Nagging Pain: Is My Pain a Crick in the Neck or Something More Serious?
Have you ever woken up in the morning with a crick in your neck? Yeah, so have I. It doesn’t feel good at all. It seems like nearly every move you make elicits a terrible pain that you can’t find any relief from, no matter what you do. It makes you unhappy, irritated, frustrated, even angry, or sometimes scared because you don’t know what is going on, and the internet will tell you it is cancer or something scary.
What a Pain in the Neck!
Waking up with neck pain doesn’t have to be scary or serious. Of course, some pains can signify a more serious situation, and no one denies that possibility. Typically, and with a history that’s devoid of any immediately concerning issues, neck pain is usually due to a few simple factors:
Have you overstressed yourself in some way recently? Physical and/or mental stress is the typical cause of neck pain. Often, people will have been physically active in a way that will overstress their necks. At night their body tries to recover from that stress and they wake up with soreness in the morning. It’s much like a person lifting weights and becoming sore the next day. That’s just a normal stress reaction.
Poor Sleep Posture
Another factor of neck issues includes poor posture while sleeping. You end up sleeping in a funny position, your neck rests in that position for too long, and you wake up with a crick in your neck. What I believe is the most common issue, and most folks don’t realize they are doing it because they’re half asleep when they do it, is that they tend to use their head as a sort of lever when trying to roll over in their sleep.
They inadvertently press their head into the pillow to lift their upper body just enough to roll over and move their arms. Since they’re half asleep, they don’t realize they’re using their neck in this way. Doing this will overstress the neck, causing them to wake up with neck pain.
Assessing the Reason Behind the Issue
Since I’ve been helping people with these issues for over 30 years, I tend to pay close attention to the things I do daily. I test my ideas on myself, have the experience, and then this allows me to relate to my patients better and, more importantly, ask the right questions to get to the truth.
Of course, suppose your history shows you’ve had a recent traumatic or challenging experience, such as a car accident or a sports stress/injury. In that case, it makes sense that your body is simply reacting to that stress and needs to be cared for accordingly. It‘s the insidious onset issues – when the symptom seems to come ‘out of the blue’ for no apparent reason – that I’m addressing here. Although the process is still very similar, meaning you have overstressed your neck at some time, and your neck is now reacting to that stress with the symptoms of repair and recovery.
Treating the Problem
Typical treatments address the muscle tension with massage or drugs. Of course, this has its place, but frequently the stress is much deeper and needs something else. Simple muscle tension is where Chiropractic can be helpful for you.
Finding the areas of your spine that no longer move freely due to the ‘storing’ of stress as tension – the ‘crick’ – a chiropractor can apply very small yet direct forces to those areas to invite the spine to let go of the pressure and revert to a state of ease. When your spine moves more freely, that movement triggers nerves to fire that tell your brain all is well. Proper spine movement results in a reduction of your pain.
When joints in your spine are not moving properly, that fires a different nerve telling your brain that something that should be moving with ease is no longer doing so. You typically experience this as pain, not always though, as these ‘lock-ups’ or what chiropractors call them – subluxations – very frequently are painless, at first. Once the pressure reaches a certain threshold, then comes the pain. Therefore, it’s important to get checked by your chiropractor regularly to clear these things up BEFORE they ruin your day with pain.
Unfortunately, most humans are driven by pain. They don’t do what they need to until pain forces them to change. It is what I call reactive care – people wait until they have a symptom, then react to that symptom by trying to eliminate or at the very least try to suppress it. Trying to suppress the pain is by far the most common approach.
Proactive or wellness care refers to doing what’s necessary to restore or maintain healthy and normal function regardless of how one feels. There’s no reaction to symptoms because symptoms aren’t the real problem; loss of normal function is. Proactive people do what their body needs even when they feel fine. Proactive care includes getting checked and adjusted, if necessary, by their chiropractor once a week or so, to make sure all is well.
You brush your teeth and floss; you don’t wait until you have an issue before you do these things. That’s being proactive with your dental care. If only people would treat their spines the same way. You can stretch and exercise regularly but still get checked to ensure all is functioning optimally, even in the absence of pain or symptoms. That would be proactively taking care of your spine.
If your spine has lost some function, you’re no longer functioning normally, life will be much more difficult. Spinal issues can even affect your brain and how you view the world. Ever notice you’re a bit grumpier and snippier when you’re in pain due to your spine being subluxated (locked up)? It messes with you – mind, body, and soul.
Contact Franson Chiropractic Today
Next time you have a crick in your neck, see your chiropractor, don’t wait. Get checked and adjusted if necessary. Or better yet, don’t wait until you are in pain and get checked beforehand. Please make sure all is well, and then do your best to keep it that way with regular visits. It is an investment that pays dividends for the rest of your life.
Chiropractic care offers much more than the quick relief of simply “cracking” your back. It’s a holistic, whole-body approach that reduces pain and improves your total wellness. If you’re dealing with subluxation or other issues in Houston, Franson Chiropractic can help. Contact us today for more information on neck pain treatments.
Nagging Pain: Is My Pain a Crick in the Neck or Something More Serious? | Franson Chiropractor – Houston, TX
Neck and Back Pain Relief. This office has taken the ChiroTrust Pledge: "To the best of my ability, I agree to provide my patients convenient, affordable, and mainstream Chiropractic care. I will not use unnecessary long-term treatment plans and/or therapies."