In recent years there has been a marked increase in holistic health treatments. Embracing alternative treatment methods rather than relying on traditional medication is on trend. Chiropractic treatment, for example, has been proven as an effective therapeutic treatment for back pain and neck pain without the need for prescribed pain relief, anti-inflammatory drugs or other prescribed medication.
While many people, all of whom have been and continue to be successfully treated will readily attest to the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment, there is still ongoing debate regarding the safety of such treatment.
Neck adjustments, for example, have had some controversial feedback and bad press from people claiming that the procedure can cause a stroke. However, research carried out and published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, for example, has proven that the incidence of stroke attributed to neck adjustment is 1 in 5.85 million neck adjustment procedures.
Chiropractic procedure safety has been proven through extensive research. In fact, should there be more injuries and incidents related to chiropractic treatment, reams of independent medical research would have uncovered those risks and effects if they existed.
Understanding the risk
Neck adjustment or cervical manipulation has been attributed to a specific type of stroke called vertebral artery dissection. But this type of injury is more likely to occur through everyday activities such as sudden turning of the head, driving, swimming or over-physical exertion. Research has also documented that there are more risks involved with using anti-inflammatory drugs to treat back pain and neck pain, than undergoing a natural treatment such as a chiropractic neck adjustment.
Further research also concluded that the arteries found in the neck do not suffer more strain through chiropractic manipulation than any regular activity would. A chiropractic neck adjustment will in sporadic instances, involve the rotation and extension of the neck to more than a 45-degree rotation. Everyday activities of a person also require this same degree of movement far more frequently.
What is a neck adjustment?
A neck adjustment refers to the application of manipulation to the vertebrae that have been found to be functioning abnormally. The primary objective of this procedure is to help increase the person’s range of motion, reduce irritability in the nerves as well as improve overall bodily functions.
Often, when the neck and head are ‘out of position’ it can cause ‘referred pain’ – that is to say, pain which is felt in another area or part of the body other than its actual source. So, that lower back pain or the tingling in your arm, for example, may be as a result of your neck and shoulders being ‘out of true’.
What causes neck pain?
Since neck pain is one of the common reasons why a visit to a chiropractor becomes necessary, it is essential to understand the primary cause of neck pain. Neck pain is often caused by irritated or swollen joints. When this happens, the swollen joint stops moving normally. As a result, the adjacent muscles surrounding the joint area tense up to provide reinforcement resulting in limited movement. Not only do you have inflamed joints, but you have tense muscles too.
A neck adjustment helps alleviate this condition by setting the joint back in its proper position. A chiropractor pops the neck so that the joint starts to move freely and the muscles are no longer tense and stiff. In some cases, a chiropractor may also use other treatment methods to alleviate muscle tension and pain.
Another interesting fact about referred pain is migraines. If you suffer from headaches or migraines, it may be a symptom of an injury or issue with your neck and shoulders with which you may be unaware.
Other benefits of neck adjustment
Visiting a chiropractor on a regular basis helps with several conditions. Aside from treating neck pain, a chiropractor that focuses on back pain can also customise a treatment plan to help resolve several conditions related to the spiral area such as bad posture.
Intense neck and back pain can be a debilitating condition. It is more common than one would think, especially for young professionals who spend most of their hours sitting at a desk and staring at a computer screen. Considering a natural treatment such as chiropractic can provide long-term treatment for such concerns.
What to expect when you visit a chiropractor
When you visit a chiropractor, a full assessment of your condition will be conducted. Several treatment plans and techniques can be applied to achieve positive results. In some instances, chiropractic treatment can be combined with other natural pain treatments such as acupuncture.
If you have come to seek treatment for a recurring condition, a different method may be used in addition to the treatment used in the past. You can also expect counselling concerning what you need to do after the procedure is completed. For example, you may be asked to apply a hot or cold pack on the treatment area or take up specific physical exercise to maintain your physical health.
Neck pain and back pain are not always considered to be severe conditions. Many people who endure these without treatment experience limited mobility and stress. Natural treatments like neck adjustment are highly safe and controlled. There is no reason for anyone to fear or be concerned about its safety.
As a practical and natural treatment to manage pain and improve overall health, visiting a chiropractor is an excellent approach to holistic health, without the inherent dangers of modern anti-inflammatory medication and pain killing drugs.
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