The neck and lower back are both miraculous in design because of their flexibility. The neck allows the head to turn in nearly every direction, while the lower back provides an important pivot point for the entire upper body.
However, this increased flexibility comes with a potentially steep price. A sudden blow or jolt can cause the spinal vertebrae of the neck or lower back to become misaligned, leading to various maladies and intense pain.
How does misalignment of the neck vertebra result in headaches and other issues?
Trauma to the neck or lower back can result in localized pain simply from torn or strained muscles. This pain is centralized in the area of the injury, although it can spread to other areas because of overuse of other muscles to compensate for the injured back or neck muscles.
When the neck vertebra are thrown out of alignment, the spinal nerves than run along the length of the spine can be irritated. These nerves transmit impulses from the brain to all areas of the body, so when the path is disrupted, the transmission of impulses is also curtailed or otherwise corrupted.
This can cause issues such as blinding headaches as well as various other maladies. Healing can be curtailed because the brain must send messages to damaged areas of the body for healing, and these messages can become garbled.
What are the symptoms of trauma to the vertebra of the lower back?
While lower back injuries may confine pain to the area of the injury, pain can occur in different areas of the back if the vertebra are forced out of alignment. If the sciatic nerve, which connects to the spinal nerves at the lower back, is affected, pain can be felt anywhere along its path.
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body, traveling from the base of the spine, through the buttocks, and down the legs to the feet. Pain may be felt in any of these areas if the sciatic nerve is compromised.
How can neck or lower back pain be treated?
Minor strains require a few days rest, along with non-prescription pain relievers. Using heating pads in twenty minute intervals will help to get muscles warm and more relaxed. However, after a few days rest, limited activity should resume, or muscle.stiffness may inhibit healing.
If pain doesn't subside after a few days, or is severe at the time of injury, a chiropractor can provide an initial examination to determine if scans are needed. If no serious damage is found, chiropractic care can realign your spinal vertebra to initiate healing. Muscle stretching is also an important component, because stiff muscles can inhibit the ability of the vertebra to remain properly aligned, or actually force the vertebra back out of alignment if the body has become distorted because of injury, inactivity, and overcompensation from secondary muscles during the injury.
Multiple visits to a chiropractor, like Burgman Chiropractic Clinic PC, may be necessary, depending upon the extent of an injury and the general physical condition of the patient. The chiropractor may also provide dietary recommendations if excess weight is a contributing factor, and stretching exercises along with core strengthening activities to support the lower back as needed.