Neck Pain Relief


Neck pain can be caused by many different conditions and should be evaluated by a healthcare provider in order to determine the specific cause for your pain.

As with other areas of the body, neck pain always occurs in one of two ways - either a single major trauma or from several microtraumas over time:

  • A major trauma is a significant event such as a car accident, sports injury, or hard fall that causes injury and pain immediately.
  • Microtraumas are less noticeable when they occur. Microtraumas are small, repetitive stresses on the body that take time to lead to injury. A single microtrauma does not cause significant enough injuries to require any treatment. After multiple microtraumas however, ligaments start to break down and the area will often become painful.

You will likely notice decreased motion in the neck after either type of injury. Some of the more common causes of neck pain are disc injuries, neck sprains, neck strains, and headaches. Although each of these problems can give you pain in the neck or head, the causes are very different, and treatment varies. After the doctor discusses your specific problem with you and performs a thorough examination, they will be able to determine the exact cause of your neck pain. Proper treatment of your neck pain can significantly improve your life enjoyment and limit or resolve your pain. Here’s a brief overview of some of the more common conditions.


Disc injuries can occur after either a major trauma or repetitive microtraumas. There are three terms commonly used to describe disc injuries – disc bulge, disc herniation, and disc sequestration. These are really the same injury, just with different degrees of severity. The good news is that if treated with the right therapies, the dysfunction from each of these disc injuries can be significantly improved or even resolved altogether.


A disc bulge occurs when the fibers around the edge of the disc have torn. When this occurs, the soft, jelly-like center of the disc starts to push out. The fibers on the edge of the disc that are still intact begin to bulge out from their usual position as a result of this jelly center moving outward. Left untreated, this bulging leads to a buildup of scar tissue and eventually degeneration and arthritis.


Disc herniations occur when the fibers around the disc have torn enough that they rupture, and the jelly center will start to push out into the space around the spinal nerve. When this herniation occurs, it can put pressure on the nerve. Pressure on nerves causes more pain, numbness, tingling, and sometimes weakness. You may notice difficulty with turning your head, raising your arm, or holding things like a gallon of milk. Left untreated, a disc herniation always leads to disability and worsening arthritis.


A disc sequestration is the most severe of the disc injuries. With this condition, the soft jelly center of the disc has ruptured completely through the fibers that normally surround it and fluid leaks out from the disc. This leads to the jelly center separating from the rest of the disc and moving into the space normally occupied by the nerve.

The extra pressure from the increased fluid around the nerve causes significant irritation to the nerves and increases local inflammation. Nerve irritation and inflammation cause pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, dizziness, headaches, or even changes in bowel and bladder abilities. Left untreated, a disc sequestration can lead to significant limitations in function and severe disruptions in work, sleep, and home life.

Common Cause Neck Pain


Just like disc injuries, sprains and strains of the neck can come from either a single major trauma or smaller, repetitive microtrauma. Both sprains and strains involve tearing of the body tissues and is classified by a grade, usually 1-3.

  • Grade 1 is mild and involves tearing of only a few fibers within the tissue. With a grade 1 injury you will likely feel sore but should feel better after a few days.
  • Grade 2 is a moderate injury that involves tearing up to 50% of the ligament or muscle tissue. A grade 2 injury requires treatment in order to prevent recurring or even permanent pain and decreased function.
  • Grade 3 injuries are the most severe and represent total failure of the structure with more than 50% of the tissue being torn. Grade 3 injuries sometimes require surgery to repair and need much more time to heal. Grade 3 injuries may not heal completely.

Both sprains and strains can occur in the same type of way, but the two injuries heal very differently.


Strains involve the muscles of the body. A strain can also be referred to as a soft tissue injury. Although strains can be very painful, they usually will heal within 6-8 weeks. Once the pain has improved, rehabilitative exercises are usually most helpful to heal from and prevent future neck strains.


A sprain involves the ligaments of the body and the annular fibers of the discs in the spine. These tissues are referred to collectively as connective tissues and heal much more slowly than a muscle. Ligaments generally require treatment in order to avoid significant future dysfunction and pain.

Without treatment, ligaments are prone to frequent re-injury with worsening pain over time. With proper treatment, it is possible to strengthen the sprained tissue to the point that it will not significantly impact your life anymore.

Treatments to Relieve Neck Pain


Yes! We can absolutely help with your neck pain! The best treatment for you will depend on the exact source that is causing your neck pain. Our doctors have special training to diagnose and determine treatment for the many causes of neck pain.

The first step is to visit with one of our chiropractic healthcare providers, who will determine the best course of care for your individual needs. After an extensive history of your neck or headache pain and a thorough exam, the chiropractic doctor will provide you with a treatment plan specifically designed to get you out of pain and back to living the healthiest life possible.

Treatment of neck injuries or headaches is often faster with better results if treatment is not delayed, so please don’t wait to call us to schedule if you are suffering with neck pain or headaches! We can help you today!