The chiropractic approach to neck pain is to locate the underlying cause. Special attention is given to the structure and function of the spine, and its affect on the nervous system.
Facet Joint Pain is the most common cause of chronic neck pain after a car accident.. It may occur alone or along with disc pain. Facet joint pain is usually located to the right or left of the center back of the neck. The area might be tender to the touch, and facet pain may be mistaken for muscle pain.
Disc Injury can also cause chronic neck pain. The disc allows motion of the neck, but at the same time keeps the neck from moving too much. The outer wall of the disc (called the anulus) can be torn by a whiplash injury. This usually heals, but in some people, the disc does not heal. In that case, it might get weaker and hurts when stressed during normal activities.
The pain comes from the nerve endings in the anulus. The disc is the major cause of chronic neck pain in about 25% of patients, and there can be both disc pain and facet pain in some people. Less often, a disc can herniate and push on a nerve. This usually causes more arm pain than neck pain.
Spinal nerves and the spinal cord can be compressed by a Herniated Disc or Bone Spur. This usually causes arm pain, but there can also be neck pain.