By Matthew Enright AP, DOM (AP1711) – Palm Beach Gardens, Florida – The neck plays an important role in the functioning human body. It is made up of vertebrae running from the base of the head to the upper torso, level with the shoulders, and its primary role is to offer support to the head. More often than not, neck pain is caused by bad sleeping habits, which have to be addressed to avoid the pain and inconvenience they come with.
Sometimes, exertive physical activities can lead to whiplash, which is a direct result of rigorous back – and – forth movement of the head. It can also be one of the effects of a traumatic injury. This results to the tendons and muscles being strained due to the excessive stretching beyond their elastic point.
A muscle called the Levator Scapula, which connects the cervical spine and shoulder, is usually subjected to sprains and strains thus causing neck pains. The Levator Scapular is strained when:
- The patient gets used to poor seating or sleeping postures
- The neck is subjected to excess stress, causing tension
- One participates in a rigorous activity that involves movement of the head from side to side.
Neck pain is mainly caused by two medical conditions, namely arthritis and osteoporosis. These conditions cause joints to swell and bones to weaken, causing pain and neck fractures.
Injuries in the spine and discs (herniated, desiccated and bulged discs) can be a major cause of chronic neck pains.
To overcome discomfort and suffering, the western medical school of thought applies a number of measures. However, for effective neck pain treatment, the professional must first carry out some diagnostic tests. The following procedures are usually applied:
- X-rays: This is a method used effectively to determine the presence of fractures and unstable spinal columns inside the body.
- MRI: This is a procedure used to check the condition of neural elements, tendons and ligaments by use of magnetic imaging.
After diagnosis, doctors recommend chiropractic care in cases of severe neck pains. For those whose conditions are aggravated, physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medication is also prescribed. The following are three of the most common incorporated categories of neck pain treatment:
- Muscle relaxants such as Flexeril
- Pain killers such as Vicodin
- Acetaminophen and Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs such as Tylenol and Advil
As much as the above treatment methods are effective, they may be accompanied by side effects. In other cases, chiropractic care may not exactly work as advertised. That’s where acupuncture comes in. For such patients, acupuncture for neck pain is incorporated as a method of effectively treating the pain – reducing spasm and inflammation in the area while allowing the body to release natural painkillers and endorphins. Acupuncture can produce better results than physical therapy or chiropractic care in many cases. We have had tremendous success treating neck pain at our Palm Beach Gardens location.
Treating Neck Pain by use of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture was developed in China about 3000 years ago. Today, due to its popularity and results, many medical institutions have opted for it as a treatment method for neck pains. This has caused insurance companies to actually devise acupuncture coverage policies for their patients. We are currently in network with many insurance providers such as Aetna, United Healthcare and Cigna and we have obtained reimbursement from others as well, including Blue Cross Blue Shield and Humana.
How Acupuncture works
Acupuncture aids in natural healing by facilitating blood and energy (also known as qi) circulation in the body. According to Chinese traditions and beliefs, diseases are caused by the blockage of qi. Strategically placed needles are used to unblock these energy flow patterns.
Over time, acupuncture has proven to be one of the most effective ways of reducing inflammation, numbness and spasms in the neck and is recognized in places far from the Orient. It is also used to treat degenerative neck disorders such as cervical spondylosis, herniated and bulging discs as well as ankylosing spondylosis.
As indicated earlier, acupuncture is administered by the use of thin sterile needles which are inserted at specific points of the body. The needles are retained on the patient for approximately 20 minutes. Other treatment methods such as heat therapy, Chinese cupping and electrical acupuncture are also applied alongside conventional acupoint targeting. The treatment may last 4-10 sessions depending on the conditions and individuals involved. Acupuncture sessions are relaxing and cultivate healing within the body.
If you have tried other Western medical practices for neck pain with limited results than you owe it to yourself to give acupuncture a try. We know that acupuncture can help you get relief from neck pain regardless of the cause. Our Palm Beach Gardens acupuncture physicians get results and we offer free consultations on how acupuncture can help relieve your neck pain. Give us a call today!