(May 2013) – Neck Check
Find out what’s causing those throbbing neck aches, tingling palms and numb hands with Dr William Choi of the ACADEMY OF CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC.
Q: I’ve been experiencing neck aches for the past few months and although the condition has been tolerable, the pain has travelled to my arms, and my finger feel tingly from time to time. Should I be concerned?
A: Today’s modern way of life often subjects us to unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as hours of driving and hunching over workstations, all of millions of people experience neck aches and related arm pain at some stage of their lives. Don’t be surprised if you have associated headaches, migraines and eye pain, which can be caused by neck disordered too.
There are a few different types of neck injuries you need to be aware of. There’s postural neck pain of stiffness, which is usually caused by poor ergonomics in the work environment. For example, it can occur if you have a desk-bound job using the computer where you have to maintain a forward-leaning head position for prolonged hours. In this situation, the weight of your head dramatically increases the demand on your posterior musculature.
Overuse or Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) is another type of neck ache. This happens when you engage in repeated physical movements such as typing, which can cause damage to your tendons, nerves, muscles and ligaments, it’s caused by a mechanical irritation, which upsets your body’s highly tuned natural balance and causes an inflammation of the fibrous layer that cover your soft tissues. Common symptoms of RSI include:
- Tightness, discomfort, stiffness, weakness and/or pain in the neck, arms or hands.
- Tingling, coldness or numbness in the hands.
- Associated clumsiness, loss of hand strength and co-ordination.
Such symptoms occur because the nerve supply, which controls both the tension in your muscles and your arm’s blood supply, comes from your affected neck.
For temporary relief, put crushed ice in a plastic bag, cover the bad with a pillowcase and apply the ice pack to your neck for 15 minutes at a time. You can also try range-of-motion exercise to help stretch neck muscles. Here are some easy steps to follow:
- Sit upright but stay relaxed and slowly turn your head to the right as far as you can, hold, and then return to the center.
- Repeat to the left.
- Then, drop your chin down, slowly move it towards your chest, hold, and relax.
- Bring your head back up.
- Now tilt your head towards your left shoulder, hold and return to the center.
- Repeat to the right side.
Most importantly, seek professional help and consult your chiropractor. Treatments at Academy of Chiropractic Clinic include Gonstead Chiropractic, acupuncture and myofascial therapy. Postural training and ergonomic advice can be also be incorporated into your consultation.
The Finder, May 2013