How Chiropractors Treat Chronic Neck Pain

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Dealing with a constantly aching neck can get annoying very quickly. Pain relievers may take the edge off for a while, but the discomfort often comes right back. If you want to get rid of your neck pain more permanently, it's a good idea to see a chiropractor. Chiropractors can administer one or more of the following treatments, bringing relief to your chronic neck pain.

Spinal Adjustment

Often, neck pain is caused or made worse by the compression of the vertebrae in the neck. If you sit all day with your head craned to see a screen, for example, you may be putting extra pressure on your vertebrae, causing them to compress together and place pressure on various nerves. Your chiropractor can apply pressure in certain areas along your spine in order to create more space between these vertebrae and alleviate the pain. You may hear some popping during the adjustment, similar to the noise made when you crack your knuckles, but it won't be painful. Some chiropractors use a little instrument to make these adjustments, and others prefer to use their hands.

Trigger Point Therapy

Muscle tightness can contribute to neck pain or make it worse. If your chiropractor finds your neck muscles to be tight, they may use a technique called trigger point therapy to alleviate the tightness. Basically, they will apply pressure to specific areas, called trigger points, while asking you to bend and move in a certain way. This should give you immediate relief from pain, and a day later, you will feel even better.


TENS stands for "transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation." Luckily, it is not as scary or complicated as the name suggests. Your chiropractor can place several electrodes on your neck. Through these electrodes, they will deliver a very mild current of electricity. This will cause your muscles to contract and relax, repeatedly. TENS can help stop the nerves in your neck from sending as many pain signals to the brain. It can also help increase circulation to the area, which can help ease muscle pain more permanently. If you really benefit from TENS, your chiropractor may even sell you a small, handheld TENS device to take home with you.

Chronic neck pain can be a real bother, but don't let it get you too down. If you see a chiropractor, they can administer one or more of the treatments above, bringing you relief.