If you frequently go home from work with a headache, you may be experiencing a repetitive motion injury. Work that requires you to hold your head in a certain position for hours at a time can exhaust the muscles in your neck. A trip to your chiropractor will relieve those tired muscles and get rid of the neck pain and headaches. Here is why the headaches happen and how the chiropractic treatment is effective in treating the problem.
Tired Muscles Are the Cause
It's easy to think about muscles getting tired from hard, physical work. But your muscles are still working when they must hold part of your body in one position for long periods. They use up their energy and the muscles fibers begin to contract. This causes your neck to feel stiff and tired. You may have difficulty moving your neck when this happens.
The headaches begin when these tense muscles in your neck irritate the nerves that travel through the neck into your head. The thin tissue surrounding the nerves becomes inflamed and causes the headaches. Treatment of the stiff neck and headaches is done to relieve the tense muscles, reduce the inflammation and restore the circulation in the area. When your neck is relaxed, the headaches go away.
Chiropractic Treatment of a Stiff Neck and Headaches
Chiropractic treatments are non-invasive and are done as an outpatient in their clinic. The chiropractor may use a combination of techniques to fully relieve your neck of the stiffness from the tired muscles.
Active release technique - The chiropractor will begin by feeling along your neck for the tense muscle groups. When they've identified the tension areas, they will slowly massage the muscles in the direction of their normal movement. This increases circulation in the area and relaxes the muscle fibers. The doctor may also feel scar tissue that has developed in the muscle from repeated stress. Adding pressure to that area during the massage helps to break up the scar tissue, which inhibits circulation.
Myofascial release technique - When muscles become so tense that they contract, they can form a knot under the skin. You may also have painful spasms as the muscles react to the constant tension. When the chiropractor finds these muscle knots, they will put steady pressure on them with their knuckles or a special tool. The pressure makes the muscles relax and the spasms go away.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) - This treatment uses a device that sends a small electrical charge to the muscles, which causes them to relax. Your chiropractor will have you relax on a table while they place electrodes over the tense muscles in your neck. The treatment consists of just a few minutes of pulsing waves of electricity working on the muscles. Your only sensation during the treatment will be twitching muscles as they respond to the mild electrical charge.
Physical therapy - Your chiropractor may also have you work with a physical therapist. They will use hot and cold packs and massage techniques to further relax the neck muscles. They will show you strengthening exercises to build up the neck muscles. Stronger muscles in that area of your neck will prevent future occurrences of the repetitive motion injury.
To learn more about neck pain treatment, contact a company like Eric Schmetterling DC.Share