Chiropractic treatment is considered as a first line of treatment for a range of cervical spine conditions. The goal is not only to reduce pain, but to improve motion and restore function. Many Chiropractors in Manhattan use a common technique called manipulation for patients complaining of neck, upper back, and shoulder pain, as well as headaches.
Two Types Of Issues
Two types of cervical spine issues may be treated with cervical spinal manipulation. Mechanical neck pain includes pain that comes from muscles, tendons, joints, fascia, and ligaments. It is the common cause of neck pain and stiffness. Many times, several of these tissues are injured at ones, simultaneously causing both localized and distant pain.
Cervical disk problems occur when tears develop in the cervical disc. Problems can also occur when inside of the disc herniates through the outer part and pinches the nerve root as it exits the spine. Cervical nerve root irritation can frequently refer pain down the arm and into the hand, affecting specific regions depending on which nerve root is irritated.
Traditional Spinal Manipulation
Spinal manipulation is typically done with the patient lying on their back, or in a seated position. After the patient is in a relaxed position, the approach is as follows:
- The vertebra being manipulated is isolated with the chiropractor’s index finger while the other hand supports that weight of the head.
- The head is either rotated or flexed sideways. Many times a combination of the two is used.
- When position is comfortable, a high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust is applied by the chiropractor.
With an instrument assisted adjustment, a chiropractor in Manhattan may use tools as part of their technique. A commonly used tool is called the Activator. This is a small, spring-loaded hand-held device that may be used to adjust a cervical vertebra. There are other manipulative devices that can be used that offer more of a pulsating stimulation to adjust the cervical vertebral segment.
Two Gentle Techniques
Traditional techniques can result in cracking and popping sounds that might be unnerving to some. There are, however, gentler techniques used by chiropractors that produce less sound. Two Examples of commonly employed gentle chiropractic techniques include:
Cervical mobilization. This is a smooth, non-thrust type of stretch. The patient lies on their back while the chiropractor manually moves the vertebra in the neck left to right (and vice versa), alternating between the side to side motion and a figure 8 movement. The goal is to reduce areas where motion is restricted between the cervical spinal segments.