Neck Pain

Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention

Neck pain is the second most common type of chronic pain in the US. Patients can feel isolated pain in the neck area or pain in both neck and shoulder areas.

The Neck 

Neck pain arises if any mechanical or pathological damage happens to the neck or surrounding structures of the neck. The neck is a complex structure consisting of bones, joints, nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. The main job of the neck is to hold up the weight of the head. In addition to this, the neck has to form a conduit for the spinal cord, carry blood vessels to and from the brain, and it also contains passageways for air and food.

The main physical structures in the neck are the seven small interlocking bones called cervical vertebrae, numbered C1 through to C7. C1, also known as the atlas, is the closest one to the head, followed by C2, also known as the axis. Each vertebra is connected to the next with facet joints. Between the two vertebrae, there are rubbery cushions called intervertebral discs that are made mostly of cartilage and act as shock-absorbers.

Because of its mobility, the neck is less stable than other parts of the body.  The most common cause of neck pain comes from its soft tissues. The muscles, tendons, and ligaments are more prone to injuries or sudden or chronic strain. Neck problems can often present themselves as simple muscle stiffness or pain. Most often, this signal indicates an underlying concern that requires corrective measures.

Causes of Neck Pain

Neck pain is most common in people over 50. This condition can be caused by:

  • Abnormalities in the bone or joints
  • Activities that strain the neck – sleeping in a bad position where the neck is twisted, slouching or performing activities that can lead to neck strain.
  • Injury or trauma – a fall or an accident.
  • An infection of the neck
  • Poor posture
  • Cervical spinal stenosis – narrowing of the spinal canal in the neck.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Tumours

Structural Distortions

When the weight of the head is shifted off-centre, joints of the neck and back shift to compensate for this change. This causes the body to twist, affecting body alignment from the head down to the feet. These distortions have been known to result in numerous health concerns and conditions.

If left untreated, structural distortions can lead to:

  • Increased susceptibility to degeneration and arthritis
  • Never compression
  • Disc damage
  • Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
  • Altered autonomic nerve response
  • Restricted movement of the head and neck
  • Disturbed brain stem function

Symptoms of Neck Pain

  • Pain in your neck that may feel sharp or dull
  • Stiffness in your neck or shoulders
  • Heaviness of the head or feeling like it needs support
  • Lower back pain or shoulder pain
  • Headaches or dizziness
  • Pain between the shoulder blades

How Serious is Neck Pain?

Crucial arteries pass through the neck vertebrae to the brain. Neck injuries or severe, persistent chronic neck pain need immediate medical attention. Studies have shown  that there is a possibility of the patient developing numerous health concerns if the underlying cause of the pain is left untreated. These include headaches, low back pain, brain functional disorders, jaw pain, dizziness and even sudden infant death.

For these reasons, neck pain should be taken seriously. At our KKT Centre, your medical examiner will carry out specific examinations to determine if you need appropriate corrective measures. 

How is Neck Pain Diagnosed?

Medical History

Based on your medical history and current health condition, your doctor will ask questions about your neck pain and any related symptoms. Before doing a physical exam, the doctor will ask you about past injuries, illnesses, and activities that may have caused pain in your neck pain. In this initial phase of diagnosis, it is crucial for you as a patient, to openly share information connected to health issues with your doctor.

Physical Examination and Assessment

The doctor will then perform a physical exam to check how well you can move your neck. During the inspection, the doctor will also look for tenderness, numbness, tingling, or weakness in your limbs.

Diagnostic Tests

Your doctor may request an X-ray or an MRI scan to get a more in-depth view of better look at your bones, spinal discs, spinal nerve roots, and spinal cord. The tests can also show abnormalities in the soft tissue.

However, many times, imaging tests such as X-rays and MRI do not show any abnormalities while the patient still suffers from persistent neck pain.

KKT specializes in treating the underlying cause of neck pain. We have developed the most advanced and innovative technology and analytics software for diagnosing and treating the causes of pain. The level of analysis that is available at KKT clinics cannot be found in standards clinics and hospitals. Our technology gives the doctor a detailed look of your back and neck area, which is further used to create a personalized treatment protocol focused on correcting the cause of pain.

Preventative Measures 

Neck pain caused by muscle strain or stress can be avoided by incorporating some new habits, such as spending less time in positions that stress the neck. For example, sitting in front of the computer for a long time. If your job requires prolonged periods of sitting, try to improve your posture and take short breaks a couple of times an hour. Also, avoid sleeping positions that keep your neck twisted or bent.

Treatment

The type of treatment will depend on the causes of neck pain. Here are the most common treatments for chronic neck pain:

  • Medications: anti-inflammatory medicine or Tylenol in early stages, medicine to relax the muscles and relieve the pain.
  • Physical Therapy: in patients that suffer from neck pain, physical therapy helps restore muscular flexibility, joint mobility, and spine motion, accelerating the stages of healing, and strengthening the muscles.
  • Exercises for proper posture
  • Surgery: surgical procedures are rarely done to treat neck pain. However, if nerve roots or the spinal cords are involved, surgery might be the only solution.

The KKT process plays an integral role in stimulating the connective tissues of the spine to promote cellular regeneration. KKT is an evidence-based medical treatment that uses low-frequency sonic waves to correct the position of the spine. A comprehensive KKT treatment plan consists of 12 sessions that are meant to slow down or seize the deterioration or degeneration process. However once the doctor has a detailed look of your back and neck area, he will create a personalized treatment protocol focused on correcting the cause of pain.

If you are concerned about any of the signs and symptoms above, a comprehensive diagnostic assessment by a KKT physician will show if you require treatment. Click here to find your nearest KKT clinic and book an appointment.

TESTIMONIAL

I moved to Canada in 2000. During my posting I became very ill and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The tumor was surgically removed and I began to long road to recovery. My neck became very stiff and painful during rehab. I was recommended to a KKT centre and assured that the treatment was very gentle, yet highly effective.

 

On my initial consult, the doctor spent a lot of time getting to know me. They took detailed x-rays to prepare a treatment plan. The treatment was comfortable, safe, fast, and most importantly, effective. The change was noticeable immediately after my first treatment. After a few visits, I could actually “feel” my weight redistributing throughout my body. Both my knee and hip pain lessened and eventually disappeared. I was even walking straight! My movements became more balanced and effortless. Interestingly, I found myself thinking more clearly and better able to remember.

 

 I was very impressed with my entire experience at the KKT Centre. KKT treatment and innovation is beyond words. I believe the whole world needs to know about KKT so that patients can choose this treatment.

– Antoine Edmonds

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