When considering treatment for neck pain, there are many options available to you. While you may be inclined to utilize prescription medications to resolve your cervical, or neck, pain, you may want to consider a more natural approach to healing. For many cervical injuries, the pain can often be resolved with the proper management of the injury through chiropractic care. Before seeking chiropractic care, however, not only should the exact nature and level of your injury be confirmed, but you must also understand, fully, how your injury occurred.
Chiropractors use a multi-dimensional approach to healing. First confirming the level at which your cervical injury took place, the next approach will involve obtaining a description as to how your injury occurred. Commonly referred to as pathomechanics of an injury, the exact ebb and flow the events that led to your injury are important to designing a chiropractic program that can treat this cervical complication.
Following confirmation of your pathomechanics of injury, and the development of a treatment plan, your chiropractor will begin utilizing a combination approach to care, including spinal manipulation, ultrasound therapy, and the use of hot and cold pack therapy. With proper management, and consistent treatment, many cervical injuries, and associated neck pain, can be resolved within two to three months without further need for treatment.
If, however, your chiropractor finds that your cervical injury is more complex, referral to a neurologist or orthopedic specialist may be in order. In addition, your chiropractor may recommend that you not pursue any type of contact sport or cervical movement in the near future due to potential risks of permanent spinal cord injury. The risk factors for referral to a specialist may include swelling of the spinal cord, evidence of spinal cord compression, evidence that your ligaments are unstable, and even profound neurological complications that continue beyond the first week of treatment.
Neck pain, and associated cervical injuries, can often be resolved naturally. With rest and proper chiropractic care, you can heal a cervical injury usually within three months. In many patients, the first week of chiropractic care results in the improvement of symptoms. However, it is important that your chiropractor confirm your exact diagnosis and understand, fully, the pathomechanics of your injury. If no risk factors are present, chiropractic care can continue until your pain is resolved fully. If, however, you find that your risk factors are present, ask your chiropractor to discontinue care and make the appropriate referral to a specialist as soon as feasibly possible.