Chiropractor Smyrna TN - Beel Chiropractic Center, Dr. RJ Beel, D.C.
Dr. RJ Beel, D.C.


Sore Neck Pain

Sore Neck Pain – Just How Serious Is It?

Whether you are young or old, everyone experiences a sore neck at times. Sleeping crooked or muscle tension can cause temporary neck pain, but if your neck pain lasts several days, causes you to experience severe headaches, dizziness and nausea, or if you experience sharp shooting pains going up into head or down your spine or you experience neck pain following an accident then seeking medical care to find out what is causing that pain in your neck is essential.

Diagnosing That Sore Neck

As a practicing Chiropractic I have seen patients will all types of sore neck complaints, from simple stiffness and aching, to severe neck pain either at the base of the head, or the base of the neck. In addition patients have come to me experiencing a combination of neck shoulder pain, or neck and upper back pain. Some patients complain of back of the neck pain, while others state that the pain is on one or both sides of the neck. Before attempting to treat any patient for their neck pain, the first step is always reviewing a complete medical history and diagnosing the cause of that sore neck. There are a number of neck pain causes, and isolating the specific cause of a given patients neck pain is the first step in effectively treating that pain. Neck pain causes can include:

  • Muscle sprains
  • A sprained neck
  • Worn joints
  • Injury
  • Spinal misalignment
  • Diseases such as arthritis, meningitis
  • Tumors
  • Tension of neck muscles

In order to diagnosis the cause of a patients neck soreness or pain, I first get a complete medical history of the patients including past injuries, illnesses, allergies and medication they are currently taking. I then do a physical exam all the while having the patient explain to me the type of the pain they feeling, when it began, whether it is constant or intermittent and a number of other pertinent questions that will help pinpoint the cause of the problem.

In many cases I will take X rays or other diagnostic tests to help me determine what is going on to cause the pain.

Once I have diagnosed the cause of the neck pain and localized it. I then make the determination if the neck pain is something I feel will respond well to Chiropractic treatment or if some other option might be better for the patient. In cases of disease or tumors I refer my patients to specialists in these fields.

If the neck pain is something that can respond well to Chiropractic treatment, I outline the treatment options that are available to the patient. The patient and I then decide together which treatment option will work best for them.

Neck Pain Treatments

Depending on the cause and the severity of the neck pain, there are a number of different treatments that I recommend or use.

In cases where the neck pain is mild and may be caused by sleeping with their neck at the wrong angle, sitting at a desk for long periods without moving, or if that pain in the neck is cause simply by stress or tension, treatment is usually short lived and provides immediate relief. I either provide the patient with a therapeutic massage or Trigger point therapy to relax & relieve the tight and painful points on the muscles. This may be followed by heat packs to further relax the neck muscles and get the blood flowing smoothly once again.

I then may recommend the patient buy a special neck pillow to help keep the neck properly aligned with the spine while sleeping, or suggest neck exercises, or massage therapy, to relieve tight neck muscles and relieve tension. In most cases, I also thoroughly check the spine because often where there is neck soreness there may be spinal misalignment as well. This is often true of patients who complain of a combination of shoulder and neck pain.

Other treatments may include a specific spinal manipulation or adjustment or Flexia and distraction, which manipulates the spine using a type of pumping action rather than direct force.

In cases of an injury or accident where the soft tissues may be traumatized, traction to hold the neck still for a period of time, followed by Chiropractic care can often work wonders and help heal the injury faster than one or other treatment alone.

While some neck pain can be diagnosed and treated with a single visit, other problems may take multiple treatments before the patient experiences any real long lasting relief.

When is the Right Time To Seek Treatment For a Sore Neck?

If you are not sure when you seek treatment for a sore neck here are some things for you to consider.

  • If you wake some mornings with a stiff and sore neck and the soreness eases or goes completely away after hot shower, the chances are that you won’t need to seek medical treatment, though you might consider purchasing a neck pillow to help prevent a reoccurence of your sore neck.
  • If your neck doesn’t hurt at the beginning of day, nothing has happened that could have caused trauma to your neck, but if you begin to feel neck stiffness and soreness when your under pressure at work or have a fight with spouse, even if your sore neck is accompanied by headache then your neck pain is probably stress related and should respond to warm compresses, or massage therapy. You should also try learning some relaxation techniques so your can relieve your stress before it becomes a pain in the neck.
  • However, if you have:
    • Neck pain several days in a row, or
    • Neck pain that continues for more than a day two, or
    • Sharp shooting pains when you turn your head, or
    • Neck pain in combination with back or shoulder pain,

it might be best to seek the assistance of a qualified medical professional. Even if the cause of your neck pain is nothing serious, he will be able to help you find ways of alleviating and even avoiding the pain in future.

  • Of course if you have recently suffered from a fall, accident or other injury, it always best to get that neck pain checked out and treated right away, before it gets worse.

The truth is that your sore neck may or may not be serious, but whether it is serious or not it is treatable, so why live in pain when you can get relieve for that proverbial, and literal, “Pain in the Neck?”

Sore Neck Pain shouldn’t be ignored. It would be our priviledge to help you find relief. Please consider calling our office at 615-355-6186 to schedule a diagnostic appointment.


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