Neck pain is one of the most commonly treated conditions by sport chiropractors because it can affect athletes from so many different kinds of sports. Golfers, tennis players, runners and swimmers, among others, come to us for relief because neck pain is keeping them from enjoying the sport they love.
There are many different reasons and presentations of neck pain. Faulty mechanics, multiple repetitive motions, lack of overall core strength and flexibility and/or an underlying spinal misalignment may all be contributing to an athlete’s pain.
No matter your sport, chiropractic care offers treatment for existing neck pain as well as preventative techniques for avoiding it in the future.
Swimming is considered one of the safer sports as we age since it offers both low impact on the joints and muscle building potential from swimmers working against the weight of the water. Still, swimming neck pain is a common complaint. The reason for this is generally incorrect stroke mechanics. Instead of the swimmer keeping their head in a neutral, aligned position throughout the entire stroke (looking towards the bottom of the pool) the head is often tipped upwards (with a view of the end of the pool.) This, along with forcefully turning the neck only (as opposed to the full upper body) when taking a side breath, can over stress the upper spine and lead to neck pain.
A proper golf swing involves a major rotation of the spine while the shoulders and head stay forward facing and fairly stationary. This is an already awkward movement often complicated by a player sticking their head too far forward and putting too much torque on the back during the swing. This can leave the muscles of the shoulder and upper back stiff and tight and eventually lead to neck injury.
What’s more, golfers who try to play through their neck pain can end up with something called a “golfer’s shrug,” playing with their shoulders hunched toward their ears to compensate for stiff muscles and neck pain.
Tennis is another sport that involves a lot of forceful twisting and turning, often accompanied by quick stopping and starting. Stretching and conditioning before and after play is necessary to avoid a tightening of the neck and shoulder muscles and to prevent sprains, strains and tears.
Neck pain during tennis can be from an acute strain during service or leftover stiffness from an awkward sleeping position or other injury prior to play. Either way, it makes it much less enjoyable, if not impossible, to play.
All Athletes are Susceptible
People in all types of athletic pursuits, even running, can deal with neck pain. Acute strain or injury, repetitive motion, awkward form or gait, and lack of core (or other muscle) strength can bench even the most dedicated sports enthusiast.
Sports chiropractic for neck pain not only offers traditional spinal adjustments for often immediate relief, but many effective complementary therapies like soft tissue manipulation, massage, and specialized stretches and exercises to keep you pain free. Contact us today.