Headaches and migraines are often caused by stress and strain placed on the muscles of the head, neck, and shoulders. Chiropractic adjustments help to reduce stress and restore balance the muscles and hold the skeletal bones in their proper position. By restoring balance to both the muscular and skeletal structures of the spine, pressure is released; inflammation is reduced, and blood flow is re-established. When blood flow is restricted, the tissues of the brain cannot function efficiently, resulting in varying degrees of pain and discomfort. A chiropractic adjustment helps to dilate the blood vessels going to and from the brain, allowing the blood to flow more efficiently in both directions.
Neck traction is also referred to as “cervical traction,” because it helps to relieve pressure that inhibits the movement of the cervical spine. Slight tension is used to pull the head away from the neck. This causes the muscles, tendons and ligaments to stretch, releasing tension and allowing inflammation to gradually dissipate. This can be accomplished in two ways. Cervical collars can be used that help by applying soft pressure to the base of the skull, pushing it upwards and away from the neck. Another way to perform neck traction is through the use of a gravity machine. A patient lies on a moveable table that can be tilted so that the head is lower than the rest of the body, and the force of gravity applies the tension.
Chiropractors use several different modalities when treating the cervical area of the spine. There are seven bones in the cervical spine, and each works to support and mobilize the head. Keeping the skeletal and muscular structures of the neck and shoulders strong is the key to managing various types of pain associated with the neck. Chiropractic adjustments, deep tissue massage therapy, acupuncture and neck traction are just a few of the ways that issues with the cervical spine can be treated. In most cases, a chiropractor will use several different modalities that complement one another to elicit a proficient healing response.
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