Today’s modern living often entails hours of sitting while commuting and hunching over keyboards at workstations, which can play havoc with our necks. So it is not surprising that neck pain is the second most common condition that chiropractors treat. Even though neck pain is less common than lower back pain, millions of people experience neck pain and related arm pain at some stage in their lives and therefore seek chiropractic care.
Neck pain results from abnormalities in the soft tissues – muscles, ligaments, and nerves, as well as in the bone and the joints of the spine. The most common causes that chiropractors identify and treat are soft tissue abnormalities from injury or prolonged wear and tear that cause joints within the neck to misalign or move improperly.
In many people it is also the source of pain in the upper back, shoulders and arms. When neck pain is caused by muscle strain, you may have aches and stiffness that spread to the upper arm and forearm.
Shooting pain that spreads down the arm into the hand and fingers can be a symptom of a 'pinched nerve’ or nerve entrapment in the neck. When a nerve is 'pinched' in the neck, numbness, tingling, weakness and possibly pain of the hands or arms may occur.
Disc injuries are rare but it is the most common cause of nerve entrapments.
Other causes for neck pain include arthritis, previous surgeries or even referred pain from the upper back joints or muscles.