Is Chiropractic Treatment for Neck Pain Safe and Effective?
Yes, medical research has shown that Spinal Manipulative Therapy is both safe and effective for the treatment of acute neck pain.
A recent meta-analysis of multiple research trials has concluded that “spinal manipulative therapy alone or in combination with other modalities was effective in the treatment of acute neck pain.” The analysis also concluded that there were few adverse side effects with spinal manipulative therapy.
Aleksander Chaibi, Knut Stavem, and Michael Bjorn Russell, Spinal Manipulative Therapy for Acute Neck Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials, J Clin Med. 2021 Nov; 10(21): 5011.
Neck Pain is a Common Problem
Neck pain is a common problem, especially in urban areas like Fairfax, Virginia where countless hours are spent staring down at cell phones and computers. Supporting your head in a forward position puts a tremendous strain on the muscle, joints, tendons and ligaments of the upper back and neck. This prolonged stress can result in neck pain, upper back pain, and headaches. Eventually this wear and tear can lead to Degenerative Joint Disease (Osteoarthritis) and chronic, unremitting pain.
If you are suffering from neck and upper back pain, I hope you will take a few minutes to discover chiropractic treatment methods your doctor may not have told you about.
Let’s first look at some of the common causes of neck pain.
Common Causes of Neck Pain Treated in Our Chiropractic Office:
• Postural strain. Prolonged sitting at a desk or computer, sleeping on your stomach, or slouching in a chair can result in muscle spasm and pain in the neck or back.
• Repetitive Use Injuries. Prolonged or repetitive lifting (carrying a purse or backpack), repeated or prolonged movements of the head, neck, shoulders, or arms (raking leaves or swinging a hammer) can result in muscle spasms and pain in the neck, shoulders, arms, or hands.
• Trauma. Whiplash or a direct blow to the upper body can result in damage to the bones, discs, muscles, or nervous system.
• Cervical osteoarthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease). A common cause of chronic neck pain is osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the result of the stress, strain and injury experienced in your lifetime. Nearly everyone over the age of 35 has some degree of this condition. Osteoarthritis in the cervical spine can cause bone spurs to develop around the vertebrae (bones of the spine), degeneration or narrowing of the discs, narrowing of the spinal canal (Spinal Stenosis), and narrowing of the openings through which the spinal nerves exit the spine (Foraminal Stenosis).
• Cervical herniated disc. If a disc in the cervical spine bulges or leaks from the disc space, it can cause inflammation and irritation of the surrounding joints, muscles, or nerve roots. Cervical disc herniation typically causes neurological pain in the shoulders and arms, as well as mild to moderate pain and stiffness in the neck.
Additional Symptoms Associated with Chronic and Acute Neck Pain
• Pain, numbness or weakness in the neck, shoulders, arms or hands.
• Reduced range of motion and muscle spasm in the neck and upper back.
Neck Pain Treatment Modalities Used in Our Chiropractic Clinic:
• Chiropractic Spinal Manipulative Therapy (Adjustments). Chiropractic manipulation or spinal manipulation, is when pressure is applied to the vertebrae of the spine to reduce its misalignment, referred to as subluxation. This process increases range of motion, improves function, reduces nerve irritability, and alleviates muscle spasm and pain.
• Computerized Cervical Traction. A computer-controlled device designed to decompress the neck and upper back gently and precisely. This unit has been cleared by the FDA to relieve pressure on joints and discs of the spine. It relieves pain associated with herniated discs, protruding discs, degenerative disc disease, posterior facet syndrome and nerve compression.
• Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS) is used in in this clinic for the reduction of pain, relaxation of muscle spasms, increased local blood circulation and maintaining or increasing of range of motion.
• Therapeutic Ultrasound. A passive therapy that uses high frequency sound waves to penetrate through the skin into the deep tissues of the body. Research shows that ultrasound waves significantly improve healing of tissues and joints, pain, mobility, and stiffness.
• Massage. Massage therapy is used to improve joint mobility, posture, and recovery time. It is also beneficial for alleviating pain caused by soft tissue strains, inflammation, and muscle tension.
Our Chiropractic Treatment Programs are designed to relieve many types of neck pain without drugs or surgery, allowing you to heal with maximum flexibility and strength.
Robert J Zapf, MS, DC has helped many patients in Fairfax, Burke, and Springfield, VA recover from neck pain.
Give us a call today at (703) 455-9555 to see how we can help you.
"I initially was treated by Dr. Zapf in 2013 for my lower back pain and several years later for knee pain. Since my recovery and continued maintenance treatments it has been a learning experience for me. Dr. Zapf, is not only my chiropractor but has been a teacher to me. Besides his treatments, Dr. Zapf has also taken time to educate me on how to care for my body, both thru diet and exercise, in order to stay active. Working on my daily stretches, exercises, and going for my monthly maintenance treatment has kept me active with a healthy mind. The key ingredient is to follow the treatments and prescribed exercises because it’s also up to you to help you heal. Working with Dr. Zapf, and following all of the treatments and care he has provided to me as a 69 yr. old woman, I now feel 20 years younger. I am sharing my experience because physically I feel good without having to rely on over-the-counter meds. I found Dr. Zapf to be the best medicine for me." January 19, 2023
Weekly, I am thankful that I trusted my body and gave it time to HEAL and avoid unnecessary surgeries. It takes time to heal the spine, but it's a whole unit that requires our care and respect - my lifestyle was forever altered and I still do exercises and stretches that I learned through Dr. Zapf, which ensures that my spine is cared, years after being symptom free.
I feel that I am now close to my pre-injury strength and mobility and I am glad that I didn’t give up on the non medication treatment. Thru this process I learned 4 things from Dr. Zapf: 1) Follow the therapy; 2) Be patient; 3) listen to your body, and 4) trust. I highly recommend Dr. Zapf. On a scale of 1-10 I would give Dr. Zapf a 10. By following his recommendations my condition has improved such that I have been able to resume my activities.
With Dr. Zapf’s therapy and his guidance on stretching and strength training my condition has improved such that I have been able to resume my running and bike riding. If you are experiencing issues with your back I recommend you give Dr. Zapf a call because you have nothing to lose but the pain.
My husband has been going to Dr. Robert Zapf for thirty years, and that tells a lot. He's a very good chiropractor.
He has got a great patient to doctor relationship. He doesn't push medication or surgeries and wants you to use exercise to get you better. He has special medical machinery to manipulate the back. I slipped a disk a couple of weeks ago and so I had to walk with a cane to walk and after 2 weeks of going to him I didn't have to use the cane any longer. His wife is a Nurse assistant and handles all the daily work, appointments, etc. and he also has a college student that assists that is studying physical therapy.
It's been 5 years with Dr Zapf! He's great and very friendly!