Neck pain or cervical pain is characterised by restricted range of motion and pain in the neck and shoulder region. Common causes include:
Often neck pain spills upwards and contributes to headaches and migraines. It can also lead to torticollis and if part of the pain travels down the arm it is called "brachialgia" or arm pain.
It is of paramount importance to examine the cervical spine and understand what is the pain generator. It is the chiropractor's job to distinguish between a mechanical neck pain and a disc herniation or a dental malocclusion.
A postural exam together with orthopedic and neurology testing are part of the initial consultation just as chiropractic specific palpation that highlight hyper or hypo mobile vertebrae. But as we often remind our patients, the cause of pain may be remote to the site of pain. Therefore a complete exam is always performed to establish spinal function and neurological integrity.
Is an x-ray or an MRI necessary before being adjusted?
No. However, during the initial consultation it is carefully decided if diagnostic imaging or other diagnostic exams of the cervical spine are needed before proceeding with treatment in order to exclude contraindications to chiropractic care.