fbpx Chiropractic for Neck Pain: Does It Work?  - Chiro One

From dull aching to annoying stiffness, to abrupt sharp, stabbing or shooting pains in the neck can severely disrupt your day. Chiropractic for neck pain treats pain at the source, so you can get back to living – minus pain and discomfort.  

Of the 35 million Americans who visit chiropractors every year, 20% are receiving chiropractic for neck pain. According to the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 56% of patients were satisfied with their chiropractic treatment, whereas 13% were satisfied with traditional primary care.   

Chiropractic care improves spine mobility, restores range of motion, and enhances muscle movement. Patients are thrilled when they can turn and tilt their head without pain or stiffness. That’s why Statistica found that 35% of survey respondents have not visited a chiropractor in the last year because their previous chiropractic care resolved their pain and discomfort.   

Wondering how chiropractic for neck pain actually works?  Read on.  

Top Reasons Patients Seek Chiropractic for Neck Pain

You’ve likely experienced ‘tech neck’— one of the most common causes of neck pain (you’re not alone.) But you should also be aware of some of the less obvious causes:  

  • Daily wear and tear: Poor posture — whether sitting or standing — can add put as much as 50 pounds of added pressure on your spine. This causes you to bend (and hold) your neck forward to compensate. Weak abdominal muscles, obesity and stress, can also result in poor posture. Postural stress can contribute to chronic neck pain with symptoms extending into the upper back and the arms.  
  • Whiplash: Whether caused by rear-end collisions, sports accidents, physical abuse, traumas or falls, whiplash has primarily been treated by chiropractors for over 125 years. This sudden forced move of the head or neck in one direction —hyperextension — followed by a “rebound” in the opposite direction injures head and neck tissues, contracting muscles and causing intense pain. Severe whiplash can even injure intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerve roots.  
  • Osteoarthritis: This is a common progressive deterioration of joint cartilage. The body reacts to it by forming bone spurs that disrupt joint motion. 
  • Spinal Stenosis: This narrowing of small nerve passageways in the vertebrae compresses and traps nerve roots. Stenosis can cause neck, shoulder, and arm pain or disabling numbness throughout your body.  
Graphic image shows the width of a normal spinal canal versus the constriction in a spinal canal that constitutes spinal stenosis
  • Aging-Induced Degenerative Disorders: Normal aging reduces elasticity and intervertebral disc height. Gradually a disc may bulge or herniate, causing pain, tingling, and numbness that travels to the arms. This may eventually be diagnosed as degenerative disc disease.  

Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) specialize in treating these common conditions.    

How Chiropractic for Neck Pain Targets the Root Cause of Your Symptoms

Our neck, or cervical spine, begins at the base of our skull and consists of seven small vertebrae that must support the full weight of our head (on average about 12 pounds!)  

The biomechanical flexibility which allows you to move your head in nearly every direction also makes it especially susceptible to pain and injury.   

That’s why your Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) will ask you about extended sitting, repetitive movement, accidents, falls and heavy blows. They will also need to know:  

  • When your pain started  
  • How you’ve already tried soothing it   
  • How your pain radiates to other parts of your body  
  • What reduces and what intensifies your pain   

Chiropractic for neck pain requires physical and neurological exams, posture and spinal curvature checks, as well as range of motion and mobility assessments. Your DC will also check for muscle spasms, then test your reflexes, nerve changes, and pain patterns.  

If medically necessary, they’ll perform an x-ray which can detect narrowed disc space, fractures, bone spurs, or arthritis. Sometimes magnetic resonance imaging test (an MRI) is needed to verify a bulging disc or herniation. An EMG can measure how quickly your nerves respond.  

Why Chiropractic for Neck Pain Requires Your Participation 

At Chiro One, chiropractic for neck pain is delivered in two phases: gentle chiropractic adjustments and active therapies which solidify the effects of those adjustments — which essentially unlock your locked joint.  

These gentle chiropractic techniques vary depending on your condition and severity and may include:  

  • Cervical “drop” techniques: While lying on your side or stomach you’ll feel the head drop-piece lift into a “set” or locked position as your DC uses their hands to reduce the fixation or restricted motion of the misaligned cervical vertebra (thiw requires no rotation or twisting of the head/neck). 
  • Cervical mobilization: You relax on your back while your chiropractor manually moves the vertebra in the neck left to right, oscillating between the two sides in a figure 8 formation while applying varying degrees of pressure to reduce restriction in the cervical spine. 
  • Cervical manual traction: While you’re lying face up or sitting comfortably, your DC gently pulls on your neck at your comfort level to stretch the cervical spine, switching angles between flexion (forward) and extension (backward). This gentle technique reduces tightness and gradually restores mobility.  

To complement your adjustments, you’ll be prescribed active therapies which your care team will demonstrate and supervise.  These therapies will help you build strength, mobility and flexibility and muscle memory for longer lasting results.  

Ready to find relief from neck pain?  

Check in with your nearest Chiro One doc at one of our welcoming open-plan clinics across the country. They’ll perform a thorough exam to diagnose your pain and create a personalized care plan to help you find relief.  Find a Chiro One doctor near you. 


Dr. Shawn Singh

Chiro One New Lenox, IL

After graduating from Eastern Illinois University, where he majored in biology and played Division 1 Men's Soccer, Dr. Shawn earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from the esteemed Palmer College of Chiropractic. Since healing his own injury through chiropractic, he’s been passionate about resolving nervous system interferences and enhancing quality of life for all his patients.

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