Gentle Chiropractic Techniques for Neck Pain: The Solution You Need


Some people are sensitive to pain and see chiropractic adjustments as something unbearable. And experienced chiropractors know that each person is unique, so there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” type of treatment. When we see a person suffering from neck pain who claims that they cannot handle adjustments, we have the solution: gentle chiropractic techniques.

Chiropractic Is a Complex Science

Many patients coming to our practice for the first time have vague notions about chiropractic. Most of their information comes from online videos and various articles. While they may be correct, these resources do not offer a full image of what chiropractic treatment is about.

Yes, adjustments and manipulations represent the best-known chiropractic techniques for treating various conditions and injuries. But they represent only a part of the treatments a chiropractor is trained to provide. In many instances, the patient would be willing to accept adjustments. However, looking over their medical history, the chiropractor realizes that adjustments are not recommended for this patient.

Gentle chiropractic techniques for neck pain are a less known, but frequently used type of treatment for patients. Let us explain what they are and when a chiropractor recommends this treatment plan.

What Are Gentle Chiropractic Techniques for Neck Pain?

A stiff or painful neck can be the result of trauma (car accident), intense effort, or various conditions (including cervical stenosis). After determining the cause of pain and ascertaining that adjustment is not indicated for the patient, a chiropractor may select one or several of the following gentle chiropractic techniques for neck pain:

1. Cervical Mobilization

For this type of treatment, the patient will usually lie down on their back. The chiropractor gently moves the vertebrae of the neck in an alternating right to left, left to right movement.

The chiropractor will use smooth, gentle movements, which will not cause the popping sound usually associated with spinal adjustments. This is one of the gentle chiropractic techniques for neck pain caused by fixation (the range of movement of the vertebrae is restricted, and sometimes may even involve a pinched nerve).

2. Cervical Drop

This technique may have an alarming name, but you do not have anything to worry about. The chiropractor will not actually drop you. Instead, you will be lying on your stomach or side on a special table. The table features a headrest, which is in a locked position.

The chiropractor will place their hand or finger on the section of the misaligned spine. Through a series of low-amplitude thrusts, which vary in speed from medium to high, the chiropractor will cause the headrest to drop to a lower position. The spine is adjusted without using strength or sudden movements.  

3. Manual Traction

The last type of gentle chiropractic technique for neck pain is sometimes used in combination with cervical mobilization. For this specific type of treatment, the patient is either sitting or lying down on their back. The chiropractor will gently (yes, very gently) pull the neck in a series of stretching movements.

The chiropractor will vary the angle and intensity of the traction depending on the patient’s response to the treatment. Most people, even those who have a low tolerance to pain, usually find this type of chiropractic treatment bearable, even soothing.

Can You Ask for Gentle Chiropractic Techniques for Neck Pain?

The answer is definitely yes. You should be fully honest and open with your chiropractor. Do not be ashamed to say that you do not tolerate pain very well. There is nothing to be ashamed of – it is how you were made and you are no less of a great person for this.

In some cases, the chiropractor will suggest gentle chiropractic techniques for neck pain after talking to you, even if you do not specifically say that you are not able to handle a lot of pain or energetic treatments.

Some chiropractors specialize in this type of technique and they get referrals from other patients who had a great experience with gentle chiropractic manipulations.

Finally, your chiropractor will not use adjustments and intense manipulations if you suffer from various preexisting conditions, such as:

•    A recent trauma, not fully healed

•    Acute inflammatory phase of various spine conditions

•    Cervical cord compression

•    Spinal infections

•    Unstable fractures

•    Tumors.

Gentle chiropractic techniques for neck pain evolved in response to the need to treat all kinds of patients, including those with contraindications or low tolerance to pain. Do not let fear keep you from finding pain relief; seek chiropractic treatment even if you do not want to try adjustments!

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