Neck pain is the third most common type of pain according to the American Pain Foundation. It is estimated that 70% of people world-wide will experience neck pain at some point in their lives but research into effective treatments is surprisingly limited. And let's not forget previous research has proven 80% of all headaches stem from vertebral misalignments in the neck. So, if you visit a conventional physician for neck pain, there's every good chance you'll leave with a prescription for a medication, as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen and even opioids (OxyContin, Vicodin, etc) which are the go-to-treatment for pain in our modern, drug-addicted, world. The better options, not only in terms of pain and inflammation relief, are those that help to treat the underlying cause of the pain in the first place so that healing can truly occur.
The researchers stated, ''Due to their comprehensive training in neuro-musculoskeletal management, numerous sources of evidence have shown that a chiropractor's treatments are much safer and often more effective than allopathic medical treatments, particularly for back and neck pain. Combined with exercise the chiropractic approach often leads to improved posture, range of motion and functionality. Researchers have also found that chiropractic spinal adjustments effect our bodies on a deep cellular level. What that means is the chiropractic care affects the basic physiological processes that influence oxidative stress and DNA repair, and the Immune system. So, in addition to addressing any immediate spinal misalignments that might cause pain, it can also address deeper dysfunctions in your body you wouldn't be aware of. By treating the underlying source of pain, you're helping in preventing a chronic degenerative neck structure from developing in the first place.
Exercise helps to prevent neck pain through a number of mechanisms including strengthening key supportive muscles and restoring flexibility, thereby maintaining your chiropractic corrections. Not surprisingly, repetitive strain injuries have become increasingly common as so many people spend most of their work days sitting in front of computers. Aside from computer work many types of neck pain can be traced back to poor posture at watching television, sleeping on one's stomach, and even during your commute to and from work. It's a vicious cycle as prolonged poor sitting posture leads to neck pain and once neck pain develops and pulls out neck vertebrae, it makes your posture and pain even worse. Research in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that specific exercises helped people with neck pain improve their ability to maintain a neutral upright cervical posture during prolonged sitting and break their poor posture/neck pain cycle.
The Way I See It....I have personally found that therapeutic massage added to the program of exercise and chiro-care offers clinically effective improvement as a whole. But in the meantime, while you are arranging to schedule that chiropractic appointment, you don't need to suffer unnecessarily. You can start your road-to-recovery by getting on to the following safe options that'll reduce your muscle and joint inflammation....though they may require some patience to allow your body tissues to adapt. Among the best are:
- Start taking high-quality, Omega-3 fat like Krill Oil. The Omega-3 fats EPA and DHA are precursors to mediators in inflammation called prostaglandins. (In fact, that is how anti-inflammatory drugs work, they positively influence prostaglandins)
- Eliminate or radically reduce most grains and sugars (including fructose) from your diet. Avoiding grains and sugars will lower your insulin and leptin levels. Elevated insulin and leptin levels are one of the most profound stimulator's of prostaglandin production.
- Optimize your production of Vitamin D by getting regular appropriate sun exposure, with some backup supplementation, which will work through a variety of different body mechanisms to reduce your aches.
- Take Astaxanthin daily: One of the most effective oil-soluble antioxidants known. It has very potent anti-inflammatory properties and in many cases works far more effectively than NSAIDs. Higher does are are typiclly required and one may need 8 mg per day to achieve benefit.