Signs and symptoms of neck pain may be stiffness, tightness, aching, burning or stabbing or shooting pains, pressure, or tingling. Muscles can feel sore or tense in the neck, face, or shoulders. Muscles can spasm when they go into a state of extreme contraction (e.g., after whiplash). Movement may be restricted — perhaps you cannot turn your head. If nerves are involved, pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness may develop in your shoulders, arms or hands.
In diagnosing the cause of neck pain, it is important to review the history of the symptoms. In reviewing the history, the doctor will note the location, intensity, duration, and radiation of the pain. Is the pain worsened or improved with turning or repositioning of the head? Any past injury to the neck and past treatments are noted. Aggravating and/or relieving positions or motions are also recorded. The neck is examined at rest and in motion. Tenderness is detected during palpation of the neck. An examination of the nervous system is performed to determine whether or not nerve involvement is present.

AAOS does not endorse any treatments, procedures, products, or physicians referenced herein. This information is provided as an educational service and is not intended to serve as medical advice. Anyone seeking specific orthopaedic advice or assistance should consult his or her orthopaedic surgeon, or locate one in your area through the AAOS Find an Orthopaedist program on this website.


Numerous controlled clinical studies of treatments used by chiropractors have been conducted, with conflicting results.[4] Systematic reviews of this research have not found evidence that chiropractic manipulation is effective, with the possible exception of treatment for back pain.[4] A critical evaluation found that collectively, spinal manipulation was ineffective at treating any condition.[10] Spinal manipulation may be cost-effective for sub-acute or chronic low back pain but the results for acute low back pain were insufficient.[11] The efficacy and cost-effectiveness of maintenance chiropractic care are unknown.[12] There is not sufficient data to establish the safety of chiropractic manipulations.[13] It is frequently associated with mild to moderate adverse effects, with serious or fatal complications in rare cases.[14] There is controversy regarding the degree of risk of vertebral artery dissection, which can lead to stroke and death, from cervical manipulation.[15] Several deaths have been associated with this technique[14] and it has been suggested that the relationship is causative,[16][17] a claim which is disputed by many chiropractors.[17]
Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system, and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractic services are used most often to treat neuromusculoskeletal complaints, including but not limited to back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs, and headaches.
Chiropractic care can be an essential part of a pain management plan. By working closely with your pain specialist or primary care doctor, a chiropractor can help you realign your spine to support a strong, healthy body. One of the most difficult parts of receiving chiropractic care, however, is locating a really great and well-qualified chiropractor near you. This can be daunting. Simply going online to find a list of names doesn’t help you to know if the chiropractor you choose is going to work for you, right? There are some easy steps to take, however, when asking “how to find a chiropractor near me?” And by taking these steps, we promise you can find a chiropractor who can help you relieve your pain and get back to your life.
At each vertebral level, a pair of spinal nerves exit through small openings called foramina (one to the left and one to the right). These nerves serve the muscles, skin and tissues of the body and thus provide sensation and movement to all parts of the body. The delicate spinal cord and nerves are further supported by strong muscles and ligaments that are attached to the vertebrae.
Other. A 2012 systematic review found insufficient low bias evidence to support the use of spinal manipulation as a therapy for the treatment of hypertension.[120] A 2011 systematic review found moderate evidence to support the use of manual therapy for cervicogenic dizziness.[121] There is very weak evidence for chiropractic care for adult scoliosis (curved or rotated spine)[122] and no scientific data for idiopathic adolescent scoliosis.[123] A 2007 systematic review found that few studies of chiropractic care for nonmusculoskeletal conditions are available, and they are typically not of high quality; it also found that the entire clinical encounter of chiropractic care (as opposed to just SM) provides benefit to patients with cervicogenic dizziness, and that the evidence from reviews is negative, or too weak to draw conclusions, for a wide variety of other nonmusculoskeletal conditions, including ADHD/learning disabilities, dizziness, high blood pressure, and vision conditions.[124] Other reviews have found no evidence of significant benefit for asthma,[125][126] baby colic,[127][128] bedwetting,[129] carpal tunnel syndrome,[130] fibromyalgia,[131] gastrointestinal disorders,[132] kinetic imbalance due to suboccipital strain (KISS) in infants,[127][133] menstrual cramps,[134] insomnia,[135] postmenopausal symptoms,[135] or pelvic and back pain during pregnancy.[136] As there is no evidence of effectiveness or safety for cervical manipulation for baby colic, it is not endorsed.[137]
Most chiropractic medicine programs require that applicants have at least three years of undergraduate education, and an increasing number require a bachelor’s degree.  In either case, your undergraduate studies must include a prescribed number of prerequisite courses, as defined by the field’s accrediting body, the Council on Chiropractic Education.
There are several surgical treatments available to treat cervical spine disorders. Factors that help determine the type of surgical treatment include the specifics of the disc disease and the presence or absence of pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerve roots. Other factors include age, how long the patient has had the disorder, other medical conditions and if there has been previous cervical spine surgery.

Reviews of research studies within the chiropractic community have been used to generate practice guidelines outlining standards that specify which chiropractic treatments are "legitimate" (i.e. supported by evidence) and conceivably reimbursable under managed care health payment systems.[70] Evidence-based guidelines are supported by one end of an ideological continuum among chiropractors; the other end employs antiscientific reasoning and makes unsubstantiated claims.[2][52][43][85][86] Chiropractic remains at a crossroads, and that in order to progress it would need to embrace science; the promotion by some for it to be a cure-all was both "misguided and irrational".[87] A 2007 survey of Alberta chiropractors found that they do not consistently apply research in practice, which may have resulted from a lack of research education and skills.[88]


Among people seeking back pain relief alternatives, most choose chiropractic treatment. About 22 million Americans visit chiropractors annually. Of these, 7.7 million, or 35%, are seeking relief from back pain from various causes, including accidents, sports injuries, and muscle strains. Other complaints include pain in the neck, arms, and legs, and headaches.
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