Dr Sunil Rama
A Pain in the Neck
What is neck pain?
Pain, discomfort and stiffness arising from the shoulders to the lower most part of the skull constitutes as neck pain.
What causes neck pain?
Patients with arthritis in the cervical spine (bones of the neck) frequently suffer with neck pain due to the degeneration (wear and tear) of the disc between the bones and of the bones itself. This can then cause compression of the nerves which can cause pain to radiate (travel) down the shoulder, arms and hands.
Bad posture can cause overloading of the muscles around the neck causing them to go into spasm (shortened and tight). This can typically cause headaches and pain or restriction when moving the head or neck.
Bad pillows that are too soft or too hard or sleeping on more than one pillow can cause morning stiffness and pain in the neck. Always sleep in comfort, the same applies to your bed!
Neck pain is a common complaint and is diagnosed based on the patients symptoms. An x-ray may be requested by your doctor. In some cases MRI scans may also be requested to view the disc and any damage to the nerves and spinal cord. It is important that your doctor does a thorough physical examination of the neck and explains to you where the pain may be coming from.
After a diagnosis is made, a chiropractor (doctor of chiropractic) may use spinal manipulation to improve the function and range of movement in the joints of the neck. The muscles will also be treated to reduce the spasm and thus reduce the pain. You will be educated on correct posture and exercises to perform in order to maintain a healthy spine. Your general practitioner (GP) may also use medication to reduce your pain.
Please feel free to visit the Chiropractic Association of South Africa’s website for more details or to find a Doctor of Chiropractic nearest to you at www.casa.co.za or email me at email@example.com