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Chiropractic Techniques for Acute and Chronic Neck Pain

Neck pain ranks among the top five disorders causing disability in the United States. Despite its prevalence, it is important to recognize that it can vary in intensity, duration, and underlying causes. Thus, understanding its nature is crucial to finding practical solutions. 

This blog will discuss how a holistic approach can help alleviate pain and reclaim mobility. Keep reading to learn more about different chiropractic techniques for acute and chronic neck pain.

Causes of Acute Neck Pain

Acute neck pain refers to sudden onset neck pain lasting for a few days up to six weeks. Injuries are a common cause of acute neck pain. They can damage the spine in your neck (cervical spine) by straining, spraining, fracturing, or dislocating the vertebrae. Whiplash, for example, occurs when the head is suddenly jerked forward and then backward, leading to soft tissue injuries and possible misalignment of the neck vertebrae.

Early intervention is crucial in managing acute neck pain as it can prevent the condition from becoming chronic and reduce the risk of long-term complications. Initial steps often include rest, ice or heat application, and pain medication to reduce inflammation and discomfort. Additionally, chiropractic care for neck pain can be an effective option for addressing the underlying issues and promoting spinal health.

Chiropractic Techniques for Acute Neck Pain

Spinal adjustments are a fundamental chiropractic technique used to treat acute neck pain. They involve the precise application of a controlled force to the cervical vertebrae to correct misalignments, which helps to alleviate pain.

chiropractor applying different techniques on patient with neck pain

Soft tissue therapy is another crucial component in chiropractic care for acute neck pain. This technique focuses on the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the cervical spine. It complements spinal adjustments by ensuring the surrounding musculature supports the spine's proper alignment and function. Chiropractors use various methods, such as massage, myofascial release, and trigger point therapy, to relieve inflammation and improve blood flow to the affected areas.

Every case of acute neck pain is unique, with different underlying causes, severity, and patient health factors. Personalized care ensures that each patient receives the most effective treatment for their particular situation, leading to better outcomes and a faster recovery. Chiropractors perform thorough assessments to identify the root cause of the pain and any contributing factors and develop individualized treatment plans based on this evaluation.

Causes of Chronic Neck Pain

If you've been experiencing neck pain for over three months, it's no longer considered an acute condition but rather a chronic one. 

Chronic neck pain has many potential causes. Poor posture caused by prolonged computer use or looking down at mobile devices can strain the neck muscles and lead to persistent pain. Cervical spondylosis, a degenerative condition characterized by the wear and tear of cervical spine discs and joints, is another common cause of chronic neck pain.

The impact of chronic neck pain on daily life can be profound. It can limit a person’s ability to perform everyday tasks, such as driving, working, and engaging in recreational activities. It can also lead to poor sleep quality, reduced concentration, and increased irritability, which in turn can affect personal and professional relationships. Over time, chronic pain can contribute to emotional distress, further diminishing the quality of life.

Treating chronic neck pain poses significant challenges. Unlike acute pain, which is typically easier to trace to a specific injury or event, chronic pain may result from a combination of factors. Additionally, chronic pain often requires a longer treatment and a greater emphasis on preventive measures to achieve lasting relief.

Chiropractic Techniques for Chronic Neck Pain

The complexity of treating chronic neck pain necessitates a comprehensive treatment plan that includes manual therapies and lifestyle modifications.

Whiplash injury treatment.

Progressive spinal adjustments aim to gradually improve spinal function over time, unlike adjustments for acute pain that may focus on immediate relief. They help reduce nerve pressure, decrease inflammation, and restore normal joint motion, making it critical for long-term pain management and prevention of further degeneration. Getting regular adjustments from a chiropractor can help patients achieve sustained relief and improve their overall neck health.

Rehabilitation exercises are also vital in treating chronic neck pain. They strengthen the neck and upper back muscles, improve flexibility, and enhance overall posture. Regularly performed under the guidance of a chiropractor, these exercises can also increase the neck's stability, reduce the likelihood of re-injury, and promote long-term functional improvement.

Finally, lifestyle modifications prevent chronic pain from recurring. Chiropractors often provide personalized recommendations to help patients make changes that support spinal health. Here are some of them.

  • Set up workstations, chairs, and computer screens to be ergonomic and promote good posture.
  • Take regular breaks to stand, stretch, and move around, especially during prolonged periods of sitting or computer use.
  • Use supportive pillows and maintain a neutral spine position during sleep.
  • Eat a balanced diet to support overall health and tissue repair.
  • Exercise regularly to maintain general fitness and muscle strength.
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing to reduce muscle tension and stress-related pain.

Integrative Care for Comprehensive Relief

Integrative care, which combines conventional treatments with complementary ones, can address the multifaceted nature of neck pain. This approach recognizes that no single treatment modality is universally effective and emphasizes the importance of holistic care.

Complementary modalities such as chiropractic techniques for acute and chronic neck pain, massage therapy, and low-risk pain management techniques can play key roles in providing comprehensive relief. These treatments are holistic in the sense that they go beyond addressing physical symptoms. They consider the interconnectedness of the body to promote overall health and well-being.


Chiropractic care has shown remarkable effectiveness in treating acute and chronic neck pain. Beyond alleviating pain, chiropractic treatments target its underlying causes, providing lasting results and reducing the risk of recurrence. 

If you want to try chiropractic techniques for acute and chronic neck pain, choose South Bay Pain and Wellness. Led by Dr. Misa Zaker, we offer expert neck pain treatment. Our clinic is conveniently located in Rolling Hills Plaza, providing easy access to a neck pain doctor in Torrance. We also offer assistance with Office of Workers' Compensation Programs claims for patients seeking compensation for work-related neck injuries.

Don't let your neck pain hold you back any longer. Book an appointment today!

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