As a chiropractor, with uncanny regularity, I have patients call the office and relate that they “slept wrong” and “woke up with neck pain or are unable to turn their head”.
My name is Dr. Derek Page and here at the Fort Worth Chiropractic Clinic, we hear statements such as the above on a daily basis. And what seems to be just a simple tightness or muscle spasm from “sleeping wrong” is very often rooted in cumulative injuries that individually may not seem to be a problem, but collectively add up to significant stiffness and neck pain and spinal dysfunction, which seems to come out of nowhere..
It can be difficult to explain to a patient that the car accident, or sports injury, sleeping on a recliner or fall on the ice that happened years ago, damaging muscles, tendons and ligaments, which left untreated can be the cause of the neck pain they are having today. Those muscle, tendons and ligaments are designed to hold the vertebrae in place so that the joints are synchronized and can move without causing positive harm to the joints between bones. When the vertebrae are aligned properly, we enjoy easy, pain free movement. But when they are out of alignment, we experience accelerated wear and tear on the vertebrae leading to decreased range of motion, stiffness and pain that we associate with “getting older” and as such, often wait years to address it. Think of a car that bumps the curb and knocks a wheel out of alignment just a little bit. The car still drives, but maybe pulls to the side a little when we let go of the wheel, but silently, that tire is wearing faster than the other three. It’s not until several thousand miles later, the tire needs replacing, yet the other tires look just fine. We sometimes forget that incident with the curb and assume this problem is random and that tire was probably just a bad tire to begin with. But if we replace the worn tire, and do not realign the suspension, history is going to repeat itself and the new tire will soon wear through. Our spine is similar in many ways. An injury that happened years or decades ago can, and often is, the source of degenerative joint changes that today keep us from turning our head to one side without significant neck pain. Taking medication may make the pain tolerable but the source of the pain and degenerative changers are still at work. Treating neck pain requires evaluating the spine with an exam and possibly x-rays to better determine the cause of your neck pain and to give relevant understanding of what is causing, or contributing to the neck pain, and what course of treatment would be best for you.
It should be noted that if evaluation and treatment by a chiropractor is sought shortly after the injury, most if not all of the degenerative changes and neck pain can be avoided. The same is true with the car. Realign the wheel shortly after that accident and you prevent the accelerated wear on that tire, and years of trouble free driving.
Call the Fort Worth Chiropractic Clinic today to schedule a free consultation with Dr. Page to see if chiropractic can benefit you and help relieve your neck pain.