How Good Posture Can Help Neck Pain and Headaches

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Chiropractic and Neck Pain

When we awaken in the morning with a stiff and painful neck, the propensity is to blame the situation on our pillow, bed, or sleep position during that night. We also make an effort to figure out what is taking place when sudden neck movement causes a sharp pain that feels as if “something” has slipped out of position or that a nerve is being “pinched.”


Though it may seem so, one isolated occurrence is seldom the cause of most neck problems, but more often than not the cumulative effects of incorrect sitting posture, bad work and lifestyle habits, and lack of beneficial exercise for strength and flexibility. Of course, some neck challenges are due to traumatic events such as a whiplash accident, a fall, or a sports injury.

In order to understand neck pain, it is helpful to have knowledge of the anatomy of the spine. The spinal bones or vertebrae of the neck are comprised of posterior joints, called facets, that link vertebrae to one another and serve to pilot the motion of the spine. The inter-vertebral discs link the bodies of the vertebrae and are made of a form of tough cartilage that covers a soft material in the center, called the nucleus. The primary function of the disc is as a shock absorber and spacer between the vertebrae. The spinal cord is positioned between the facets of the vertebrae. The spinal nerves leave the spine between the vertebrae and impart the energy to make the muscles and other organs of the body function. They also carry impulses from the body to the brain concerning pain, touch, position, temperature, as well as other senses.  The nerves that exit from the neck are in charge of the entire upper extremity including the shoulder, elbow and hand, as well as structures of the head and neck. The natural forward curve of the neck balances the weight of the head and alleviates stress on neck vertebrae. For more information please feel free to visit your Colorado Springs Chiropractor.

Risk Factors: Neck Pain and Computer Use

A larger majority of people are now earning a wage sitting at a desk in front of a computer. The use of computers has risen significantly, and many individuals spend eight to ten hours a day slumped over the keyboard and staring at the monitor. When we sit with our head in a forward bent position-the posture that most desk workers take on-the ligaments that hold the facets together and the muscles in the neck are put under immense strain. Furthermore, the normal forward curve of the neck may become reversed and produce more stress on the surrounding tissue of the neck. Improper posture and repetitive stress can produce spinal problems including disc herniation and subluxations, which are the main causes of spinal nerve inflammation. Besides general pain, spinal nerve irritation in the neck can generate symptoms including headaches, eye problems, giddiness, arm and hand pain (and paraesthesia), as well as shoulder pain.

Headaches and Chiropractic Care

Headaches or migraines are usually associated with disorders of the cervical spine. Symptoms, from a dull ache to throbbing pain, are caused when the cervical vertebrae lose their essential position or motion and sensitive nerves and blood vessels, connected with structures in the head are stretched or agitated. Trigger points, the tight knots in the muscles of the neck, can also refer pain to the head.  Many other factors are related to headaches such as toxic fumes, certain foods, additives such as MSG, alcohol, caffeine, and stress. Still one must always look at the tissues and alignment of the neck when speculating the origin of headaches and migraines. Chiropractic care has been shown to extremely helpful in the treatment of headaches. Your Colorado Springs Chiropractor can give you further information regarding treatment and pain relief.

Whiplash and Chiropractic Care

Many people are involved in car accidents. Rear-end collisions are the most common. During such an accident, the passenger in the front automobile gets his or her head powerfully jerked backward and then forward causing damage to the structures of the back and front of the neck. This kind of damage is often called a whiplash. Even at low speeds, the amount of force arising from such an accident is very powerful and can cause trauma to the ligaments, muscles, facet joints, discs, and spinal nerves. Whiplash injury includes neck pain and immobility, and other symptoms such as headaches, nausea, vertigo, arm and should pain, tingling in the hands and fingers, and weakness of the arms and hand. Immediate evaluation and x-rays are extremely important in order to rule out a fracture. More often than not in most cases, the injuries are principally to the soft tissues and joints. Proper care is vital in recovery from the pain and symptoms of whiplash, and also to prevent future disability. Your Colorado Springs Chiropractor is extremely knowledgeable in the area of whiplash injury, and is more than capable of managing the case from beginning to end.

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