To understand whether the neck pain we are experiencing requires the help of a chiropractor, we must first understand the different types, the possible causes, and then whether seeking neck pain treatment in West Los Angeles from a chiropractor is medically necessary. Only then can we say with confidence whether a chiropractor can help.
Acute neck pain (sometimes referred to as 'mechanical' or 'simple' neck pain) is pain that patients experience in their neck for only a short time. The 'acute' portion of the phrase refers to the fact that the pain is relatively short-lived, is a 'new' pain for you, and isn't affecting your daily activities in such a way that they become impossible.
An example of acute neck pain might be feeling that your neck is somehow strained, but this pain doesn't last for more than a week or two. Muscles, joints, ligaments, and bones can all be involved in acute neck pain, and it isn't always clear exactly which one is causing you pain or discomfort. But with at-home treatment, this pain ought to go away relatively quickly.
There are many potential causes of acute neck pain, and they can be anything ranging from an injury to your neck through force, such as a sports injury or car collision, or simple tension in the neck and shoulders. Poor posture, a wrong sleeping position, and even the type of job you do (i.e., something that involves sitting and using a computer all day) can cause this type of neck pain.
As we age, our shock-absorbing pads between our shoulders at the base of our necks (also known as our inter-vertebral discs) naturally wear down. This can explain why some older people are more susceptible to acute neck pain because of something as simple as a sleeping position. Still, this type of neck pain is the most common and affects all ages.
Acute neck pain can usually be treated at home with painkillers, hot or cold compresses, and simple neck exercises. As with anything to do with your neck, if any of these treatments cause more pain, then you should seek advice from a chiropractor so they can investigate to see if there is another explanation for your pain.
Simple neck exercises (such as moving your head up and down, left and right, and turning it slowly) may cause some discomfort if you have acute neck pain, but if it becomes painful, then you should book an appointment with a chiropractor. It's probably nothing, but it's always worth getting checked.
Dr. Summer Shanfar, D.C. has helped numerous patients with acute neck pain in West LA.
Chronic neck pain is slightly different. The pain you experience may be similar in severity to that you have experienced due to acute neck pain, but it lasts for longer. Some chronic neck pain can last a lifetime, and others will get better slowly over time, but this can be a very gradual process as you and your chiropractor work to find a treatment that helps you.
Discs, joints, muscles, ligaments, and bones can all have a part to play in chronic neck pain, and part of the job of your chiropractor will be to isolate which one is most likely causing your pain so that a diagnosis can be made and an appropriate treatment plan put in place.
Slightly more severe problems cause chronic neck pain than those which cause acute neck pain. Traumatic injury (such as car collisions and falls from heights) can lead to chronic neck pain, but so too can degenerative diseases (such as cervical degenerative disc disease) and even rest-of-life conditions (such as cervical osteoarthritis).
Because chronic neck pain is often complex, your chiropractor will take some time examining your specific symptoms before they're able to say with certainty what the exact cause is.
In terms of treatments, there's nothing we can recommend here beside consulting with your chiropractor. Chronic neck pain requires a lot of care and attention before a chiropractor can apply any treatment. So work closely with your neck pain specialist to find a treatment plan that helps alleviate your pain, or at the very least, makes your chronic pain more manageable.
Dr. Shanfar has years of experience working with patients that suffer from chronic neck pain in West Los Angeles.
Severe neck pain, as the name suggests, is where the pain you are experiencing in your neck is so bad that it makes doing everyday activities such as sitting, walking, and lying down almost impossible. Severe neck pain can occur at any time, and acute/chronic neck pain can turn into severe neck pain if the original injury is exacerbated.
Severe neck pain can involve your discs, ligaments, joints, or muscles.
The number one most likely cause is a traumatic injury that affects your neck. This injury can occur in many ways, but the important thing is that you seek urgent medical help if your neck pain is severe. Our neck is one of our most sensitive areas, and it's one of the body parts most susceptible to severe injury.
Failure to seek medical assistance right away could lead to slower recovery times or a worsening condition. If your pain is ever severe (either due to a traumatic injury or if the acute or chronic pain in your neck gets dramatically worse), then seek urgent help from a medical team.
Again, treatments will vary depending on how your severe pain originated. Once a medical team has assessed you, they'll advise you about your next steps. It may be that once the severe neck pain has been dealt with and eased, they might advise you to seek support from a chiropractor to help deal with any long-term complications that may have arisen due to the neck pain you experienced.
In short, if you're in West Los Angeles and you're experiencing acute neck pain, or you would like support for your chronic neck pain, then seek neck pain treatment in West Los Angeles from Dr. Summer Shanfar, who will help you in her role as a chiropractor. But if your pain is severe, seek urgent medical advice before heading to a chiropractor.