Everyone will suffer from a stiff neck at some point in their life. It could occur upon waking up if you fell asleep in an awkward position, after a demanding day at work or following a very stressful undertaking. You try to turn your head, but then you can’t because you feel pain in your neck. Although there’s a huge difference between neck pain that has your head spinning and a simple stiff neck, how do you really know if you should consult a chiropractor for your neck problems?
You Should Really See a Chiropractor If…
- Stiffness or pain persists for a couple of days
- Looking left or right is impossible due to extreme pain
- You’re taking pain medicines regularly and can’t function without it
- You feel in your gut that something’s seriously wrong with your neck
- The pain that began in your neck has spread to your wrists and hands and is coupled with tingling and numbness
- You felt pain following a vehicular accident
- Your feel the pain more aggressively upon waking up but subsides as the day goes on
During your consultation, Denver Integrated Spine Center explains that a chiropractor will ask relevant questions, which could include your symptoms, how your neck pain came about, and what makes the pain better or worse, among others. Following an X-ray and a thorough physical examination, your chiropractor will create a treatment plan specific to your case to loosen and restore motion to your joints via particular neck exercises and chiropractic adjustments.
While Waiting for Your Chiropractor’s Appointment
In the meantime, a chiropractor in Denver suggests that you can try some simple techniques at home for managing pain while waiting for your appointment or if you’re still not sure if you should go see a chiropractor. Consider ice therapy to alleviate swelling in inflamed areas. Wrap an ice or cold pack (even frozen peas will do!) in a clean towel and hold it where you feel pain. Do this for 40 minutes, stop for 20 minutes, and repeat.
Likewise, consider changing your pillow. If it’s too flat, your neck will bend in an awkward position while sleeping. If you have a relatively sensitive neck, opt for a firmer pillow and make sue to sleep on your side or back. In addition, you could also try doing some light neck stretches to loosen your rigid neck muscles. Simply tense the muscles on your neck while looking left to right and down and up or vice versa. In the event that these techniques aren’t doing anything for you or making your neck pain worse, stop and schedule an appointment with a chiropractor immediately.