or inflamed such as joints, muscles, ligaments, and vertebral discs. Each one can cause pain, discomfort, and nerve irritation that is unique to that particular structure.
At Bright Futures Chiropractic we take a thorough, multi-angle approach to neck pain. With the most advanced suite of examination technology in Kalona, IA and the surrounding area, and two experienced chiropractors, the results we get helping people correct the cause of their neck pain are excellent.
Pro Tip: We are so successful at neck pain care here because we don’t actually treat headaches–we care for the body and correct the cause of the neck pain, so the body can heal and function normally. And a normally functioning body doesn’t have neck pain!
Comprehensive Consultation and Exam
Every new patient encounter starts with an in-depth consultation. As doctors, we need to get to know you and your story to know what your body has been through, and what you’re experiencing now. We need to know how your neck pain is impacting your life, and most importantly we need to know your goals–what you need and want to get back to doing in life!
During our examination we will perform a complete spinal evaluation for proper alignment and movement, along with digital spinal x-rays and testing your nervous system function with specialized technology that helps us locate the specific areas of concern. This allows us to truly get to the root of the problem.
These examination findings and your goals then help us determine the best path forward for you to get the results you desire.
At Bright Futures Chiropractic we use our on-site digital x-ray system to take the highest quality x-rays in Washington County, IA. With this technology we can see how the spine is aligned and how long problems have been present by analyzing the amount of damage present in the spine.
It is tragic how often we find degeneration in the spine of people who are in their 30s, 40s, and even 20s. Many times this degeneration could have been prevented with appropriate chiropractic care years prior.
We utilize our digital x-rays to fine tune our care recommendations to each individual, allowing us to customize your care plan and help you recover from neck pain as completely as possible.
Specific Chiropractic Care / Kalona, IA
As chiropractors, we specialize in finding and correcting subluxation. This is a problem that occurs when a vertebra (bone in your spine) moves out of its normal position and/or is stuck and not moving properly, which causes neck stiffness and irritation to nerves in that area. When nerves are irritated, they can become symptomatic and can cause neck pain due to inflammation. It is also possible that they don’t cause obvious symptoms, but lead to underlying dysfunction in the body. Correcting subluxation allows the nerves to function properly and the body to heal itself.
Many times, people with neck pain have subluxation in the cervical spine–the top 7 vertebrae of the spine. The nerves in this area emerge from the spine and travel up the back of the head, down and around the neck, and into the upper back, arms, and shoulders. When these nerves are irritated, one of the most common symptoms they cause is neck pain. Through specific chiropractic care to this area, nerve interference can be removed, and nerve function can be restored. For many, this will eliminate the neck pain they are experiencing–and any other dysfunction that might not be noticeable.
If subluxation is the cause of your neck pain, it won’t heal until that is addressed, and no amount of drugs, ice, hot baths, or muscle rub will resolve the problem.
Custom Therapeutic Exercise Plan
Neck pain is often caused and made worse by poor posture. And poor posture is an epidemic in our society. Years and years of daily smartphone use, computer work, and sitting too much have caused forward head posture and rounded shoulders for many people. Certain muscles get weak, and other muscles get tight. This creates an unhealthy imbalance and nerve irritation that takes a specific approach to correct.
At Bright Futures Chiropractic, we identify postural problems that contribute to neck pain and use specific corrective exercises in our care plans. We give patients video and print resources to learn and apply the exercises, then we check in with them to make sure they are doing them correctly.
Here’s a sneak peak at one of our favorite exercises!
Common Causes of Neck Pain in Kalona, IA
Subluxation is the condition that chiropractors are specially trained to identify and correct. When a bone or section of the spine in the neck shifts out of its normal position, it can cause irritation of nearby spinal nerves. This can present with symptoms such as neck pain, headaches, numbness and tingling into the arms or hands, or even thyroid imbalance. Many times neck pain is treated with exercises, stretches, or even medications. However, there is no exercise or drug you can take to fix subluxation. In Kalona, IA Chiropractors are the only doctors who are trained to properly correct subluxation in the spine. Chiropractic adjustments are gentle and specific, are safe for all ages, and can provide rapid relief for neck pain caused by subluxation.
Tech neck is a term that refers to postural problems that occur due to looking down at our electronic devices or working at desks for too long. As technology has advanced, it has become a more prominent problem. In fact, the average person is now on their phone for around 4 hours per day! Tech neck typically presents with forward head posture, which increases stress on the neck joints and muscles. Forward head posture also reduces – and in some cases, reverses – the natural curve of the neck, which can create chronic neck issues. The chiropractors at Bright Futures Chiropractic specialize in helping people improve their posture and alleviate neck pain that stems from Tech Neck.
Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes narrowing of a joint space, and is commonly seen in the neck. It takes a long time to develop, sometimes even decades, and is usually the long term result of things like poor posture and lack of motion. Our joints need to move in order to stay healthy. When we don’t move our joints enough, or have poor posture, the joints gradually wear down. Osteoarthritis can also cause changes in the bone called osteophytes (commonly called “bone spurs”). These indicate a long-standing problem and can cause irritation to nerves in the neck and cause neck pain. Chiropractic and exercise are essential for managing osteoarthritis and slowing down its progression.
Bulged or Herniated Cervical Discs
Between each of the neck vertebrae are discs, which provide support for our neck joints and allow movement to occur. A vertebral disc contains a jelly-like substance in the middle called a nucleus, which is surrounded by rings of cartilage. Due to postural or repetitive movement stress, the cartilage can be damaged. This causes the nucleus to take the path of least resistance and push into the damaged area. When the nucleus pushes through the last layer of cartilage, the disc has herniated into the space where spinal nerves are located. This causes inflammation, which brings intense neck pain that can radiate down into the arms. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to fix a disc herniation, so it is important to address the problem as quickly as possible if surgery is to be avoided.
One of the most common injuries to result from car accidents is whiplash in the neck. Unfortunately rural areas like Kalona, IA have higher rates of serious car accidents than in large cities. When a vehicle comes to a quick stop during impact, the neck moves back and forth sharply, causing damage to the muscles and ligaments in the neck. This results in neck pain and decreased range of motion in the neck. Whiplash must be addressed as quickly as possible, as it can easily lead to chronic neck problems down the road. It is common for patients in our office to have neck pain years, and sometimes even decades, after car accidents. Chiropractic is a very effective way to treat whiplash and restore normal function and movement in the neck.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is a chiropractor in Kalona, IA good for neck pain?
Definitely! Chiropractors are trained to identify the source of neck pain and guide you through the proper care plan to correct the cause. The chiropractors at Bright Futures Chiropractic have helped thousands of neck pain sufferers in Kalona, Wellman, Riverside, Washington, Lone Tree, and Iowa City get their lives back on track, and they can help you too!
When should you see a chiropractor for neck pain?
As soon as possible. Neck pain is a sign that something in your body is not functioning properly. It is important to be evaluated promptly so your condition does not worsen. Starting care quickly can help you start healing, and feeling better and get back to doing the things you like to do and need to do in your life.
What medication is best for neck pain?
While medication can certainly reduce neck pain, it does nothing to address the underlying cause of the neck pain. Medication used as a short term stop-gap while seeking corrective chiropractic care could be used, but also comes with significant risks. Ice, rest, stretching, and exercise are recommended to help reduce pain while seeking out a more permanent solution.
How can I relieve my neck pain?
Self-care to go along with chiropractic care is the perfect combination for healing neck pain. Step 1–set up a chiropractic evaluation. Step 2–evaluate your lifestyle habits starting with technology use, sleeping position, and physical activity. Step 3–correct the lifestyle issues you identified in Step 2 with the help of your chiropractor, if necessary.
Is chiropractic effective for neck pain?
Chiropractic care is extremely effective for neck pain when the right approach is taken. A system that identifies triggers, lifestyle challenges that contribute to the neck pain, and includes a full evaluation including health history, spinal examination, x-rays (if indicated), and nervous system health has allowed Bright Futures Chiropractic in Kalona, IA help thousands of people correct the cause of their neck pain and enjoy life without them.
Who is the best chiropractor in Kalona, IA for neck pain?
Any chiropractor who performs a thorough health evaluation and examination of the spine and nervous system, including spinal x-rays (if indicated) and nervous system measurements can help a person achieve long-term healing and relief from neck pain. In Kalona, IA and the surrounding communities, Bright Futures Chiropractic is the only chiropractic office that offers all these services.