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Neck Pain Treatment In Bellevue, WA

Most people will experience neck pain at some point in their lives. And if you spend any time at a computer screen during your day, you may be experiencing neck pain right now. In fact, screen use is the most common cause of neck pain I see in my practice. And that includes work, gaming and smart phone use. Concentrating on a screen tends to pull your head forward, increasing strain on your neck, and eventually leading to pain, stiffness, or worse.

But screen use isn't the only cause of neck pain. Exercise, physical activity, playing sports and working a physical job are all common causes of neck pain. Maybe you've suffered a whiplash injury, or have an old injury that just never got better. Maybe you have a pinched nerve in your neck from sleeping wrong (more common than you'd think). Or maybe you have absolutely no idea why your neck hurts. Regardless of how you got here, Dr. McGahey can help. 

Image showing the correlation between leaning your head forward to look at your phone, and the resulting increased pressure on your neck.

What's Causing Your Neck Pain?

Some of the most common causes of neck pain are:

1. Neck Pain From Overuse

These days, most of us spend a lot of time glued to a screen, whether it's a smart phone, tablet, or monitor for work or leisure. That screen use puts a tremendous amount of strain on the joints and muscles of your neck, shoulders and upper back. And it's not just screen use. Any repetitive activity using your shoulders, arms and hands can cause strain on your neck. Over months or years that repetitive use can add up , resulting in pain and stiffness, or something worse like a pinched nerve.

2. Neck Pain From Whiplash Or Trauma

Whiplash is one of the most common injuries leading to neck pain. But car crashes are not the only cause. Any sudden, jarring, or unnatural movement of the neck has the potential to cause injury to the joints, discs, muscles, ligaments and nerves. Contact sports, falls, collisions, and even jarring movements like those experienced on a roller coaster can cause a whiplash injury. And it's important to take this injury seriously as it can cause more significant problems down the road if not taken care of properly.

3. Other Causes Of Neck Pain

It seems like just about anything can cause neck pain. Stress is a huge cause of neck pain, even though it doesn't involve a particular activity. Coughing, sneezing, stretching, driving, turning your head, and even sleeping wrong can cause neck pain. One minute you're feeling fine, and the next you have shooting pain and can't turn your head. This one is more common than you might think.

Man with neck pain trying to get comfortable sitting at his computer screen.

Symptoms Related To Neck Pain

It goes without saying that overuse or injury involving your neck can cause pain and stiffness. But you might be surprised at what other symptoms are commonly associated with problems in your neck. You may have increased pain, or even sharp pain with turning your head to either side. You may experience burning or muscle spasm in your neck, and sometimes evening clothing resting on your neck can be uncomfortable.

Neck pain may also spread to other areas, like your upper back, shoulders and shoulder blades. It's not uncommon for people to experience headache pain that originates in the neck and shoulders and spreads to the back of the head (and sometimes the front). A disc injury or pinched nerve in your neck can even cause numbness and tingling in your arms, hands and fingers.

Woman working at her computer screen without pain after getting chiropractic treatment.

Neck Pain Treatment That Works

Most cases of neck pain involve both your joints AND soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, tendons, discs, nerves).  It’s rarely just one or the other, so it's important that your treatment plan addresses all of it. Soft tissue therapies like Active Release Techniques, and Graston therapy can help break up scar tissue and relieve pain, while Chiropractic can help improve flexibility and return normal motion to your joints. Together, they're an effective combination.

If neck pain is starting to creep into your life, don't ignore the warning signs. If left untreated, a stiff or sore neck can quickly turn into a more serious problem. Dr. McGahey can help get to the source of your neck pain, and formulate a plan to help you feel better as quickly. Schedule an appointment today and start doing more of what you love.

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