The manipulation of the cervical spine or neck is a common technique utilized by doctors of chiropractic for individuals complaining of upper back, neck, and shoulder/arm pain, in addition to headaches.
What is the benefit of cervical spinal manipulation?
Similar to the treatment for many injuries and/or conditions which affect the thoracic and lumbar spine, or back, chiropractic treatment is thought of as a first line of therapy for a range of cervical spine conditions.
Chiropractic treatment aiming for cervical spine pain management include (but aren’t limited to) a mix of:
- Reducing pain
- Improving movement
- Restoring function into the head and neck region
Different Types of Chiropractic Manipulation
There are two general manipulation approaches for spine ailments:
- Cervical spinal manipulation – frequently thought of as the conventional chiropractic adjustment, or even a high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) technique
- Cervical spinal mobilization – which can be a more gentle/less forceful modification, or even a low-velocity, low-amplitude (LVLA) technique moving the joint through a tolerable range of movement.
The combination of the many approaches varies from patient to patient depending on the healthcare professional’s preferred tactics and tastes, the patient’s comfort and tastes, and the patient’s response to the treatment, in addition to both previous experience and observations made during the course of therapy.
Chiropractors may also use therapy to treat other cervical spine complaints. Adjunctive therapies may include therapeutic heat program, massage exercises, and more. Chiropractic manipulation can handle numerous causes of neck pain. It’s not a cure for every single type of neck problem. Two causes of pain which originate in the neck and may be treated by manipulation comprise of mechanical neck pain and disc problems.
Mechanical Neck Pain
Mechanical neck pain comprises of pain associated with the tendons, joint capsules, ligaments and/or the fascia. This type of issue is a frequent cause of neck pain and stiffness. Facet joint issues are a well-known case of mechanical neck pain. The facets are located in the back of the neck. If a facet joint is hurt or sprained, pain may be localized or may radiate along other upper extremities. The pain pattern depends upon the specific level and is unique.
Cervical Disc Issues
Tears may develop in the cervical disc and/or the inside of the disc (the nucleus) may herniate through the outer area (the annulus) and trap or pinch the nerve root as it leaves the spine.
Cervical nerve root irritation can frequently refer pain down the arm and into the hand, typically affecting particular areas like the 4th and 5th digits, the palms side thumb to 3rd fingers and/or the back of the hands on the thumb, index finger side of the hand, depending on which nerve root is irritated.
On rare occasions, if the nucleus of the disc herniates straight backward, it can compress the spinal cord and create symptoms in the legs and also impact the function of the bowels and/or bladder. On such occasions, the patient needs to be referred to a spine surgeon to get prompt care.
These are two examples of types of cervical spine conditions which may be treated with spinal manipulation. The patient needs to receive a whole exam prior to receiving any kind of manipulation.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
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