The most common reason for a trip to the chiropractor is simply “back pain.” While this statement holds true, the runner up diagnosis that chiropractors evaluate and treat is “neck and shoulder pain.”
Neck and Shoulder Pain on the Rise
In today’s increasing world of technology, the complaints of neck and shoulder pain are on the rise. Chiropractors are often presented with patients that have neck pain, or shoulder pain, or in most cases neck and shoulder pain together.
The Risk of Self-Diagnosis
With this rise in technology comes a rise in self-diagnosis. With information being seconds away from a search on our cell phones, patients will tend to look up any ailments or symptoms in an attempt to self-diagnose. While this may not seem like a big deal, it can often cause them to try to take treatment in their own hands or completely be misinformed as to what is going on with their bodies.
Being able to access infinite information is very useful, but can also be very dangerous to the everyday patient. The saying goes, “if you search for the worst case scenario, you will find the worst case scenario.” It is important to illustrate to patients that seeking the knowledge of an experienced healthcare professional such as a chiropractor is the safest means to diagnose your chief complaint. It is crucial that an extensive health history is taken, followed by an examination which will lead to a diagnosis and proper treatment plans and protocols.
Symptoms of Shoulder and Neck Pain
The neck and shoulder are closely related. They affect each other a great deal. The neck is the part of your spine that is the least stable. Numerous muscles cross over from the neck to the shoulder region and vice versa. Each side of the neck has a bundle of nerves that runs through the shoulder and down the entire arm all the way to the fingertips.
Patients with neck and shoulder pain will often complain of pain or numbness/tingling being felt down the arm to various regions. In addition, our society has a seen a trend in “forward head carriage.” With cell phones and computers being at the forefront of this issue. Whatever the reason for these complaints, it is the chiropractors job to determine the cause of the patients pain and the proper path of treatment to follow.
Treatment of Shoulder and Neck Pain
Treatment will be specifically catered to the individual. Soft tissue work to release the muscles, stretching, mobilization and adjustments of the joints will all be utilized to alleviate the symptoms. Proper movement patterns and exercise and stretches to correct any imbalances will be taught to the patient to not only aid in alleviating the symptoms, but to correct the issue and decrease the chance of neck and shoulder pain from becoming a chronic complaint.
Again, it is always important to seek the expertise of a healthcare professional when dealing with pain or discomfort.