Cervical strain occurs when the musculature of the neck region is placed under greater physical stress than it can withstand. This strain affects the integrity of the cervical vertebrae.The strain is exactly the same as the strain that occurs in the low back. The resultant muscle guarding patterns are an attempt by the body to stabilize the neck reducing the possibility of further injury. Acupuncture is a very effective tool in easing muscle guarding secondary to injury allowing for the return to pre-injury structural tension and more even, balanced neck.
Chronic neck pain can arise for many different reasons, from osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease to stenotic conditions where the pathways that the nerves travel through are narrowed. The body's response to a chronic pain state is to increase muscle tone which begins to limit range of motion leading to further complications.
Acupuncture intervention is aimed at reducing the muscular stresses in an attempt to restore normal structure in the neck and supporting tissues. This allows for a restoration of normal circulation and increased range of motion. The acupuncture is also used to address the inflammation associated with this condition.
A "stinger" is a term that describes a traumatic injury to a nerve root as it exits the spinal column. It is usually reserved for a cervical injury and is a fairly common injury in contact sports such as football and hockey where rapid and rather extreme compression occurs contusing the nerve root. This causes rapid and immediate loss of function of the extremity with intense burning pain. As with many injuries the occurrence the first time leads more easily to the second. Recovery of the first incidence is paramount to restoration of normal structure and function. In this regard the muscular tone and balance across the spinal segments is the most important focus of recovery.
Acupuncture is used to restore this balance while at the same time aiding the nerve recovery from the injury.
Whiplash is a term that describes injury to the cervical spine that occurs when there is a rapid acceleration of the head with marked flexion and extension of the cervical spine. Often seen in motor vehicle accidents where the preceding car is struck from the rear.
Acupuncture is employed to reduce the muscular strain and compensatory guarding that occurs during and immediately following the injury.