Neck Pain Treatment

#1 Neck Pain Treatment in Calgary

The neck is quite a complex structure. It’s not just bones; there are muscles, ligaments, nerves, and discs all packed in there. Sometimes, any of these components can act up and cause pain.

 

Your neck has seven bones stacked up, called vertebrae, in your neck. Between each bone, there’s a cushion-like disc that helps with movement and absorbs shock. In addition, you have a spinal canal running through them, housing your spinal cord and nerve bundles.

 

When something irritates or compresses those nerves or tissues, you experience neck pain.

Neck assessment MYo Lab Health & Wellness in Calgary, Alberta

Neck Pain? MYo Lab can help – schedule your visit today.

Meet Our Calgary Chiropractic Team

Meet our team of skilled professionals who wake up every day with a commitment to make a difference in your journey to wellness. Our Chiropractors, massage therapists, and physiotherapists work together to provide comprehensive care, ensuring that all aspects of your health and well-being are addressed.

Dr. Shelly Bouvier | Chiropractor in Calgary, AB

Dr. Shelly Bouvier | DC, BKin
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With MYo since July 3, 2022

Jesi Revelar | Chiropractic Assistant in Calgary, AB

Jesi Revelar | Chiropractic Assistant
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With MYo since March 18, 2024

Patient Success Stories

“I visited MYo Lab following a weekend of disturbed sleep owing to excruciating pain in the neck. It’s natural for anyone to be apprehensive about every touch and the slightest of movements in that condition. It was no different for me. Meeting Dr. Hartley couldn’t have been more timely. I can vouch based on my first hand experience of being treated by him that you are in good hands. With remarkable composure and empathy to complement his expertise, the experience at MYo Lab has been exemplary.”

Param S.

“Dr. Evan Schwindt has been super helpful providing immediate relief of neck pain I came in with! Him and his team are also very kind and knowledgeable, giving me exercises I can practice at home to help aid my recovery. Great clinic :)”

Kenedi S.

“The MYo Lab team has been a life saviour for me when it comes to my chronic headaches and neck pain. Having been to several different clinics in the past, I finally found the one that works for me. The teams dedication to my treatment plan and progress is truly second to none. I not only leave each session pain free, but feeling like they had my best interest in mind each session. They truly are there for their patients! Both my partner and I are blown away by everything… right when you walk in the door to when you leave. TRULY THE BEST, don’t look elsewhere if you’re struggling with pain.”

The People Model Mgmt

Experience the difference – schedule your visit today.

Causes of Neck Pain

 

There are many potential causes for neck pain, including but not limited to:

  • Arthritis
  • Disc degeneration 
  • Narrowing of the spinal canal
  • Muscle inflammation
  • Strain or trauma after an accident
  • Aging or natural wear and tear
  • Mental stress
  • Nerve compression
  • Whiplash
  • Structural abnormalities
  • Tension headaches
  • Infections or growth (this is rare)

 

Symptoms of Neck Pain

 

You can describe this pain as:

  • Stabbing or burning pain or persistent ache in the neck, sometimes extending to the arm
  • Headache
  • Stiffness in the neck, shoulder, and upper back region
  • Unable to move your neck
  • Tingling or numbness in the fingers and arm
  • Weakness in arms or legs

 

Chiropractic Approach to Treating Neck Pain

 

chiropractic treatment on the neck

 

Chiropractors typically approach neck pain through a combination of manual therapies, rehabilitative exercises, and patient education. Here’s how we address it:

  • Starting off with Assessment: First, we evaluate your spine as a whole, not just your neck, to identify the underlying cause of the neck pain. This is because other regions of the neck (cervical), mid-back (thoracic), and lower back (lumbar) may be impacted. The assessment would also involve reviewing your medical history, conducting physical exams, and possibly ordering diagnostic tests like X-rays or MRI scans if necessary.
  • Manual therapy: Chiropractors often use hands-on techniques to manipulate the spine and surrounding tissues. This may include spinal adjustments or manipulations, where controlled force is applied to joints to improve mobility and reduce pain. Soft tissue techniques such as massage, stretching, or trigger point therapy may also be utilized to relieve muscle tension and improve flexibility.
  • Spinal alignment: We focus on restoring proper alignment and function to the spine, which can help alleviate pressure on nerves and ultimately reduce pain. They may use specific adjustments tailored to the cervical spine (neck) to address misalignments or subluxations.
  • Rehabilitative exercises: The idea is to keep you moving. Your Chiropractor may also prescribe exercises to strengthen the muscles supporting your neck and improve posture. These exercises can help improve stability, reduce the risk of future injuries, and enhance overall spinal health.
  • Posture and ergonomic advice: Proper posture is really important to reduce strain on the neck and spine. These recommendations may involve ergonomic workstations, sleeping positions, and lifestyle modifications.
  • Lifestyle modifications: We offer guidance on lifestyle factors that can impact neck pain, such as diet, hydration, stress management, and exercise habits.

Overall, we take a whole-person approach to managing neck pain, addressing both the symptoms and underlying causes to help you achieve long-term relief and improved function.

 

 

Our Calgary Location

MYo Lab Health & Wellness is located at 227 10 St NW, Suite 300, Calgary, Alberta. It’s a short 5-minute walk from the Sunnyside C-Train station.

Parking: We offer 5 complimentary parking spots out back (spots 209, 213, 214, 215, 216). There are also several 2-hour paid parking spots on the streets around us. Additionally, there are two parking lots across the street from our building, one outdoor parking lot and one underground parking lot.

If you need further direction, feel free to call (403) 930-8686 for assistance.

All Conditions We Treat

Headaches

Whiplash

TMJ Dysfunction (Jaw Pain)

Neck Pain

Middle And Low Back Pain

Disc Herniations

Sciatica

Shoulder Pain

Arthritis

Elbow & Wrist Pain

Ankle And Foot Pain

Hip Pain

Knee Pain

Mobility Issues

Sports Injuries

Posture Problems

General Health/Well-Being

Neuropathy And Nerve Entrapments

FAQs About Neck Pain

Do I have arthritis in my neck?

Arthritis is an umbrella term for conditions that result from inflammation in the joints. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which is also known as degenerative joint disease. DJD develops over time and is often noted as an ancillary finding on X-rays—meaning that there’s evidence of bony changes to the joints long before pain or other symptoms present. For instance, arthritis in the SI joint can start in your 20s. 

Now, many people think of the inflammatory arthropathies when they think of arthritis; they think of rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis, which are both different diseases that can progress to affecting the joints, and because all of these get grouped under “arthritis”, the general public views them all the same way.

The good news is that osteoarthritis does not have the same progression as inflammatory arthropathies and that x-ray findings of degenerative joint disease are poorly correlated with symptoms. So you may have arthritis, according to your x-ray, but that does not mean that you have to live with pain. Motion is one of the best ways of managing pain related to arthritis—making sure that the joints are moving well, and within healthy ranges of motion to encourage blood flow and reduce stiffness.

Why do necks get “kinks”?

A kink in the neck is a muscle spasm likely due to a muscle strain. When a muscle is strained during an activity, during a whiplash accident, or due to overuse, like with poor posture, the muscle will spasm, and it’s this spasm that hurts. 

A muscle spasm is the brain protecting the area from further damage. If a muscle is too tight to move, it’s not likely to be overloaded, and it can heal. When your neck is kinked, the best thing to do is encourage the healing of the area. This can be done with heat or ice, rest, gentle stretching, or a visit to a care provider to diagnose any specific strains, treat the area, and recommend exercises to strengthen your neck and address your postural habits so that it doesn’t happen again.

Is it bad to crack my neck?

The popping sound associated with a Chiropractic adjustment is the formation and popping of nitrogen gas bubbles in the fluid around a joint. When a Chiropractor adjusts a joint, they’re doing so to optimize movement—identifying joints that aren’t moving well and providing a quick thrust to stretch the joint capsule ligaments, send nerve impulses to the brain, and help the body use that joint better.

When a person pops their own neck, they‘re usually over-stretching and forcing joints to move further than they would naturally to create a sensation of release. 

Although it is possible to pop your own joints, it’s usually not advisable to do so, as there’s a risk of injury and a risk of continually popping the same joint, creating a relative hypermobility in the body. These hypermobilities cause the brain to tighten muscles around that joint to create support for the joint, but then most people perceive that the joint is tight, and pop it again, creating a vicious cycle of hypermobility and tightening. This is why a Chiropractor will always assess the body to identify which joints are tight and need to move more, and which ones are hypermobile, and should be stabilized to move less.

What is a pinched nerve? And do I have a pinched nerve?

A pinched nerve is the everyday name for compression on a nerve. It can be an incredibly painful experience, with sharp and shooting pain in your arm and numbness or tingling that accompanies that pain. True pinched nerves are a result of compression on the nerve from the spine, either from a disc bulge or herniation or by bony changes in the vertebrae that press on the nerves. 

Muscles can also create compression on the nerves when they’re tight, which can cause similar symptoms as a disc or bony protrusion, but often in slightly different areas. It’s a healthcare practitioner’s job to identify if the pain you’re experiencing is from a pinched nerve or from some other cause. Identifying the source of pain is important to focus treatment on the root cause.

Why does my shoulder hurt when my neck hurts?

The nerves that supply the muscles around the shoulder and joints—that make up the shoulder complex—originate from the neck. Furthermore, many of the muscles surrounding the neck, like the levator scapula and trapezius (the traps), attach to the shoulder blade. Because of these connections, tension in one area or irritation to the nerves (that supply that area) can create tension and pain in the other. 

Poor posture also usually involves both the neck and the shoulder, and so do many injuries to the area. It’s difficult to injure the neck or shoulder without also injuring the muscles that connect the two. So single events can affect both the neck and the shoulder, and you may experience pain in one area when moving the other.

What is the best posture?

The best posture is your next posture. The human body was designed to move, not to stay in any one position for long periods of time. Muscles and ligaments “relax” into a position after about 20 minutes; this means that they get used to being shortened or stretched within 20 minutes, and the more time we spend in one position, the more used to that position the body gets, and the less likely it is to move out of that position at rest. In that sense, posture is a habit—your body will choose the position that it’s used to, and comfortable with, which can create pain and dysfunction because of the muscles that are continuously shortened or stretched.

Now, when we’re required to be in one place, like at work, there are “better” postures and the ideal posture is one where if you were to relax completely, your body would not move because it is supported. This means sitting comfortably with your weight even between your “sit bones”, your feet flat on a surface (the floor or a foot support), your knees and hips bent to 90 degrees, your spine upright and supported by your chair, your arms resting comfortably with your shoulders down and not rolled forward, and your head being centered over your shoulders. Most of us are unlikely to spend a lot of time in this position, so it’s a good idea to take frequent breaks, not sitting in one position for too long.

How should I sit at my desk?

In an ideal world, we would be able to get up and move around every 20 minutes. However, when we’re confined to one spot, such as at a desk, certain postures are better than others. The ideal posture is one where, if you were to relax completely, your body would remain supported. This entails sitting comfortably with your weight evenly distributed between your “sit bones,” feet flat on a surface (either the floor or a footrest), knees and hips bent at 90 degrees, spine upright and supported by your chair, arms resting comfortably with shoulders relaxed and not hunched forward, and head aligned over your shoulders. Since many of us won’t maintain this position for extended periods, it’s best to take frequent breaks and avoid prolonged sitting in any one position.

Take a look at our tutorial for ways to reduce low back pain, neck pain and/or headaches while working from home. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaKjRlz5j5A&t=27s

What pillow should I sleep with?

The best pillow for you will be the one that fills the space between your head and the mattress without lifting your head any further than necessary to keep your neck in a neutral position. For side sleepers, this is likely a high-loft pillow that fills the space between your ear and your shoulder so that you can sleep with your head supported. For back sleepers, this is likely a very thin pillow that does not elevate the head. For stomach sleepers, this may mean sleeping without a pillow so that when your head is rotated, it is not extended up off the mattress.

For people who sleep in multiple different positions, an adjustable pillow, like a water pillow or one with removable memory foam, may be a good option. In any case, a comfortable pillow is a must.

Why does my neck hurt in the morning?

Pain in the neck when you wake up can have multiple contributing factors. At the most minor and most common, this discomfort may be because your mattress and pillow are not properly supporting your shoulders & head, and as a result, your muscles have to work hard overnight to create that support. You may be sleeping in a position that is awkward for your body, putting strain on your neck muscles through the night. Stress also plays a role in our body’s ability to fully relax overnight, which can lead to tension in the morning. 

In more severe cases, morning stiffness may be a sign of several different forms of arthritis, which would be diagnosed based on other symptoms, patterns, and tests. An evaluation from a healthcare professional can help identify the root cause of your morning pain and set you up with a plan to help reduce it.

Why can’t I shoulder-check?

Shoulder checking requires a full range of neck rotation along with supporting rotation through the upper back. The most common reason that your shoulder checking may be limited is because of tight muscles, like the upper traps, levator scapulae, and other neck muscles, or because the joints in your neck are not moving well enough to allow for that motion. This could be due to your posture, pain or discomfort, a previous injury, or stress. 

It’s important to identify the root cause of this limitation, as treating the cause may help prevent injuries in other areas of the body that are compensating for the reduced range of motion in the neck.

What’s the best way to get rid of neck pain?

The best way to get rid of neck pain is to figure out why it started in the first place and address the root cause. This will increase the likelihood that the pain resolves, and does not come back. Some root causes may include muscle tension, injury, arthritis, posture, stress, or joints that are not moving well. The treatment will depend on the cause, but it may include massage therapy, chiropractic care, exercises, heat & ice, or lifestyle modifications such as increasing activity and postural breaks

How can a Chiropractor help with neck pain?

A Chiropractor can help with neck pain with a few different approaches. For starters, they can identify some of the reasons you are experiencing neck pain, pinpointing the sources and causes of pain to help get you better. 

Additionally, once the cause has been identified, if it’s musculoskeletal in origin, a Chiropractor can help joints move better (through adjustments), help with muscle tone & function through manual work on these muscles, or utilize modalities like dry needling, acupuncture, shockwave, or low-level light therapy (laser) to help with inflammation, and help you recover from your pain. Chiropractors can also recommend exercises & stretches for you to do at home to reduce future occurrences of pain & help you recover should you experience a flare-up.

Is it dangerous to have a Chiropractor adjust your neck?

As with any treatment, there are risks associated with Chiropractic care. The most common risk is soreness; you may feel sore after the treatment. 

In the case of neck adjustments, there’s a correlation in the research between neck pain treated by a Chiropractor and strokes. This correlation occurs at the same frequency as it does with treatment for neck pain at a Medical Doctor’s office. Thus, individuals may present to a Chiropractor’s office with neck pain, and a Chiropractor may fail to identify the symptoms of a stroke already in progress. It has not been shown that Chiropractic adjustments cause strokes.

Strokes are more common in people with pre-existing conditions, like vascular disease, and they’re at a higher risk of having a stroke. A Chiropractor must take extra precautions to ensure that an individual is a good candidate for a neck adjustment through thorough evaluation.

Other techniques can be used to treat the neck, so an adjustment is not strictly necessary for the relief of neck pain. Having a conversation with your Chiropractor is important so that you understand the risks and can decide what type of care is best for you.

Is Massage better than Chiropractic for neck pain?

Massage and Chiropractic care work together for neck pain. Both professions can work on the muscles of the neck to reduce tension and can encourage motion in the joints of the neck, although the techniques in both cases may be different. It’s important to identify the cause of the neck pain for the most appropriate treatment. Ultimately, the best treatment is the one that targets the issue specifically and that works for you.

What is the best treatment for neck pain?

The best treatment is tailored to you and the underlying condition contributing to your pain. Research shows that people get better faster and stay better longer when a multifaceted approach to pain is used. These approaches might include adjustments to help joints move better, muscle work to reduce tension, exercises to strengthen healthy movement patterns, and modalities like dry needling, acupuncture, shockwave, or low-level light therapy (Colder Laser). A healthcare provider can help identify why you have pain and create a care plan that meets your needs.

Will my neck pain go away?

Most neck pain will eventually go away, but that doesn’t mean that the underlying dysfunction or cause of the neck pain is resolved. Neck pain can last anywhere from a few days (acute) to years (chronic), depending on the cause. Because of that, it’s important to have your neck pain evaluated and the cause identified, so that treatment can be administered and you can get back to doing what you love.

What is whiplash?

Whiplash is a strain/sprain of the muscles and ligaments of a joint because of sudden acceleration and deceleration. It most commonly occurs in the neck but can also occur in any joint in the spine. It’s often the result of a car accident, but it can also occur in sports injuries, from headbanging at a concert, or falling. The symptoms of whiplash include pain and stiffness, limited range of motion, palpable tenderness, swelling, tingling and numbness in the arms or legs, and in the case of the neck, dizziness, vertigo, and headaches. 

Concussion symptoms are also closely tied to whiplash, as every concussion will be accompanied by whiplash due to the nature of the two injuries.

If you suspect you have whiplash, it’s important to have it evaluated and treated to prevent chronic pain or dysfunction.

How MYo Lab Can Help

If you’ve been experiencing jaw pain, you can book an appointment with one of our Chiropractors. Alternatively, you can call us at (403)930-8686. We’re currently accepting new patients.

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