Many everyday things can cause neck pain, such as watching TV, using your computer, reading a book or falling asleep in a chair on an airplane. Our response to stress is another common cause of neck pain. Too many commitments, deadlines, traffic, work pressures, family obligations and list goes on. The temporary pain that results often resolves on its own, especially when the offending activity is discontinued. When it doesn’t, a more serious underlying problem may be indicated.
Your neck is the most vulnerable part of your spine. Not only does it support your 10-12 pound head, maintain a gentle forward curve and permit head rotation, but it must also allow the free flow of nerve impulses to the head, face, hands and the rest of your body. Besides discomfort and annoyance, chronic neck pain is a sign that something is wrong.
Most of the pain-sensing nerves in the neck are located in the pairs of facet joints on the back side of each vertebra. These smooth, interlocking surfaces allow you to rotate your head and bend your up and down. If these joints become locked or fixated the body responds by tightening muscles in the neck, “splinting” the joint to protect it from further insult. Chiropractic care can help restore proper joint function.