At the top of your spine, where it connects with your skull, is a complicated arrangement of muscles and nerves. Persistent stress to this area, such as working at a desk with your head bent down, can inflame the muscles and irritate the nerves. A sudden stop in your car while your head is turned slightly can also stretch those neck muscles. This can cause inflammation of the muscles days after the injury. Instead of relying on pain medications to get through the day, a visit to a chiropractor can get rid of the pain for good. Here is why a chiropractor is well-suited to treat this type of injury and what you can expect from a visit to their office.

Chiropractors and Your Spine

These doctors become intimate with the structure and function of the spine during their education. They understand how small changes in the bones and muscles can create problems that result in pain or discomfort. When you visit the chiropractor, they will take X-rays and do a physical examination to find out which portion of the spine is out of alignment because of injury or swollen muscles.

They can then focus on the muscles surrounding your spine to return it to its natural position and reduce the painful nerve irritation. This is all done in their office and you may begin feeling relief after the first visit.

Treatment of Your Neck and Headaches

The treatment focuses on the alignment of the vertebrae in your upper spine and the tense muscles surrounding it. This reduces the muscle inflammation and irritation of the nerves causing your headaches.

  • Spinal manipulation - By looking at your X-rays and feeling your spine, the chiropractor finds the small deviations in the vertebrae and coaxes them back into alignment. Headaches due to muscle strain in your neck can be caused by the positioning of the first two vertebrae in your neck. Manipulating those vertebrae into their proper alignment can relieve your pain.
  • Trigger point therapy (TPT) - Your doctor will examine your upper spine for muscle fibers that have tensed up into a hard knot. By applying steady pressure over the muscle, it eventually relaxes and the fibers straighten out. Your doctor may use their knuckles or a rounded tool to apply the pressure. When the muscle fibers relax, the inflammation goes down and the nerves relax.

Your chiropractor is interested in using non-invasive techniques to reduce your neck pain and swelling. Besides manipulation and TPT, they may prescribe:

  • Massage
  • Hot and cold packs
  • Physical therapy
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Anti-inflammatory and pain medications

Your condition may require a combination of treatments to reduce your pain and swelling permanently. If you're looking for a chiropractor in your area, visit Brementowne Chiropractic.