Chiropractic for Upper Back and Neck Pain

What causes headaches and how can chiropractic help?

Cause of headaches

  • Posture – Today, so many people spend hours in one fixed position or posture, whether at a desk, a workstation, or in a vehicle. If this is you, this can increase joint irritation and muscle tension in your neck, upper back and shoulders, causing your tension headache.
  • Sinus congestion, a symptom possibly related to spinal misalignment, may also show up as a sinus headache.
  • Stress and anxiety, triggering TMJ symptoms, show up in the form of aching jaws and tension headache.
  • Motor vehicle accident –  The most common injuries associated with MVA’s are sprains and strains of the spinal muscles and ligaments. A stiff neck and headaches are a common symptom after a motor vehicle accident.

While commonly prescribed headache medications may help relieve the symptoms, they do not really correct the cause of a tension headache.

Symptoms of a chiropractic condition causing headaches

A common cause of tension headache is from vertebrae and muscles in your upper back and neck that aren’t supporting your head properly. You may or may not not notice your reduced ability to turn your head. When your vertebrae and supporting muscles lose their normal motion, the sensitive nerves and blood vessels to your head become compromised, and produce a tension headache. You may feel head pain that travels from your neck to the top of your skull and around your ears. Sometimes the pain can radiate into your face or eyes.

The majority of primary headaches are associated with muscle tension and pain in the neck and upper back.

However, you may be surprised to learn that your tension headache may be caused by problems in your low back. Your upper spine compensates, shifting your head off center, causing headaches.

How chiropractic adjustment can help

Dr. Seals will evaluate your overall condition to determine whether spinal misalignment, muscle imbalance, or soft tissue injury could be causing your headaches. If so, he may treat you with chiropractic adjustment, active release technique, or a combination of both. He may also recommend postural changes and other lifestyle changes to relieve the occurrence of headaches.

If he feels your headaches are caused by something other than a chiropractic condition, he will tell you so, and refer an appropriate medical provider.

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What causes neck pain and how can chiropractic help?

Symptoms of a chiropractic condition causing neck pain

One of the first ways you may notice that your neck has limited range of motion is when driving, and you can’t seem to turn your neck far enough to see behind you.

Your neck and upper back, or cervical spine as it is called, is comprised of seven vertebrae. Surrounding these vertebrae are muscles, tendons, and ligaments. If the vertebrae are pushed out of alignment by poor posture, accidents or falls, or overuse, the muscles and tendons will be strained. This can cause upper back and neck pain and discomfort.

Also, this strain of the soft tissue can force your vertebra out of place, putting pressure on your spinal nerves. This whole syndrome can be very uncomfortable, and until the spine and soft tissues are helped back into their normal positions, the pain usually does not go away.

How chiropractic adjustment can help

Dr. Seals will evaluate your overall condition to determine whether spinal misalignment, muscle imbalance, or soft tissue injury could be causing your neck pain. If so, he may treat you with chiropractic adjustment, active release technique, or a combination of both to relieve the tension in your neck and upper back, improve joint function and range of motion. He may also recommend postural changes and other lifestyle changes.

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Can chiropractic adjustment help TMJ?

Stress and anxiety may trigger reflexes that cause you to clench your jaws or grind your teeth, possibly for hours, without your even realizing it -until the symptoms show up in the form of aching jaws and tension headache.

Many TMJ cases can be corrected with chiropractic adjustment for the temporomandibular joint or active release technique for the surrounding soft tissue.

Severe cases may require referral to a dentist for treatment with splints, mouth guards or other traditional forms of TMD therapy.

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Can wrist pain be related to a chiropractic condition?

Good question! Because not all wrist pain is related to carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) that requires surgery.

  • Wrist pain may originate at your wrist joint caused by pressure on the nerves of your wrist.
  • It is also common for these types of wrist symptoms to exist when there is a neck misalignment. The nerves feeding from your neck control all the nerves of your arms, wrists and hands. If these nerves are being compressed, then wrist and hand pain is a common symptom.
  • Your wrist symptoms may be the result of a trapped nerve due to soft tissue adhesion in your neck area, shoulder or arm.

Dr. Seals will evaluate the condition you’re presenting to determine if it can be helped with chiropractic adjustment or active release technique, or a combination of both.

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What is the cause of middle back pain and how can chiropractic help?

The cause of middle back pain may be rib involvement. Your thoracic spine (middle back) attaches to your ribs.

  • Accident. If a blow affects your ribs, even if the force occurred in the front part, you could feel the pain in your middle back because your rib muscles were affected. These muscles extend from the front part of your ribs to the area that attaches to your thoracic spine.
  • Posture. You may experience middle back pain after you’ve twisted and bent sideways while lifting or pushing something.
  • Referred pain. In some cases a lower back misalignment, or a lower neck misalignment may cause middle back pain.

Symptoms may include pain between your shoulder blades, or difficulty taking full breaths.

Dr. Seals will evaluate your condition to see if it is caused by a spinal misalignment or injury of the muscles and ligaments in your ribs or back. If so, he may treat you with chiropractic adjustment, active release technique, or a combination of both.

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Why should I see a chiropractor after a motor vehicle accident?

The most common injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents are sprains and strains of the spinal muscles and ligaments. If you visit the emergency room after a motor vehicle accident, the medical providers will check vital signs, make sure there are no life-threatening conditions, and release you with pain relief medication. They normally do not treat the underlying musculoskeletal injury that can and often does lead to future pain.

Common symptoms following MVA injury are:

  • Whiplash. Whiplash occurs when your head and neck are thrown or snapped back and forth very quickly, resulting in injury to the ligaments, soft tissue, and discs of your neck and spine.
  • Head area symptoms. Whiplash can also cause tension headache, numbness, pins and needles in the face, ear ringing, dizziness, hearing loss, or blurred vision.
  • Back pain and related symptoms in your neck, shoulders and arms.

Chiropractic care is very effective in treating spinal and soft tissue injury suffered in motor vehicle accidents. Dr. Seals is certified in MVA acceleration-deceleration (whiplash) injury. He will evaluate and document the extent of your injury and in some cases may recommend diagnostic imaging, such as x-ray, MRI, or CT scan to diagnose the extent of the injury. If he can help you, Dr. Seals may recommend chiropractic adjustment, active release technique, or a combination of both.

If you need to take ‘injury time off’ from work he will provide you with a note to present to your employer. Chiro Stop does not process insurance claims. However we do provide a super-bill (the appropriate paperwork) for you to make a claim to the appropriate insurance carrier.

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