The reason for neck pain varies by person, but one of the most common reasons is spondylosis, the wearing away of cervical discs that often happens as a person ages. It's natural for the discs to gradually shrink over time. This means that the area between vertebrae is smaller and that the vertebrae can painfully rub together. The cervical vertebrae don't have the stability they need when the discs are damaged or shrinking, and this often leads them to move into a state of painful misalignment. Neck pain is sometimes a direct result of poor posture. People who habitually curl their shoulders inward or who frequently curl their neck forward often end up with neck pain. Neck pain may also develop quite suddenly, such as in whiplash cases after a car accident.
At Aligned Health Center, the first visit starts with new patient paperwork. These forms can be printed ahead of time to shorten the appointment time by about 15 minutes. During the next part of the appointment, the patient has a personal consultation to discuss health conditions, health history, and treatment goals. After the consultation, the chiropractor performs a thorough physical exam, which may include neurological and orthopedic exams. The chiropractor will evaluate the patient's range of motion with guided movements. Both static and motion palpation of the cervical and lumbar spine will be done to determine what type of correction is needed for the neck pain. Some patients need a digital postural x-ray, as well. Postural x-rays can help the chiropractor pinpoint subluxations and see degeneration in detail.
The Report of Findings appointment usually occurs within a few days of the first appointment. The doctor will discuss all the results from the initial appointment with the patient at this time. He will talk with the patient about their neck pain and their overall health issues and will explain how a customized care plan will alleviate the pain and improve health as a whole.
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