Chiropractic Is Effective For Neck And Shoulder Pain

Chiropractors are specially trained and educated to work with neck and shoulder problems. They are well educated in working with the musculoskeletal system in the body. This system includes the muscles, bones and associated soft tissue, like cartilage. Neck and shoulder problems often involve these areas.Chiropractors will perform a detailed evaluation to determine the cause of the problem. This will include asking questions to the patient to help determine the cause and extent of the problem. Understanding how the injury occurred can help to make a proper diagnosis. This will be followed with a detailed exam.When performing this exam, the chiropractor will check the range of motion of the joints. This involves bending and turning the head to determine if there is abnormal motion in the neck or cervical spine. If the shoulder is involved they will move the arm through different ranges of motion to determine if there is abnormal motion in the shoulder. Specific orthopedic and neurological tests are performed on the areas of complaint to determine what parts of the body have been injured.The doctor will often take X-rays of the injured area. X-rays are helpful to reveal misaligned bones which often cause neck and shoulder pain. X-rays can reveal narrowing of space between two spinal bones. Narrowing of disc space is often correlated with disc problems or a pinched nerve. X-rays may also reveal problems such as arthritis or spinal degeneration, tumors and narrowing of the spinal canal where the spinal cord is. Fractures and instability of the spine may also be seen on X-ray.Sometimes the chiropractor may need to refer the patient to have an MRI or CT scan. MRI’s are an excellent imaging tool to provide a detailed view of soft tissue that is not seen on X-ray. For example this is helpful to get a view of injured tendons or ligaments with a shoulder injury. It may also provide a view of injured discs in the neck or cervical spine. MRI’s can provide a good view of nerve elements like a pinched nerve. Nerve conduction velocity tests are sometimes used to help diagnose neck and shoulder problems where nerve irritation is suspected.How is neck and shoulder pain treated? Traditional medical treatment often involves the use of anti-inflammatory medication such as Motrin or Tylenol. Muscle relaxers may also be prescribed to help the muscles involved. Sometimes a local corticosteroid injection may be recommended for arthritis or joint problems of the shoulder. At times, surgery may be recommended.While medication can help to relieve pain, it is important to understand that it often only masks the symptoms and doesn’t correct the underlying problem. With long term use of medication there is often adverse side effects.Chiropractic should be considered as a primary care method for neck and shoulder problems. Chiropractic is natural and safe. It focuses on correcting the cause of the problem rather than just treating the symptoms. Neck and shoulder problems often involve misaligned joints. In neck problems, it is common for the bones of the neck to become misaligned. This often causes the nerves to become pinched which exit the spine. Muscles and ligaments may also become involved as they are stretched with the misplaced bones.Chiropractors are specially trained to correct the misaligned bones. This also helps to remove pressure off the pinched nerve and restore normal function. Chiropractors also perform physiotherapy modalities to help speed up healing of injured muscles and soft tissue. They may also recommend heat or ice be applied to the injured area. They can also give instruction for specific exercises to help strengthen and heal the neck and shoulders.

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