When a patient comes in for neck pain, it is often assumed that the cause of the pain is also in the neck. In most cases, focusing on the neck for diagnosis and treatment leads to satisfying results for patients. But for some patients, neck pain could be related to a condition somewhere else in the body. This means that this area needs to be addressed for the patient to truly find relief.
One of these areas could be the shoulder. Research has shown that these conditions can cooccur and there are also cases where managing a cervical condition leads to improved pain in function of the shoulder joint. Four published studies found the opposite as possible as well. Patients with chronic neck pain experienced improvements in pain and disability after a three week course of treatment which featured scapular stabilization exercises.
14 other studies show that manipulative therapy applied to the mid back resulted in improvements in cervical pain and disability in patients who suffer from chronic neck pain.
It obviously makes sense that areas adjacent to the neck like the shoulder and mid back would contribute to neck pain. There is research that suggests that even issues farther down the body can have an effect on the neck. In 2019, a study was done that revealed individuals with chronic neck pain exhibited differences in walking symmetry. This is an unknown risk factor for problems in the knee and hip joints. A similar study showed the patients with chronic neck pain walked with a stiff spine. These studies have found that leg length in a quality leads to dysfunction in the knees, hips, and lower back.
The neck does an important job of keeping the head upright and the eyes level. If the neck is overcompensating for deficiencies in the back or lower extremities, this can lead to a painful cervical condition.
Chiropractors will evaluate and treat the whole body. We use a combination of manual therapy, exercises, nutritional counseling, and physical therapy. A combination of all these treatments will result in a satisfying outcome and pain-free life.
Contact us today if you need help.