As with most musculoskeletal problems, many times, you don't know there is a problem until you have pain. That’s also the case with neck and mid-back issues that we see with our patients here at Advanced Health Professionals in Norwalk. The average human head weighs 10 to 11 pounds, and the neck has very little muscular stabilization to support that weight, predisposing the area to weakness and problems. Add in poor posture, past injuries, spinal misalignments, lack of core muscle strength, and other factors, and this area of the upper spine is a widespread complaint area for our patients.
We associate the neck and upper back together because muscles, including the trapezius, levator scapulae, cervical paraspinal muscles and the scalenes, as well as others that are associated with the neck, either attach to or are located in, the upper back.
What Causes of Neck and Mid Back Pain?
Whiplash is caused by a sudden and many times violent movement of the head, either back and forth, or side to side, resulting in the damage to the supporting muscles, ligaments and other connective tissues in the neck and upper back. Whiplash can occur from car accidents, slips, and falls, or during physical activity such as sports.
Whiplash is the most common form of neck injury and should always be taken very seriously. Many times the problems associated with whiplash can take weeks or months to appear, and oftentimes, at that point, some of the damage may become permanent. That’s why immediate assessment is always best after a whiplash incident to determine the initial damage and provide the supportive care necessary to regain and ideally improve, the strength of the muscles supporting the head and to combat any residual problems.
Our approach to whiplash injuries at Advanced Health Professionals is to utilize chiropractic adjustments to realign the cervical and thoracic spine. Chiropractic spinal adjustments improve joint mobility, decrease inflammation, and reduce any nerve involvement. We then look to our physical therapy department to strengthen the muscles to create a stronger framework for the area. This multidisciplinary approach many times, leaves our patients stronger than before the injury occurred.
Disc herniations are bulging of the spinal discs. This bulging can put pressure on the nerves that exit through the spine. This pressure can cause all sorts of problems. Disc herniations can occur at any level of the spine, not just the neck and mid back. When focusing on disc herniations in the neck and spine, we consider nerves that exit the cervical and thoracic spine impacting areas such as the shoulders, arms, and hands. So problems in the neck can manifest as pain in your arm or hands. And while cervical discs don’t herniate as often as low back discs do, they occasionally can herniate, especially when the discs sustain damage from a whiplash injury.
Computers, smartphones, tablets – they all contribute to the real crisis of poor posture we see today. Couple that with many people having desk jobs where they sit most of the day, and it is the perfect recipe for developing bad habits leading to poor posture. Attention must be given to how you are holding your body and head in all activities. Forward head posture creates stress on the muscles of the neck and mid-back eventually leading to pain and injury.
The ideal head and neck position is called a “Neutral Position,” where the head is balanced and supported over the body. For those used to a forward head position, neutral feels odd, but with the proper treatment, therapy, and physical therapy, this ideal head and neck position becomes the norm and future risk of neck pain and injury are greatly reduced.
It’s important to remember that just because you're suffering from neck or mid-back pain, even if you've been living with the pain for years, it doesn't mean there isn’t any hope. Our team at Advanced Health Professionals has decades of experience successfully treating neck and mid back pain. Our natural, safe, and non-invasive treatments end neck and mid back pain fast in our multidisciplinary practice in Norwalk.
Call Advanced Health Professionals in Norwalk CT today at (203) 847-4477 to learn how we can get you started on your path to drug-free rehabilitation and recovery so you can get back to the quality of life you desire.