Do you suffer from stiff neck?

A stiff, painful neck is a common problem, but one that puzzles most people as to what caused it. Most people just wake up with it. The search for the injury that causes it usually reveals no answers, as it is a “slow injury” that occurs during sleep.

A large study at the Pain Clinic, Princess Alexandria Hospital in Australia in 1986 brought several points to light concerning this type of neck pain. Stiff neck is commonly caused by pinching of facet joints, small pain sensitive spinal joints that can trigger pain in the neck, back of the shoulder, muscle spasm and headache. These researchers found that 71% of the patients evaluated at their clinic proved to have a pinching facet joint in the neck. Almost all had been previously evaluated by medical practitioners who had failed to diagnose the order.

In a related study, these researchers found that the simplest and most effective way to diagnose this disorder is by palpation of the joints of the neck. This is the procedure used by chiropractors to detect joint tenderness and movement restriction by feeling the spine with the hands. As stiff neck from facet syndrome is caused by pinching of these small joints, chiropractic manipulation can be very effective in freeing the problem, relieving neck pain, resulting muscle spasm and headache. Exercises are often then used in addition to treatment to improve neck joint flexibility and to improve muscle tone. This treatment program is often effective for both acute and chronic stiff neck.

While the position of the head and neck during sleep can allow these facet joints to pinch and cause stiff neck, chiropractic treatment can effectively resolve the pain. Prompt treatment can prevent prolonged suffering.

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