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Tips to Help You Avoid or Address the Causes of Neck Pain

Neck Pain Treatment in chicago - Chiropractic Treatment Services

Common Causes of Neck Pain

Neck pain is a very common complaint with a vast number of causes. From bad posture, injuries, and wear and tear, to arthritis, stress, and poor muscle strength, there are a number of reasons why your neck may be causing you bother.

If you regularly wake up with a stiff neck or you suffer from a persistent pain in your neck, then there’s often something you can do about it! Here are seven tips to help you avoid or address the causes of neck pain:

Neck Pain – Tip One: Adjust Your Sleeping Position

If you sleep on your side or back, then you can jump ahead to the next tip, but if you’re a stomach sleeper, then it may be time to try a new position.

When you sleep on your stomach, the neck is forced to the side, causing pressure on the nerves. Sleeping in this position can result in neck pain when you wake up each morning.

Adjusting your sleeping position can be difficult, especially if you’ve been sleeping on your stomach for most of your life. However, for better neck health and less pain, it can be worth it!

Neck Pain – Tip Two: Change Your Pillows

The pain in your neck could be caused by something as simple as the type of pillow you use! Changing your pillows to better support your neck is one of the easiest ways to reduce and prevent neck pain.

If you sleep on your back, combining a rounded pillow for the neck with a flatter pillow for the head is a great way to support your neck during the night.

If you sleep on your side, it’s important to make sure that your pillow/pillows aren’t too high, as otherwise your neck and head will bend unnaturally, causing the neck to become flexed.

You should always make sure that the positioning of your pillows feels comfortable. Try investing in an ergonomic pillow or purchasing a feather or memory foam pillow, which will accommodate the curve of your neck.

Neck Pain – Tip Three: Work on Your Posture

A poor posture can cause a number of problems with your spine, including neck pain. If you don’t have a good posture then you could be straining the ligaments and muscles in your neck, which can eventually lead to an injury.

A particularly bad posture for the neck is when you slant your head forward, so it sits just in front of the shoulders. If your head is positioned in front of your shoulders, then it adds extra force to the muscles in your neck.

Keep an eye on your posture during the day, and if it faulters, adjust your position to prevent neck strain. You can avoid staying in a bad position by getting up and moving around at regular intervals throughout the day.

Neck Pain – Tip Four: Make Improvements to Your Work Environment

If you’re spending a large part of everyday working at a desk, then it’s vital to make sure that the environment is healthy for your neck and the rest of your spine. If you keep your neck in a bad position for prolonged periods, every single day, then it’s likely that you’ll begin to suffer from neck pain.

To create a healthy working environment, firstly make sure that you position your computer monitor so that your eyes fall naturally on the top third of the screen. It’s also important to sit up straight and make sure that you support your back throughout the day.

Taking regular breaks every 30 minutes or so to stand up and stretch will help you to reduce pain in your neck and back. As you work, it’s important to stay hydrated. Drinking enough water will help to keep the discs in your neck strong and flexible, as they’re mostly comprised of water. If you regularly forget to drink during the day, try setting an alarm.

Neck Pain – Tip Five: Change the Way You Use Your Phone

Bending your neck to stare down at your phone can add stress to the ligaments and joints, ultimately causing a lot of damage to your neck. Using your phone less during the day will help you to prevent neck pain. Another way to limit neck stress is to lift your phone up when you’re looking at it; this will help your neck to stay properly aligned.

If you regularly talk on the phone, then switching to a headset will further help to reduce pain. Instead of holding the phone to the side of your head and bending your neck, a headset will allow you to keep your neck straight.

Neck Pain – Tip Six: Distribute Weight Evenly

It’s easy to get into the habit of carrying your bag, purse, or briefcase on one side of your body, but it’s very important to try and even out the load. Creating an even weight distribution between both sides of your body will prevent muscle strain in your neck.

Carrying two bags can be impractical, so try switching your normal bag to a backpack, which naturally distributes the weight on your shoulders. To further lower the potential of neck strain, try to keep your shoulders level and reduce the amount of weight that you carry around.

When carrying heavy shopping bags, try to make sure that the bags in each hand are close to an even weight.

Neck Pain – Tip Seven: Visit a Chiropractor

One of the best ways to avoid and address the causes of neck pain is to book an appointment at Advanced Spine and Sports Care. Chiropractic neck adjustments will loosen the joints in your neck and alleviate the pain.

A chiropractor will be able to bring the vertebrae in your neck into the correct alignment, addressing a number of common causes of neck pain, like muscle spasms and pinched nerves. Chiropractic treatments can help to restore motion in your neck and improve overall spine mobility. You’ll also be able to get advice on posture and sleeping habits, as well as the correct sitting position and neck exercises from the professional Chicago Chiropractors at Advanced Spine and Sports Care.

As our top tips demonstrate, there are many ways to improve the health of your neck! Implementing some or all of our top tips should help you to reduce and prevent neck pain in the future.

What to Expect at Your First Chiropractic Visit

Chiropractic Visits Chicago Illinois - Advanced Spine & Sports Care Treatment Services

Chiropractic Visits – What to Expect

Visiting a chiropractor for the first time can feel like a big step, especially if you’ve ever heard some of the common myths about chiropractic care. To help assuage some of that pre-visit stress, we’ve taken the time to explain how chiropractic treatment works at Advanced Spine & Sports Care, so you can know what to expect during your first and subsequent visits. This way, you can simply focus on getting better instead of focusing on any uncertainties.

Visit #1

Your first visit to Advanced Spine & Sports Care begins with a consult. We get to know your concerns, what brought you in, as well as your full medical history. This will then allow us to plan a logical treatment plan that is individualized and fitted to you and your specific needs.

Rarely do any adjustments occur during the first visit, but we often do passive physical therapy for pain control. This is done for the patient’s best interest to be sure we do all the necessary tests to determine the best course of treatment and that chiropractic care will be safe and effective for you.

Visit #2

On your second visit, we will go over the Report of Our findings.  This is done in a very comprehensive manner; health concern by health concern. We’ll discuss possible treatment options and determine if chiropractic can help your problems. If we feel like chiropractic can help, we start with three consecutive adjustments in which we will monitor your process closely and work to formulate the best possible course of treatment. The first of the three adjustments will occur during this visit.

During this time, you’ll also meet with our financial coordinator for a “mini-consult” to discuss insurance and calculate your expected out-of-pocket costs.

Visit #3

On the third visit, the second adjustment takes place. This appointment is scheduled close to the first adjustment, and we aim to keep all variables constant at this time. For example, if you exercise, we want you to continue to exercise as normal. If you don’t, now isn’t the time to start. We want to see how your body responds to care when you are doing what is normal for you.

Visit #4

On the fourth visit, the third adjustment takes place. In conjunction with your initial imaging and lab results, these three adjustments help to establish the overall treatment plan and prognosis. During this visit, we discuss our revolutionary Four-Phase Approach to Functional Health Recovery that we have developed at Advanced Spine & Sports Care and how long each phase is expected to last. An overview of our Four-Phase Approach is outlined below:

Phase 1: Relief Phase

The Relief Phase is designed to decrease pain and inflammation. Generally speaking, this phase is most important to patients as it gets them across the pain threshold as quickly as possible and restores as much movement and flexibility as possible.

Phase 2: Correction Phase

During this phase, the pain should be gone or much improved. The focus is now on correcting problems discovered on the x-ray, like misalignments. You’ll also receive exercises to do at home to help support these corrections. These movements help to re-educate your neuromuscular pathways into proper positioning and alignment.

Phase 3: Strengthening Phase

Similar to physical therapy, this phase builds up your strength. Yet, instead of focusing on just the area of concern, we build up the strength of your entire body. This ensures that not only is the skeletal system in proper alignment, but the muscular system is strong enough to support it, allowing them to work together effectively.  Treat symptoms locally but rehabilitate globally.

Phase 4: Supportive Phase

The fourth phase ensures all the time and effort into “feeling good” isn’t lost—it’s here that we work to maintain this progress. Patients graduate from patients to practice members, and we create lasting habits in diet, exercise, and overall health and wellness.

Also, during the fourth visit, we schedule time again with the financial coordinator to help map out the potential costs of the Four-Phase Approach. They are experts at understanding and navigating the potential pitfalls of insurance coverage, so you can understand your responsibilities in a clear and transparent way, allowing you to simply focus on getting better.

Conclusion

As you can see, chiropractic care isn’t a one-and-done treatment option. Chiropractic care is a process, or a spectrum of care, where we focus on the patient’s wellness as a whole. Just as you would routinely visit a dentist to maintain optimal tooth health, or regularly exercise in order to have a strong cardiovascular system, chiropractic is a lifestyle choice.

At Advanced Spine & Sports Care, we first work to fix the problem, then set the patient on a path of a healthier lifestyle for the long term.

To schedule your first appointment, simply click here.