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We provide neck pain treatment for acute & severe neck pain, aiming to reduce pain levels as quickly as possible. If you are suffering with neck pain right now, call for your assessment today. We also treat neck pain due to injury accidents, chronic neck pain and pain that radiates into the arm(s) from the neck.
Dr. Tracy A. Norris is a Chiropractor and is the only Chiropractor in Wichita Certified in McKenzie Diagnosis and Therapy® who treats neck pain. At Wichita Pain Center, we serve patients in and around the Wichita Kansas area, with Chiropractic care and we teach our patients to be able to self-assess and treat their own neck pain. We encourage active patient participation in their care in restoring neck function and reducing neck pain by using learned self-management protocols and prescribed, specific exercises to affect and gain control over your own neck symptoms.
Each joint in the neck is a mechanical joint, that is held together with ligaments and moved about by muscular "levers". It functions mechanically, similar to car parts working together for a specific function. Mechanical neck pain occurs when two spinal bones are placed in a position that overstretches the joint ligaments, disc and other soft tissue. Pain produced from poor postural habits can cause this overstretching, however, this type of neck strain is easily avoided by changing positions or postural habits. Pain from this type of prolonged overstretching is called Postural Syndrome. However, sudden or severe strains can also cause an overload or compression on the spinal ligaments from being tackled in football or lifting weights, which can cause damage to the tendons and other soft tissues, which are pain sensitive tissues. The location of the damage significantly affects the intensity of pain that you feel. Disc damage including tears, bulges, herniation's and sequestrations can occur, all with different levels of pain and dysfunction. Acute neck pain due to a damaged disc can cause a person to not be able to move the neck or even be in a crooked position to get away from the damaged area and the pain. Treatment of mechanical issues as described above are designed to reduce any disturbance on this nature. When damaged joint tissue causes pain (including cervical discs) it is called a Derangement Syndrome.
To understand how easily some mechanical pains can be produced, try bending your finger backwards until you feel a strain. Initially there is only a minor discomfort which will go away quickly once you remove the tension, without any damage to the tissue. However, if the bent finger is left in this overstretched position or even pushed into further stress or violently overstretched, pain will come about and if the stress is large enough, will eventually overstretch, tear and cause pain. This tearing results in aching which even continues after the stress is removed. The pain increases with movements performed in the "stressed" direction and pain reduces when the joint is moved the opposite direction. This is the basis of our ability to design a repetitive movement exercise that will reduce the stress and remodel damaged tissue, thereby reducing or eliminating pain and dysfunction.
Anyone with mechanical neck pain can self-treat, which is most people, as mechanical pain is the largest category of musculoskeletal pain syndromes. Nearly everyone can commence the exercise programs we offer, provided any recommended precautions in some cases.
Once your doctor has done an examination and found a mechanical cause of your pain, you will be prescribed very specific exercise movements that are to be repeated several times a day (home-treatment). You will be taught how to be aware of your particular "pain pattern" and how different positions and movements you do during the day affect your pain, either improving or worsening the symptoms. You will learn to use the positions and movements that improve your pain and avoid the positions and movements that worsen the pain. The prescribed exercises have been found to improve or eliminate your symptoms or function during your initial and/or ongoing examinations and are designed to improve or eliminate pain and increase function, such as range of motion.
If you have had neck pain over a period of time or had multiple instances of neck pain, it is likely that you have had exercises prescribed to help strengthen certain muscle groups. However, the exercises prescribed at Wichita Pain Center for use during home treatment of neck pain are not strengthening exercises, they have a more therapeutic effect of remodeling damaged tissue that is causing your pain. During the initial history and examination your doctor will determine if there is a direction of repetitive movement that improve your pain and function, this direction of movement is called a "Directional Preference". Finding a directional preference that improves your pain is a good prognostic indicator that your condition will respond to conservative repetitive exercises prescribed by your doctor.
Although exercises are important, our process of evaluation and treatment is not just an exercise program, it is an ongoing assessment process and problem solving paradigm. The doctor takes clues from the history about the effects of specific movements and positions and how they affect your symptoms. During the history, the clinician begins to formulate a differential diagnosis. The examination, which includes a series of repetitive movement tests, either confirms or refutes the suspected diagnosis.
When ligaments surrounding the disc are injured to such an extent that the disc loses its ability to absorb shock and the disc's outer wall becomes weakened, the soft inside of the disc bulges outward and, in extreme cases, bursts through the outer ligament pressing on the spinal nerve(s), which can cause serious symptoms such as bad neck pain, pain that radiates to the shoulder blade, out to the shoulder and down the arm to the hands and fingers and can include numbness, tingling or burning. Due to this disc bulging, the disc may become severely distorted and prevent the vertebrae from lining up properly during movement, which can reduce or completely restrict neck movement, causing severe pain. At times, the disc can become so deformed that in some instances the neck and head can only be held in an off-center position.
If you have a disc problem, it is important that you have a thorough evaluation which will determine whether your disc problem will respond to conservative care or whether surgery is indicated.
Commonly neck pain simply comes on for no reason, as neck conditions are usually an accumulation of traumas that all of a sudden show up as pain. The most common cause of neck pain is overstretching of ligaments due to improper posture. This can occur when sitting with poor posture for a long time or when lying or sleeping with the head in an awkward position, and when working in strained positions. Although many times pain caused by poor posture can be relieved simply by changing positions, once a certain amount of damage has been done to the ligament, poor posture makes symptoms worse and can perpetuate more chronic neck pain. Neck pain is also caused by known events such as slips and falls, lifting accidents, auto accidents and work-related accidents.
What are Common Neck Conditions?
It is surprising the number of un-necessary neck surgeries that are found in the research. In the U.S., fusion surgeries have increased dramatically over the past few decades, strikingly similarly timed with compensation from insurance companies allowing the service. Conditions like Cervical disc herniation's, disc bulges and degenerative disc disease that are found by MRI, CAT scan or x-ray are not necessarily directly linked with neck pain. Many with degeneration and disc herniation's don't have symptoms at all. So how do you determine if you need surgery or don't need surgery? A thorough examination by one of our doctors can determine if the Cervical disc or neck degeneration condition you have is causing the pain or not and whether your condition can be helped with conservative measures, without surgery.
Our doctors can determine the cause of your neck pain and whether there are some simple,yet specific exercise movements that you can do at home to use for self-treatment. We also will provide you the tools to help you in being able to treat or prevent future episodes.
Results vary as each condition is unique. Not all painful conditions can be relieved or functionality be improved, regardless the type of treatment
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