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Posted on 02-08-2012

Neck Pain Patients in Kansas City get Relief with Chiropractic & Acupuncture

Is that same spot in your neck hurting again today? Or are you one of the lucky ones that woke up with neck pain for the first time today? Tired of taking muscle relaxers, pain pills, and anti-inflammatories, only to have it all hurt just as bad 4 or 6 hours later?
This article is for you!
How can Chiropractic help Neck Pain?
Chiropractors are extensively trained to detect misalignments in the spine that cause neck pain and other symptoms. A Chiropractor can determine after a history and examination whether Chiropractic care can make a difference for your neck pain. Misalignments in the spine increase pressure on the joints and activate pain receptors. These pain receptors get your attention and tell you that you have neck pain. Chiropractors perform adjustments of the spine and joints that reduce the misalignment in the joints, which results in reduced irritation to your pain receptors, and you guessed it, decreased neck pain. Doctors of Chiropractic can use a variety of methods to perform these adjustments for neck pain including using a small hand held instrument, or using their hands to gently relign the joint. Sometimes when a Chiropractor uses their hands to adjust you (also known as a Manual or Diversified Adjustment) you can hear a clicking or popping sound, which is just nitrogen gas escaping from the joint space.
How fast will my neck pain feel better?
Each patient's body is different. I have many patients that report immediate improvement in their neck pain after their first adjustment, in some cases before they even leave my office. Other patients will start to see noticable results in 4 to 6 visits. It depends on several factors including:
-sleep quality and quantity
-stress level
-how long you have experienced neck pain
-history of accidents or injury
I had one patient come into my office with such severe neck pain that she was taking 20 Tylenol a day, and it still wasn't helping. After her first visit, she only needed 6 Tylenol a day, and within a few more visits she was completely off the Tylenol for her neck pain! She didn't have a Tylenol deficiency, she was trying to mask the pain signals her body was sending her letting her know something was wrong with her neck! Finally her body complained loud enough and she found a Chiropractor!
I know I have arthritis in my neck. Is it safe to get Chiropractic Adjustments if I already have arthritis?
In the vast majority of cases, it is completely safe to receive Chiropractic Adjustments if you have arthritis. I work on patients with arthritis in my practice on a daily basis and they find that Chiropractic helps their body function better even in the areas they thought would never improve because of a diagnosis of arthritis. It is always important to have a thorough history and examination to make sure that you are a good candidate for Chiropractic Care. Chiropractic Adjustments help increase range of motion in joints. Joints get their nutrition by movement. If a joint is stuck, it no longer receives all of its nutrition. What happens to anything that doesn't get proper nutrition? It starts to wear down, get sick, or show signs of degeneration. Arthritis is a sign that the body has had increased stress in a joint with decreased joint motion. If you can increase joint motion with Chiropractic Care, then guess what happens? Chiropractic Adjustments slow down or in some cases even stop the progression of arthritis!!!
How does Acupuncture help neck pain?
Acupuncture is a system of healing that balances the energy in your body. Anytime you have pain, illness, discomfort, fatigue, it is a sign of energetic imbalances in the body. Energy may be too high, too low, or out of balance between the left and right sides of the body. I use a tool called Acugraph to measure the energy in your 12 main Acupuncture meridians, which helps me get a picture of how your body is out of balance. By combining the treatment recommendations from the Acugraph readings with Acupuncture points for neck pain, my patients see improvement at an even faster pace. After all, I could see 10 neck pain patients, all of which have a different energy pattern in their body. If I treat them all with the exact same points without customizing the treatment to their body, their treatment could potentially not be as effective. Many patients with neck pain also report an increase in their stress level or poor sleep quality in conjunction with their neck pain. I will also add in Acupuncture points that will help with those issues as well as their neck pain.
Will I need Acupuncture and Chiropractic Adjustments to help with my neck pain?
Each patient is different and depending on your history and examination results, as well as your personal preference, I will discuss different treatment recommendations with you before we start your treatment plan. Some patients would prefer to start with just Acupuncture or just Chiropractic, while other patients understand the exponential benefit of combining treatments and want to start with both right away. I am flexible in regards to having your input and preferences shape your care...after all, it is your body and your health! I strive to empower my patients to listen to their body and start to understand the signals their body is sending them, including when it is time for another treatment. If I can help you understand your body's signals, then you are better able to take care of yourself, and chances are you won't wait until you are in severe pain to get your Adjustment or Acupuncture session in the future for your neck pain!
What else can I do for myself to help ease my neck pain until my appointment?
-Increase your hydration to 1 quart of water per 50 pounds of body weight per day (unless you have water restrictions due to kidney, heart, or other diseases that limit your water intake)
-Eat protein several times per day, and eat something (preferably protein, vegetables or fruit) every 2 to 3 hours. It doesn't have to be a full meal, but just enough to keep your blood sugar levels stable. Low blood sugar, or drastic swings up or down in blood sugar will increase pain and inflammation in the body.
-If there is inflammation or heat in your neck where you have pain, ice 20 minutes of every hour can be helpful as well. Please do not use a plug in heating pad for your neck pain, as it increases inflammation, which increases pain.
Note: While these suggestions may help reduce your pain, they will not fully address the problem. Please do not use these suggestions as a substitute for proper evaluation and treatment of an underlying condition.
I am in a lot of pain now. Should I come in now or wait until the neck pain has subsided?
I always recommend treatment to begin sooner rather than later. The longer you wait to address the problem, the longer it usually takes to fully heal. Think about it this way...if your car didn't have proper alignment, would you wait until your tires showed uneven wear or an exposed cord before you took your car in for an alignment? You can buy new tires, but you can't buy a new neck! Take good care of yourself now to prevent permanent damage and long term chronic neck pain and arthritis!
If you have any questions, please call me!

Better Health Is Only a Phone Call Away!
Dr. Kristine Baker

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