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A Pain in the Neck

auto-accident-neck-painNo I’m not talking about your kids or spouse. This is really about that kink that prevents you from turning your head in one or both directions. When it really gets bad it feels like the pain is behind your shoulder blade and running halfway down your arm. For some strange reason you woke up with it and just can’t seem to get rid of it. Sitting at the desk or table just seems to make things worse.

One way to think of the neck is to imagine a bowling ball sitting on top of 7 links of chain. It needs to be stable while at the same time mobile. The stability of the neck comes from the 7 vertebrae stacked on top of each other as well as the various ligaments holding the bones in the correct relation to each other. The mobility of the neck comes from the discs and joints between each vertebra and the surrounding muscles. The fact that most of us only have the occasional bout of neck pain states volumes as to the effectiveness of the neck’s design. Yet, every once in a while, we get a knot in one of the muscles or we just can’t move our head in a certain direction.

Seeking Help

Now this collection of symptoms can have a variety of sources from disc problems to soft tissue strain. If you are hoping for some relief, start with the tried and true heat pack on the neck and gentle movement. Your doctor may prescribe pain killers or anti-inflammatories to help. Sometimes it may even help to put a tennis ball between your neck and the wall and do a little self-massage of the affected area. If after that the pain is unchanged or gets worse it’s time for you to seek some more help. Physical therapy can help with a variety of treatments from heat and stretch to electrical therapies, hands-on mobilization and posture education. Massage can help with loosening up the tight muscles and allowing a more natural movement to happen.

If this is your situation right now, call (780-758-5287) or drop in to the clinic and we can assess your situation to see which therapy might work the best for you.

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