The Underlying Cause of Stiff Neck and Its Symptoms
A major study at the Pain Clinic Princess Alexandra Hospital in Australia, brought several points to light concerning this type of neck pain. A stiff neck is commonly caused by the pinching of facet joints, small pain-sensitive spinal joints that can trigger pain in the neck and back of the shoulder, muscle spasms, and headaches. These researchers found that 71% of the patients evaluated at their clinic proved to have a pinching facet joint in the neck. Almost all had been previously evaluated by medical practitioners who failed to diagnose the disorder.
How Chiropractic Care Delivers Effective Pain Management for Neck Pain
In a related study released by Cedars-Sinai, researchers found that the simplest and most effective way to diagnose this disorder is by palpation of the joints of the neck. This is the procedure used by chiropractors to detect joint tenderness and movement restriction by feeling the spine with the hands. A stiff neck from facet syndrome is caused by pinching of these small joints, gentle (no-twist) chiropractic adjustments, and massage therapy are very effective in freeing the problem, relieving neck pain, muscle spasm, and headaches. Exercises are often then used in addition to treatment to improve neck joint flexibility and to improve muscle tone. This treatment program is often effective for both acute and chronic stiff or painful neck.
While the position of the head and neck during sleep can allow these facet joints to pinch and cause stiff or painful neck, chiropractic and massage therapy can effectively resolve the pain. Prompt treatment can prevent prolonged suffering.