The Controversy Unraveled: Understanding Chiropractic Neck Adjustments and Their Benefits


Neck adjustments are a precise procedure involving the manipulation of your neck joints. Frisco Chiropractor can increase your range of motion and relieve pain, stiffness, and soreness.

Participating chiropractors encouraged their patients to complete a Neck Disability Index, Characteristic Pain Intensity score and a patient satisfaction questionnaire at baseline and weeks 1, 2, 4, 8, and 26 during routine office visits or by mail.

The neck, or cervical spine, is made up of seven small vertebrae that support the weight of your head-about 12 pounds. It’s also home to a network of bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and nerves that are highly flexible in order to accommodate the many ways you move your head – twisting, turning, stretching, stressing and moving it up and down. While these movements are necessary to ensure the neck can move properly and support your head, they can also put it at risk for pain, injury and other health problems.

One of these problems is called a vertebral artery dissection, a tear in the wall of the neck artery that leads to your brain. This is a serious problem that can cause stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA) and heart problems. Some studies have shown that people who have had a vertebral artery dissection have up to a three-fold increased risk of having another one after receiving chiropractic manipulation of the neck.

However, it is important to note that the vast majority of dissections occur in people who have preexisting cardiovascular issues. These include high blood pressure, coronary artery disease and a history of previous heart attacks.

Other causes of a chiropractor neck may be due to poor posture, repetitive flexing and straining, and diseases of the spine such as spinal arthritis or stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal). A common condition that is caused by excessive time spent on electronic devices and bad posture, and has been referred to as “tech neck,” is also treatable by a chiropractor.

Neck manipulation is a treatment that involves manually moving the vertebrae in your neck from side to side, up and down or in rotation. It’s a relatively safe procedure when performed by a trained professional who is familiar with the risks involved. In addition, most chiropractors use a low-force technique. In a few cases, though, the high velocity thrust of a chiropractic neck adjustment can cause strain on carotid and vertebral arteries, leading to dissection. This can lead to a stroke, TIA, or blood clot in the brain.

A stiff neck is fairly common and can result from sleeping wrong, turning your head the wrong way, or even just sitting at a desk for long periods of time. Mild neck pain is typically no big deal and goes away on its own, but when neck pain persists or becomes chronic it can lead to debilitating headaches, arm pain and numbness and tingling.

Neck pain and stiffness can be caused by a variety of issues, including herniated discs, osteoarthritis, arthritis and poor posture. Some types of neck pain can be treated at home, but if the problem is severe, you may need to seek treatment from a chiropractor. A chiropractor will be able to diagnose the problem and recommend treatments that will improve movement, decrease pain and relieve symptoms.

Over-the-counter pain medication can reduce symptoms in the short term, but it is a band-aid and does not address the underlying cause of the pain. In most cases, chiropractors use spinal manipulation and soft tissue massage to alleviate neck pain. In addition to spinal manipulation, chiropractic care includes nutritional counseling and exercise recommendations that will help speed the recovery process.

One of the most common causes of neck pain is a misalignment or subluxation in the spine. When this occurs, the surrounding tissues can become restricted, which prevents blood flow to the area. This can also cause pinched nerves, which can cause pain, numbness and tingling. Chiropractors are trained to recognize these signs and can perform a spinal manipulation to correct the alignment and restore the flow of blood to the area.

While this treatment is very effective for most patients, there is a risk of injury. One of the most serious complications from a cervical spine manipulation is an arterial dissection, which can lead to stroke or heart attack. While this complication is rare, it is important for people to understand the risks of this type of treatment and to consult a doctor before getting a chiropractic adjustment. The doctor will evaluate the patient and determine whether neck manipulation is appropriate for them.

A chiropractor takes a hands-on approach to treatment, helping to relieve pain and improve mobility. They may use manual manipulation, a massage technique known as myofascial release, or other treatments. These techniques are based on the diagnosis of your neck injury or condition.

Neck pain is often caused by a misalignment of the cervical vertebrae, also called the neck spine. Misalignment can cause muscles to become tight and joints to stiffen, causing discomfort and inflammation. It is important to visit a chiropractor who has the proper training and experience in treating neck injuries.

Chiropractic can help to relieve the symptoms of neck strain and improve mobility in a natural, drug-free manner. While many people are reluctant to visit a chiropractor, they can offer an alternative to prescription medication and invasive surgery.

There are several treatment options for neck strain, including over-the-counter pain medications and physical therapy. A chiropractor can perform a thorough physical exam of your neck to diagnose the cause of your pain. They will examine your posture, neck movement and strength, feel for muscle spasm, and check other nerves in the area.

In addition to a physical examination, the chiropractor may recommend diagnostic imaging, such as an MRI or CT scan of your neck. These tests can provide valuable information regarding the cause of your neck pain, such as a herniated disc or a tumor.

A recent case report described a patient who experienced severe complications following neck manipulation by a chiropractor. The patient suffered from cardiac and respiratory arrest, requiring emergency medical services to revive her. The case study highlighted the need for open dialogue between chiropractors and physicians and suggested that receiving medical clearance prior to cervical manipulation in potential at risk patients could drastically reduce morbidity and mortality.

A chiropractor will usually begin treatment with a series of office visits. A patient will be required to complete a questionnaire after each visit to assess the progress of their neck pain and other symptoms. The chiropractor will also determine if they need to make any changes to their treatment plan.

Aside from spinal manipulation, chiropractors also teach patients to re-train their body mechanics. This is done through neck stretches and exercises that strengthen the muscles in the neck and promote proper posture. They may also recommend changes in workplace ergonomics to help alleviate the stress on the spine and neck from prolonged electronic device use. By helping individuals to develop healthier relationships with technology, chiropractic services can reduce the risk of text neck and prevent long-term complications.

During an initial visit, your chiropractor will ask you questions about your medical history and how your neck pain started. He or she will then perform a physical exam, taking note of the range of motion in your neck and any areas that are tender. If he or she suspects that you have an underlying condition, such as a bone fracture or tumor, he or she may order imaging tests, such as an MRI or an X-ray, to reveal the cause of your neck pain.

The chiropractor will then use the results of your diagnostic examination to create a treatment plan. Depending on your symptoms and the recommended course of treatment, you may need a few sessions to achieve significant relief from your neck pain. However, consistency is key to ensuring lasting benefits. During each session, your chiropractor will monitor your progress and make adjustments as needed.

Chiropractors also employ a variety of soft tissue techniques, such as massage, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy, to relieve tension in the neck and upper back. This helps to improve circulation, decrease inflammation, and promote healing. In addition to these manual treatments, your chiropractor may also recommend lifestyle modifications and exercise routines. These may include incorporating neck stretches and a healthier relationship with electronic devices, such as trying to limit screen time to 1-3 hours a day and looking up periodically throughout the day.

While some chiropractic professionals dispute the link between cervical manipulation and arterial dissection, they urge open dialogue between medical doctors and chiropractors. This communication should allow physicians to alert chiropractors of potential risks in their patients and thus lower the threshold for cervical manipulation in potentially at-risk patients.