Our spinal column performs two very important functions. First, it houses and protects the delicate spinal cord. The spinal column processes and sends messages from the brain to the rest of the body and vice versa. Second, it supports the body’s weight and provides the strength and flexibility needed for difficult and possibly “back breaking” functions.
The different functions that the spine is asked to perform often conflict with each other and cause pain. The design of the spinal column is a compromise between them. This compromise makes us prone to mechanical problems in all parts of the spine.
The cervical spine differs from other parts of the spine in its agile motion and its ability to perform other important tasks – for instance, in addition to supporting the head, the neck provides a passage for air, food, nerves and blood vessels.
Because the neck (cervical) part of the spine provides a wider range of motion than the lumbar column, when injury occurs from overuse or accidents, the cause of neck pain is likely to be related primarily to traumatized joints and discs. Joint pain will then provoke pain in the muscle tissue, and a vicious pain cycle develops.
Acupuncture can help with neck pain in several ways. It can relax muscle spasms in addition to reducing swelling and inflammation in strained or sprained muscles, tendons and joint capsules. This often promotes local blood circulation to speed healing and help balance the nervous system.
When acupuncture needles are inserted into a tight, strained or spasming muscle, they push the tissue aside and create a microlesion. This process also stimulates a reflex reaction from the motor nerves which relaxes the tight muscle. Once the muscle starts to relax, adequate blood circulation to the injured muscle is restored. Improved blood circulation brings sufficient supplies of oxygen and nutrients to the area and allows the elimination of metabolic toxins. Through this process, the muscles, joints, discs and nerves start the process of self-healing.
If interested in trying acupuncture or have questions concerning the procedure at our office, please give us a call.
Dr. Thomas DeWall, D.C.