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While a stiff neck isn’t uncommon, there’s a difference between minor tenderness and a serious problem. But how can you tell when your neck is “bad enough” to see the chiropractor? We’re making it easy! Here are seven signs to see a chiropractor for neck pain.

Signs to See a Chiropractor for Neck Pain

While there are a few things you might try at home to relieve neck pain, some issues are better left to the experts. A chiropractor specializes in treatments for neck pain, and she can help restore motion to stiff joints through a multi-faceted treatment plan that usually involves adjustments, neck exercise and physiotherapy.

Here are seven signs it’s time to go see a chiropractor for your neck pain:

  1. There’s no improvement to your neck pain or tenderness after a few days.
  2. You can’t look to one side or the other without significant pain.
  3. You’re using over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen to make it through the day.
  4. You’re worried about the cause of your neck pain.
  5. You’re experiencing numbness or tingling in your wrists or hands.
  6. Your neck pain is really bad in the morning when you wake up and then eases up throughout the day.
  7. Your neck pain started after a car accident or a specific movement (lifting, falling, etc.) that caused pain at the time.

What to Expect at the Chiropractor’s Office

Before offering any treatment suggestions, your chiropractor will conduct a thorough exam. At Dr. McSweeny’s office here in Reno, you can also expect to be asked lots of questions about your symptoms, the history of your neck pain, which movements are painful, and which make it feel better.

She’ll also conduct a physical assessment to see how well your neck is moving.

Once Dr. McSweeney has determined whether or not you’ll benefit from chiropractic care, she’ll offer her recommendations.

Commons Causes of Neck Pain

Between the vertebrae of your neck and spine are nerves and discs. When a vertebrae or two are out of alignment, they can pinch the nerves running between them, which we register as neck pain.

These vertebra can move out of alignment for a number of reasons:

  • Consistently poor posture
  • Your neck is in an awkward position for a prolonged amount of time
  • Your pillow is too flat, or you always sleep on your stomach
  • Your neck is accidentally pushed beyond its normal range of motion (whiplash, a fall, etc.)
Tips for Avoiding Neck Pain

While some accidents can’t be avoided, try these tips for preventing neck pain.

  • Sit up straight! Good posture is really important, whether you’re seated or standing.
  • Try moving your computer monitor to eye level so you aren’t looking down for hours on end.
  • Try incorporating mini-breaks into your day, so that you can change position regularly.
  • Switch to a firmer pillow and try sleeping on your side or back.
  • Exercise regularly to maintain movement in the neck.

Remember, Dr. McSweeney is here for you if your neck pain is affecting your comfort. Schedule your appointment today.