Dr. Homer at Targeted Chiropractic in Gilbert, AZ preforming a neck adjustment.

Is Neck Pain Common?

Simple answer is, YES.  So it does not matter who you are when it comes to neck pain because it effects most people.  The amount of people that get neck pain is hard to ignore.  Did you know that up to 70-75% of the population will experience neck pain at sometime in their lives. [1][3].  Think about that, that means 3 out of every 4 people will experience neck pain in their life!   Another crazy statistic is that at any given time about 1 in 5 people are walking around with neck pain,[1][2].  So what does this mean to you, well first off I can tell  you that you are not alone.  Secondly this means that we have seen a lot of people that have been experiencing neck pain.

Why Do I Have Neck Pain

This might not be to surprising to you but one of the big reasons for our neck pain is the use of smart phones and computers.  According to comScore’s the average American adult spends about 3 hours on their smart phones a day. We already know that cell phone usage can be a cause of neck pain, so they have come up with a really catchy name for it, “text neck” and when it comes to text neck only 35% of the population has even heard of it.[4] This problem is only going to continue until we have more education on the subject.

So you might be asking yourself why it is such a big deal to look down at your phone.  Well the amount of pressure on the neck more than doubles for every 15 degrees of neck bend. An average human head weighing just 12 pounds when upright becomes 60 pounds at a forward angle.[5] So what does that mean to you, imagine holding a 8 lb bowling ball (about how much a head weighs) with one hand and the fingers in the holes and your wrist and elbow directly below. Now imagine taking that bowling ball and bending your wrist away from your body. Think about how much pressure would be on your wrist when you did this.  Well, that is the same thing that is happening to your neck every time you look down at your phone.

Ok so you don’t use your phone very much, so what else could cause your pain? Well its could be just as simple as its your job.  According to different studies Office workers, manual labourers and healthcare workers are most at risk of developing neck pain. [6] So as you can see it does not matter your line of work neck pain is pretty universal. In the case of office workers, the 12 month prevalence of neck pain is at a shocking 45.5%. [7] That is basically the same odds is guessing heads or tails on a coin flip.

Why Is It Important to Address Your Neck Pain?

When it come to neck pain, you can suffer from acute or chronic pain.   Acute pain is normally described as pain that occurs suddenly and feels better within a few days to weeks.  With chronic pain this is normally descried as pain that last for more than 3 or more months.  This is an important to understand because it is estimated up to 30% of people with acute neck pain will develop chronic neck pain over time. [3]  So chances are if you don’t take care of the pain now it is only going to get worse.

So if you think that you should just rest and wait this out, I’m going to say that the pain might go away, well at least for a little bit.  According to the studies 26% of people experienced a recurrence in their neck pain in less than 1 year. 42% of sufferers missed more than 1 week of work. [2]  So waiting it out might only help in the short term but could lead to much worse problems if you wait to get treatment.

Still not convinced that you should not wait any longer to start working on your neck pain.  How does living on disability sound?  5% of neck pain sufferers will become disabled as a result, unable to work or function normally as a result. [2] By the time you get to this point your neck pain is debilitation and the economic burden can be extremely high. According to the American Medical Association, low back and neck pain rank 3rd in total healthcare costs in the US annually, coming in at a staggering $86 billion dollars. 

How Can Targeted Chiropractic Help With My Neck Pain

As a chiropractor our primary therapy is the chiropractic adjustment.  According to the mayoclinic an adjustment “is a procedure in which trained specialists (chiropractors) use their hands or a small instrument to apply a controlled, sudden force to a spinal joint. The goal of this procedure, also known as spinal manipulation, is to improve spinal motion and improve your body’s physical function.”  So that is a long-winded way of saying I use my hands to shift the bones in your body around just a little bit, with the goal to restoring proper function to a joint.

We also offer an alternative medicine therapy called myofascial release that is used for treating skeletal muscle immobility and pain. Myofascial release therapy is a hands-on treatment that utilizes gentle, sustained pressure into the Myofascial connective tissue restrictions to relax contracted muscles, improve blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulates the stretch reflex in muscles.

Therapeutic ultrasound uses sound waves above the range of human hearing to interact with tissues in the body that are either modified or destroyed. It creates a deep heat and increases the blood flow to the area being treated to help reduce local swelling and chronic inflammation.