6 Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Runners

6 Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Runners

Do you ever feel like your entire body could use a little tune-up after those long runs?

Enter the sports chiropractor!

These chiropractic medicine experts are all about ensuring every part of you is running (pun intended) at its best. From head to toe, they’ve got the magic touch to keep you in tip-top shape.

Let’s dive into how chiropractors do it and why every runner should consider paying them a visit!

Key Takeaways

  • Many runners are vulnerable to various injuries, from Runner’s knee to Iliotibial Band Syndrome.
  • Chiropractors have a wide range of treatments available to mitigate running injuries and restore proper muscle function.
  • Chiropractic treatment helps increase your range of motion and prevent future injuries.

6 Most Common Running Injuries

6 Most Common Running Injuries

ACL Injuries

Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) connects the top and bottom parts of your leg. It plays an essential role in your knee movement and stability.

Now, how do people hurt their ACL? While you might think of it as a running injury, it’s more common in sports where there’s a lot of quick stopping and starting, jumping, or changing directions, like basketball or soccer.

But runners aren’t off the hook. A wrong step, a sudden twist, or even a collision can give your ACL a hard time.

Deep Muscle Adhesions

The term “deep muscle adhesions” refers to different tissues and muscle groups getting stuck together. It’s like when two pieces of wet paper cling to each other.

Say you trip and take a little tumble after a long, exhausting run. Or you push yourself to the limit during a race. Your muscles may suffer tiny injuries, like micro-tears. As they heal, scar tissue forms, creating these sticky spots or adhesions.

Muscle adhesions limit your muscle’s ability to stretch and move freely. It’s like having a knot in a rubber band; that part doesn’t extend as well.

Hamstring Pain

Runner with leg pain

Your hamstrings are the big muscles at the back of your thigh. If you push them too hard or don’t warm up properly, they can get strained or even torn.

Hamstring injuries are a real bummer for runners. Imagine you’re out on a run and feel a sharp pain or a sudden pull at the back of your thigh. That’s your hamstring telling you, “Something’s not right!”

There are a few ways these injuries can occur:

  • You don’t warm up properly before hitting the track.
  • You try sprinting too fast without building up to it.
  • Your hamstrings are tired and overworked.

Hip Snapping

“Hip snapping” refers to that weird sound or feeling from your hip when moving it.

The condition occurs when a muscle or tendon slides over a bony part of your hip, leading to a snapping, popping, or clicking sensation. It’s not always painful, but it may feel odd.

A few symptoms point to hip snapping:

  • Tight or overworked muscles around the hip.
  • You’ve been running a lot, and those muscles are fatigued.
  • You’ve been repeating the same movement, causing extra wear and tear in the hip area.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)

This fancy name is for a common injury, especially among long-distance runners.

The iliotibial (IT) band is this long, stretchy band that runs down the outside of your thigh, from your hip to your knee. It’s not a muscle, but it bears the brunt when running, hiking, or taking a quick walk.

If you run a lot, the IT band may get tight or rub against your knee bone, causing pain and discomfort.

There are a few suspects behind this condition:

  • Running on the same side of the road—which is often slanted—can be a culprit.
  • If your shoes are worn out or don’t fit right, they could throw your stride off balance.
  • Even how your body naturally moves (for example, if your feet turn inwards when you run) adds stress to the IT band.

Runner’s Knee

Runner's Knee

Runner’s knee—or patellofemoral pain syndrome—describes the pain you feel around or behind your kneecap.

When you run, there’s a lot of pressure between your kneecap and the rest of your leg. Sometimes, if things aren’t aligned right, or there’s too much stress, it can cause knee pain.

Think of it as a door hinge that’s a little off. If it doesn’t align perfectly, the door might squeak or be hard to open. In the same way, if your knee isn’t moving just right, it might “complain” with some pain.

There are a few reasons why someone might get runner’s knee:

  • Your shoes aren’t supporting your feet properly.
  • Your leg muscles aren’t equally strong, so one side works harder than the other.
  • Even the way you run can make a difference. If you’re pounding the pavement super hard with every step, it can put more stress on your knees.

How Does Chiropractic Care Address Running Injuries?

how does chiropractic care address running injuries

Picture a chiropractor as a master mechanic for the human body, especially for the muscles, joints, and spine. They have a toolbox full of techniques to help your whole body feel its best and get you back on track in no time:

Active Release Technique (ART)

Active Release Technique (ART) is like a deep tissue massage’s cool cousin. The chiropractor uses their hands to find and treat tight muscles and other soft tissues. By pressing and moving in specific ways, they release tension and help the muscle move smoothly again. ART is great for runners because tight muscles mess with their running and can lead to injuries.

Chiropractic Adjustments

During a routine chiropractic adjustment, the chiropractor uses their hands to gently move and adjust the spine and other joints. These adjustments help ensure everything’s in place so you move properly when running.

Electrical Muscle Stimulation

Electrical muscle stimulation is an excellent way to help tight muscle tissue relax. Chiropractors place small pads on the skin that give off tiny electrical pulses. These pulses make the muscle tissue contract and relax quickly, reducing pain and tightness.

Functional Dry Needling

Functional dry needling involves inserting very thin needles into tight muscle tissue to help it relax. It’s like hitting the reset button on a muscle working overtime.

Graston Technique

When employing the Graston technique, chiropractors use special tools to scrape and rub the skin over sore spots. This approach helps break up scar tissue and increases blood flow to the injured area, allowing it to heal faster.

Chiropractic care offers many techniques to help runners heal, feel better, and stay injury-free. If you’re a runner dealing with aches and pains, it might just be time to give it a shot!

6 Benefits of Chiropractic Treatment for Runners

benefits of chiropractic treatment for runners

  • Increased Range of Motion: You know that stiff feeling when you can’t quite stretch your leg all the way? Chiropractic care can help by working on those tight areas and making it easier for your legs to move. More motion equals more efficient running.
  • Injury Healing: Injuries happen, and they’re a real bummer. But, with the proper care, you can get back on track sooner than you might think. Chiropractors have various techniques up their sleeves to help speed up the healing process.
  • Injury Prevention: Even better than healing an injury? Not getting one in the first place! Chiropractic care keeps those annoying injuries away by ensuring your body is properly aligned and moving correctly.
  • Muscle Relaxation: Chiropractors help those tired muscles chill out, making it easier to get back out there for your next run without feeling like a rusty robot.
  • Decreased Healing Time: Nobody likes to be sidelined for long. With chiropractic care, your body can bounce back quicker from injuries or soreness. That means less time on the couch and more time hitting the pavement.
  • Joint Mobility: Your joints are like the hinges on a door. They need to move smoothly for everything to work right. Chiropractors ensure your joints are moving freely so you’re not feeling any unnecessary aches or pains.

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned marathoner, chiropractic care offers a handful of benefits that will make your runs feel smoother, keep injuries at bay, and even speed up your recovery time. Next time you’re lacing up those running shoes, think of all the ways a chiropractor can have your back!

Get Back on the Running Track With Dr. Doerr’s Help!

At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, under the leadership of Dr. Gregory Doerr, adheres to the highest medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. Our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care in a comfortable, healing atmosphere.

Access our contact form or call us at (201) 945-4075 to learn more about our chiropractic care services! Our offices at 532 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010, and 62 Summit Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601, are ready to welcome you as we proudly serve the areas of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, and Baltimore, MD. Also, access our blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages for more information on chiropractic treatment for running injuries!

References

  1. “3 Key Ways Runners Can Benefit from Chiropractic Care.” Life Enhancement Chiropractic, www.lifeenhancementwellness.com/blog/117783-3-key-ways-runners-can-benefit-from-chiropractic-care. Accessed 20 Sept. 2023.
  2. “8 Reasons Runners Should Seek Care from Chiropractors.” 8 Reasons Runners Should Seek Care From Chiropractors: Elite Spine and Health Center: Chiropractic, www.elitespinehouston.com/blog/8-reasons-runners-should-seek-care-from-chiropractors. Accessed 20 Sept. 2023.
  3. Austin, Dr. Amanda B. “Why Runners Need a Chiropractor .” Tri State Clinic North Chiropractic of Chattanooga, tristateclinic.com/2019/09/18/why-runners-need-a-chiropractor/. Accessed 20 Sept. 2023.
  4. “How Chiropractic Care Helps Runners.” Excel Chiropractic, www.excelatl.com/how-chiropractic-care-helps-runners. Accessed 20 Sept. 2023.
  5. “NYC Chiropractic for Runners: Manhattan Sport Injuries Pain Treatment.” Manhattan Sports Therapy, Manhattan Sports Therapy, 31 Aug. 2020, www.manhattansportstherapy.com/blog/chiropractic-for-runners/. Accessed 20 Sept. 2023.
  6. “Why Seeing a Chiropractor Helps with Running Pain.” Progressive Chiropractic, 23 Oct. 2019, drmarkscanlon.com/chiropractor-for-running-pain/. Accessed 20 Sept. 2023.
  7. Wilson, Peter. “The Top 5 Reasons to Get Chiropractic Care as a Runner – Ultra Chiropractic Seattle.” Ultra Chiropractic, Ultra Chiropractic, 30 May 2023, www.ultrachiropractic.com/blog/5-reasons-chiropractic-care-for-runners. Accessed 20 Sept. 2023.
Will My Chiropractor Actually “Crack My Back?”

Will My Chiropractor Actually “Crack My Back?”

Let’s talk about something you might’ve heard before: chiropractors “cracking” backs.

You might imagine someone snapping a twig or stepping on popcorn at the movies.

But is that what’s really happening? 

Dive into this article to find out the ins and outs of “back cracking” and how chiropractors actually conduct chiropractic adjustments.

Get ready to bust some myths and learn some cool facts about chiropractic care!

facts about back cracking

Do Chiropractors Crack Your Back?

Do chiropractors actually “crack” your back?

When hearing that “crack” sound during a chiropractic adjustment, you can’t help but think that your bones must be coming apart.

But here’s the scoop: they’re not!

The sound is actually caused by tiny bubbles popping in the fluid surrounding your joints. So, while it may sound like your back is being “cracked,” it’s really just these bubbles bursting.

Some patients find the sound satisfying, while others are nervous about it. No matter how you feel about that bone-cracking sound, there’s no danger to your body.

Where’s That Popping Sound Coming From?

The inside of our joints contains a special fluid called synovial fluid. This fluid acts like a cushion and lubricant for our joints, ensuring everything moves smoothly.

Synovial fluid contains dissolved gases, mainly oxygen, nitrogen, and carbon dioxide.

When a chiropractor applies a quick, controlled movement to the targeted joint, the space inside that joint increases, causing a sudden decrease in pressure.

Because of this pressure drop, those dissolved gases form tiny bubbles, creating that notable “popping” sound when they burst.

The popping sound is part of the chiropractic experience for some patients. Whether you hear it or not, the chiropractor’s primary goal is to help your joints move and feel better!

The Differences Between Cracking Your Back and Chiropractic Adjustment

The Differences Between Cracking Your Back and Chiropractic Adjustment

While cracking your back might give you a quick fix, chiropractic adjustments are a more thoughtful, safe, and practical approach to caring for your body.

First, when we talk about “cracking your back,” we mean stretching or twisting until you hear that soothing pop or crack. 

But that tension you’re releasing might move to another part of your spine or even hurt it. It’s like tuning a guitar without knowing the notes—you might get close, but it’ll never sound like Apollo’s lyre.

On the flip side, chiropractic care is all about precision. 

A chiropractor spends years studying the human body to understand how each joint and muscle works together. When a chiropractor adjusts your back, they target specific parts of your spine to improve your range of motion, decrease pain, and correct misalignments. It’s all about expertise and careful planning.

Another significant difference lies in the goal.

When you crack your back, you seek quick, temporary relief from stiffness or discomfort.

But chiropractic care is about the big picture. Chiropractors aim to improve your overall health and well-being, not just give you a moment of pain relief. They will also provide exercises and tips to help you stay feeling good.

Lastly, there’s the safety factor to consider.

Cracking your back without knowing what you’re doing is risky. You might push a joint too far or in the wrong direction.

Conversely, a chiropractor has the training and expertise to ensure everything is safe and effective.

So, next time your back feels a bit off, consider getting professional help instead of going the DIY route!

Does Cracking My Back Benefit My Health?

While cracking your back provides short-term relief, it doesn’t solve any underlying issues. If you’re feeling the need to crack your back a lot, it’s probably because of tension or a misalignment in your spine, problems back cracking cannot address.

There’s also the risk of overdoing it. If you’re not careful, you might push a joint too far, causing an injury. And if there’s an underlying issue, like a herniated disc, cracking your back could make things worse.

Some patients think cracking their back helps realign their spine. But spinal realignment is way more complex than just a simple pop. That’s where chiropractors come in with their years of spinal manipulation training.

If you find yourself constantly trying to crack your back or if it’s causing pain, chat with a healthcare professional. It’s always best to have a game plan for taking care of your body in the long run!

Will Popping My Joints Lead to Arthritis?

man with arthritis

Popping your joints does not cause arthritis—another chiropractic myth put to rest. The sound you hear when popping or cracking your knuckles comes from gas bubbles in the synovial fluid around your joints. It’s like nature’s bubble wrap!

If you have arthritis and your joints pop on their own, it doesn’t necessarily mean things are getting worse. It could just be the way your joints are moving.

Here’s where you need to exercise caution, though. If you have arthritis, your joints are already sensitive because of the inflammation. Pushing or pulling on them too much might cause more pain or even lead to an injury.

According to a 2017 study, between 25 and 45% of people regularly crack their knuckles.

Some patients with arthritis say that gently moving or stretching their joints helps them feel better. And that’s great! But that’s different than trying to get the popping sound.

Chat with your chiropractor if you’re curious about what movements or stretches might help your arthritis.

“Pop” by Dr. Doerr’s Office for Your Routine Chiropractic Treatment!

At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, under the leadership of Dr. Gregory Doerr, adheres to the highest medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. Our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care in a comfortable, healing atmosphere.

Access our contact form or call us at (201) 945-4075 to learn more about our chiropractic care services! Our offices at 532 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010, and 62 Summit Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601, are ready to welcome you as we proudly serve the areas of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, and Baltimore, MD. Also, access our blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages for more information on chiropractic treatment for spinal health!

References

  1. “Do Chiropractors Crack Your Back?” Wolke Chiropractic & Rehabilitation, 3 Aug. 2022, wolkechiropractic.com/blog/do-chiropractors-crack-your-back/. Accessed 21 Sept. 2023.
  2. “Does a Chiropractor Crack Your Back?” Elevation Spine Center, 12 Sept. 2023, elevationspinecenter.com/blog/does-a-chiropractor-crack-your-back/. Accessed 21 Sept. 2023.
  3. Dour, Dr. Jennifer. “Just What Is Happening When a Chiropractor “Cracks’ Your Back?” Chiropractor in Montclair, NJ, 11 July 2023, www.gardenstatespinalcare.com/just-what-is-happening-when-a-chiropractor-cracks-your-back. Accessed 21 Sept. 2023.
  4. Legere, Marc. “What’s Really Happening When Your Back ‘Cracks’: Expert Opinion.” Https://Www.Inquirer.Com, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 10 Dec. 2021, www.inquirer.com/news/back-crack-explanation-chiropractic-manipulation-20211210.html?outputType=amp. Accessed 21 Sept. 2023.
  5. “The Difference between Back Cracking and an Adjustment.” Casey Chiropractic, 9 Sept. 2019, www.caseychiro.net/back-cracking-and-adjustment/. Accessed 21 Sept. 2023.
  6. “This Is Why Chiropractors Crack Your Back.” Morley Chiropractor, 25 May 2023, morleychiropractorclinic.com/this-is-why-chiropractors-crack-your-back/. Accessed 21 Sept. 2023.
How Do Chiropractors Perform Spinal Adjustments?

How Do Chiropractors Perform Spinal Adjustments?

Ever had an achy back or a stiff neck?

Chances are, friends and family have told you to seek chiropractic care for your discomfort.

But what exactly do chiropractors do to your back? They’re masters at a technique called spinal manipulation, which they use to help get your spine back in tip-top shape.

In this article, we’ll dive into how chiropractors work their magic on your back and why their hands are like gold for your spine!

Chiropractors give a helping hand to over 35 million of our fellow Americans every year!

What are Chiropractic Spinal Adjustments?

You know how sometimes things get out of place, like when you jam too many clothes into a drawer, and it won’t shut properly?

Sometimes, the bones in our back, called vertebrae, move out of their regular positions, causing pain, stiffness, or other health issues.

That’s where chiropractors come in!

A chiropractor is a healthcare provider trained to help get those bones back in line.

During a chiropractic spinal adjustment, the chiropractor uses their hands to apply a controlled, sudden force to a specific part of the spine. This process helps improve spinal motion, pain levels, and the body’s overall function.

Think of chiropractic care like a tune-up for your back, ensuring everything lines up just right so you can move freely and comfortably!

Chiropractors are dishing out a whopping 100 million adjustments daily across the globe!

The 2 Main Spinal Manipulation Techniques

main spinal manipulation techniques

When you hear about chiropractors, you instantly think of that one way they adjust the spine with a quick push and a pop, right?

But there’s a lot more to chiropractic care than that.

In fact, chiropractors have dozens of different techniques at their disposal to bring balance to your spine health. However, most spinal issues may be solved through two particular techniques:

  • High-Velocity Low-Amplitude Thrust
  • Low-Force or Gentle Chiropractic Techniques

Spinal Manipulation: High-Velocity Low-Amplitude Thrust

Let’s decode the meaning of High-Velocity Low-Amplitude Thrust or HVLA:

  • High-velocity means it’s a quick movement. Think of it as a sprinter racing across a short distance.
  • Low-amplitude means the movement doesn’t cover a large space. In other words, it’s a short, controlled motion.

When using HVLA, chiropractors give a specific part of the spine a quick, short push to offer pain relief. And yes, this is often the technique where you might hear that “pop” or “click” sound. Don’t worry; that’s just air bubbles in the fluid around your joints being released!

HVLA is popular among chiropractic patients and providers, covering all sorts of aches and pains, such as stiff backs, neck pain, or headaches.

Spinal Mobilization: Low-Force or Gentle Chiropractic Techniques

Think of spinal mobilization as the gentler cousin of HVLA.

Instead of fast, forceful pushes, this method uses slower, more controlled movements to help adjust the spine. It’s akin to stretching slowly versus doing a rapid jumping jack.

Some folks deal with conditions that make the gentler touch of spinal mobilization a better fit.

Maybe their body is more sensitive, or they feel more relaxed knowing the movements will be easy and smooth. Plus, for those who aren’t fans of the “pop” sound from some other techniques, this method rarely produces that noise.

Now, how does it work? Chiropractors will use their hands or tools to apply a steady, gentle force to a specific part of the spine. This approach helps shift the bones back into a better position, relieving tension and tightness. The goal is to get things moving better without the need for any forceful adjustments.

Conditions Addressed Through Spinal Manipulation Therapy

One of the big reasons people head to a chiropractor for spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) is low back pain.

Maybe you’ve picked up something heavy the wrong way or been sitting too long in a not-so-comfy chair, and bam! Your lower back is giving you a hard time. SMT adjusts the spine in the lower back area, aiming to relieve your discomfort.

Chronic neck pain is another target for spinal manipulation.

You know how sometimes you wake up, and it feels like you’ve slept all twisted up? Or maybe after a long day of looking down at your phone or computer, your neck is screaming, “Give me a break!”

Fortunately, SMT can come to the rescue for that, too! It relieves all that pent-up pain and tightness by adjusting the upper spine, right in the neck area.

SMT also addresses other health issues outside of low back pain and neck pain. Some patients find it helps with headaches, while others notice improvements in shoulder or even knee pain.

What are the Benefits of Spinal Manipulation Therapy?

Besides pain relief, some patients find that their range of motion improves after SMT. This means they can move more freely and easily, like being able to turn their head further to check for traffic or reaching up to a high shelf.

Patients also report that SMT helps them feel more relaxed. It’s like the tension melts away from their muscles!

Another cool thing? SMT might even help with headaches! Patients who constantly deal with tension headaches or headaches that start in the neck find relief after a chiropractic session.

Is Spinal Manipulation Safe?

Based on a 2017 review covering 250 scientific studies, it’s common for patients to feel a bit of pain or discomfort, stiffness, or even a headache after chiropractic adjustments.

Fortunately, these mild side effects are rarely intense and tend to disappear within a day. It’s like when you get a little sore after trying a new exercise but feel better after resting up.

There have been reports about more serious side effects of chiropractic adjustments, including spinal and nerve issues. However, they are infrequent. You have the same chance of a severe side effect as someone getting struck by lightning while walking their dog.

And, just to be clear, researchers don’t have a solid number on how often these rare side effects occur.

Is Spinal Manipulation for Everyone?

Are spinal manipulations a one-size-fits-all kind of deal? Not really.

Chiropractors and other healthcare professionals alike use chiropractic manipulation therapy for pain management, especially in the back and neck. But, just like not everyone wears the same size shoes, chiropractic care isn’t a perfect fit for everyone.

Some people deal with conditions incompatible with spinal manipulation. For instance, if someone has a history of spinal surgery, these adjustments might not be the best approach.

How Do Chiropractors Perform Spinal Manipulation Therapy?

spinal manipulation therapy

A chat between you and your chiropractor will kickstart your spinal manipulation treatment. They’ll ask questions about the source of your pain, how long it’s been hurting, and recent activities or accidents. Every answer will help your chiropractor figure out the best treatment plan for you.

Next, the chiropractor will have you lie on a table designed to make the spinal manipulation process smoother and more comfortable. Depending on where the pain is, you will lie face down, face up, or even on your side.

Now comes the main event: chiropractic manipulation. Using their hands, the chiropractor will feel around the spine to find any spots that feel “off” or “stuck.” Once they’ve pinpointed these tricky spots, they’ll use their hands to apply a quick, controlled push to the area. This isn’t a random push; it’s very targeted to help improve the movement in that part of the spine.

Sometimes, during this process, there might be a popping sound. It might be surprising, but it’s totally normal. That sound is just air bubbles in the joints being released, which many patients find satisfying.

After the SMT, the patient might feel instant relief or take a few sessions to notice a difference. Everyone’s body is unique, and so is everyone’s experience with spinal manipulation.

Can I Perform Spinal Adjustments on Myself?

Patients should not perform spinal adjustments on themselves, and here’s why.

Chiropractors undergo years of intense training to understand the complex structure of the spine and how to safely adjust it.

Think of them like expert mechanics for the body. Just like you wouldn’t try to fix a complicated engine problem in your car without the proper knowledge, you wouldn’t adjust your spine without the appropriate training.

When you feel that urge to crack or pop your neck or back, it might feel good momentarily, but you’re not actually addressing the root of the problem. In fact, you could be making things worse or even causing harm!

Adjusting the spine isn’t just about making a popping sound. It’s about targeting specific joints and using the proper techniques to improve movement and reduce pain.

spinal adjustment

Regain Your Spine Health With the Help of Dr. Doerr!

At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, under the leadership of Dr. Gregory Doerr, adheres to the highest medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. Our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care in a comfortable, healing atmosphere.

Access our contact form or call us at (201) 945-4075 to learn more about our chiropractic care services! Our offices at 532 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010, and 62 Summit Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601, are ready to welcome you as we proudly serve the areas of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, and Baltimore, MD. Also, access our blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages for more information on chiropractic treatment for back and neck pain!

References

  1. “Adverse Effects of Spinal Manipulation: A Systematic Review.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, U.S. National Library of Medicine, July 2007, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1905885/. Accessed 18 Sep. 2023.
  2. “Chiropractic Adjustment Care, Treatment & Benefits.” Cleveland Clinic, my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/21033-chiropractic-adjustment. Accessed 18 Sept. 2023.
  3. English, Cynthia. “One in Four Adults Sought Care for Neck/Back Pain Last Year.” Gallup.Com, Gallup, 5 Mar. 2023, news.gallup.com/poll/194984/one-four-adults-sought-care-neck-back-pain-last-year.aspx?g_source=Well-Being&g_medium=newsfeed&g_campaign=tiles. Accessed 18 Sep. 2023.
  4. Morris, Rebecca. “What Is Spinal Manipulation?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 15 Mar. 2016, www.healthline.com/health/back-pain/spinal-manipulation. Accessed 18 Sept. 2023.
  5. Sarah Jividen, RN. “Everything You Need to Know About Spinal Manipulation.” Verywell Health, Verywell Health, 8 Feb. 2022, www.verywellhealth.com/spinal-manipulation-5213994. Accessed 18 Sept. 2023.
  6. “Spinal Manipulation.” Physiopedia, www.physio-pedia.com/Spinal_Manipulation. Accessed 18 Sept. 2023.
  7. “Spinal Manipulation: What You Need To Know.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.nccih.nih.gov/health/spinal-manipulation-what-you-need-to-know. Accessed 18 Sept. 2023.
  8. Steven Yeomans, DC. “Understanding Spinal Manipulation.” Spine, www.spine-health.com/treatment/chiropractic/understanding-spinal-manipulation. Accessed 18 Sept. 2023.
  9. Zauderer, Steven. “47 Chiropractic Statistics, Facts & Demographics.” Life-Changing ABA Therapy – Cross River Therapy, Cross River Therapy, 23 July 2023, www.crossrivertherapy.com/research/chiropractic-statistics. Accessed 18 Sept. 2023.
Addressing a Stiff Neck During Pregnancy With Chiropractic Care

Addressing a Stiff Neck During Pregnancy With Chiropractic Care

Feeling a crick in your neck? You’re not alone.

In fact, a 2016 study found that 12.4% of pregnant women experienced neck and shoulder pain.

But guess what? Chiropractic care might be your ticket to neck pain relief!

7 Common Causes of Neck Pains During Pregnancy

common causes of neck pains during pregnancy

Changes in Spinal Cord Curvature

As the baby grows, a mom-to-be’s center of gravity shifts forward.

To compensate for this, many women end up arching their backs, causing a change in the spinal curvature, especially in the lower back. This can have a ripple effect, reaching up to the neck!

Spinal curvature changes put extra stress on the muscles and joints around the neck area, making the neck feel stiff and uncomfortable.

Ectopic Pregnancy

An ectopic pregnancy occurs when a fertilized egg attaches itself to a place other than inside the uterus, usually in one of the fallopian tubes.

If ectopic pregnancies go unnoticed and cause internal bleeding, they can lead to signs of shock. One symptom could be shoulder tip pain, which many pregnant women confuse with neck stiffness or discomfort. This shoulder tip pain occurs because the blood from the pregnancy irritates the diaphragm.

If a pregnant woman notices neck or shoulder pain out of the blue, especially when accompanied by sharp abdominal pains or dizziness, call the doctor immediately. It might not just be the usual pregnancy aches and pains; it could be something more serious like an ectopic pregnancy.

Lack of Daily Neck Exercises

lack of daily neck exercises

When you’re pregnant, your body is working overtime. It’s creating a tiny human, after all! Because of this extra effort, pregnant women feel more tired than usual, and the thought of exercising is more daunting than climbing Mount Everest.

But here’s the twist: even a little exercise helps a lot!

When you exercise, your muscles stay active, flexible, and strong. Conversely, if you don’t get enough movement, your muscles become weak or tight, leading to that dreaded neck pain.

This doesn’t mean pregnant women should run a marathon! But even simple stretches, a short walk, or gentle yoga keeps the muscles in the neck (and the rest of the body) feeling good. So, while it might be tempting to lounge around all day, getting up and moving a bit is a real neck-saver during pregnancy!

Meningitis

Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. One of the classic symptoms of meningitis? Neck stiffness. And yes, even pregnant women experience it!

Turning one’s head is an uphill task for someone with meningitis. But neck pain isn’t the only sign of this condition. A pregnant woman will also have a fever and headaches, feel super tired, or be light-sensitive.

Overexertion

Overexertion occurs when you push your body harder than it’s used to or ready for.

Maybe you carried too many grocery bags, or perhaps you tried to rearrange the baby’s room all in one go.

When you overwork your body, the muscles around your spine may tighten up, affecting the spinal curvature. This tightening tugs on the neck muscles, leading to pain and stiffness.

Poor Posture

The bodies of expectant mothers undergo all sorts of changes, some of which alter how we stand or sit.

This is where posture comes in—not standing or sitting straight puts a lot of strain on your neck, leading to that annoying stiffness.

Here’s the thing about bad posture: it sneaks up on you. You may be trying to get comfy while sitting or adjusting to the extra weight you’re carrying around. Before you know it, you’re slouching or leaning in a way that doesn’t do your neck any favors.

Poor Sleeping Position

poor sleeping position

If you’re pregnant and waking up with neck pain, it might be all about how you’re snoozing at night.

During pregnancy, getting comfy in bed is always a challenge. With that growing belly, you might try all sorts of positions to get some solid ZZZs.

However, if your head and neck aren’t properly aligned with your spine, it can put extra pressure on the neck muscles.

How Does Chiropractic Care Ease Neck Pain During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy can sometimes feel like you’re carrying a bowling ball around your belly, and with all that extra weight, it’s no surprise that some aches and pains pop up!

Chiropractors are like the body’s mechanics. They focus on ensuring your spine and other parts of your body are working and moving like they should.

During pregnancy, your body releases a hormone called relaxin, which makes the ligaments in your body more flexible, preparing you for childbirth. This can sometimes throw your spine out of whack, leading to discomfort.

Chiropractors use pregnancy-safe techniques to help realign your spine. The chiropractic approach reduces the tension in your neck, helping you feel more comfortable. Plus, a properly aligned spine makes delivery smoother!

9 DIY Neck Pain Remedies for Pregnant Women

neck pain remedies for pregnant women

Addressing Poor Posture

Proper posture is the unsung hero of comfort. When you stand or sit up straight, your spine is happy, and everything feels more balanced. On the other hand, poor posture causes your muscles to work overtime, leading to aches and pains, including in the neck.

Be mindful of how you’re standing or sitting. Keep your shoulders relaxed and back, with your chin up and your feet flat on the ground. It might also help to wear comfy shoes (skip those high heels!) and use pregnancy pillows to support your back while sitting.

Also, consider taking short breaks throughout the day to stretch. Gentle neck and shoulder stretching eases the tension and keeps that neck stiffness at bay.

Using Warm and Cold Compresses

Starting with the cold compress, wrap some ice in a cloth (don’t put it directly on your skin) and place it on your neck for about 15 minutes. The cold helps calm down the inflammation.

The warm compress is like a mini spa treatment for your sore muscles. The warmth helps to relax and loosen things up. Just like with the cold compress, wrap a warm cloth or use a warm towel and place it on the stiff area for 15 minutes.

Here’s a pro tip: Start with the cold compress to reduce swelling, then switch to the warm compress for relaxation.

Using a Pregnancy Support Pillow

pregnancy support pillow

Finding a comfy sleeping position feels like mission impossible when you’re pregnant.

Enter the pregnancy support pillow!

This isn’t just any regular pillow. It’s specially designed to cradle and support your growing baby bump and body.

The best part? Many of them come with a built-in neck support pillow. That means your neck gets the royal treatment, too!

Using a neck support pillow is all about keeping your spine in a happy, straight line. When your neck is in the correct position, it takes the pressure off those sore muscles, minimizing stiffness.

Gentle Neck Exercises

Gentle neck exercises can help you stretch and strengthen those neck muscles, helping them relax.

By tilting your head slowly from side to side or rolling it in easy circles, you’re giving those muscles a nice, relaxing stretch. It’s like a mini-yoga session for your neck!

Remember to always take it slow and easy. If something doesn’t feel right or hurts, it’s okay to stop and take a break.

Prenatal Yoga

prenatal yoga

Prenatal yoga focuses on poses that help with all the unique changes and challenges every pregnant woman’s body goes through.

When it comes to that pesky stiff neck, certain yoga poses can help stretch and relax those tense muscles.

The beauty of prenatal yoga is that it doesn’t just stop at your neck. It’s a whole-body experience that can help improve your posture, reduce neck and back pain, and even help you breathe better. Plus, it’s a great way to relax and connect with your baby.

The Tennis Ball Trick

Tennis balls aren’t just for the court; they can be a game-changer for your neck, too!

Place a tennis ball between your neck and a wall. Gently lean into the ball and move side to side or up and down. The ball will gently massage the tense spots in your neck. It’s like having a mini massage therapist right in your living room!

Acupuncture

acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves inserting thin needles at specific points on your body. These needles help balance the energy in your body and reduce pain.

For neck pain during pregnancy, acupuncture targets the areas causing discomfort and promotes relaxation. Plus, it’s a natural way to tackle pain and discomfort without relying on medication!

Magnesium Supplementation

When you’ve got a stiff neck, it might hint that your body could use more magnesium.

Most pregnant women achieve muscle relaxation by taking magnesium supplements, bidding farewell to neck discomfort.

And here’s a bonus: magnesium also helps with other pregnancy-related issues, like leg cramps!

Neck Massage

A gentle neck massage helps soothe those tight muscles, increase blood circulation, and give you some much-needed relaxation. Think about it as a way to pamper yourself and your baby at the same time!

If you’re considering getting a massage, make sure your massage therapist knows you’re pregnant. They’ll use special techniques to ensure you and your baby are comfortable and safe.

happy pregnant woman

Treat Your Pregnancy Neck Pain at Bergen Chiropractic!

At Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, under the leadership of Dr. Gregory Doerr, adheres to the highest medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. Our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care in a comfortable, healing atmosphere. 

Access our contact form or call us at (201) 945-4075 to learn more about our chiropractic care services! Our offices at 532 Anderson Avenue, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010, and 62 Summit Ave, Hackensack, NJ 07601, are ready to welcome you as we proudly serve the areas of New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, PA, and Baltimore, MD. Also, access our blog, Facebook, and Instagram pages for more information on chiropractic treatment for neck and shoulder pain during pregnancy!

References

  1. “Healthcare Practitioner Utilisation for Back Pain, Neck Pain and/or Pelvic Pain during Pregnancy: An Analysis of 1835 Pregnant Women in Australia.” International Journal of Clinical Practice, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27620139/. Accessed 15 Sept. 2023.