Head, body pain ‘costs economy $8.4b yearly
Is neck pain really a concern? According to a Straits Times publication on Head and Body Pain, neck pain is one of the most common areas that sufferers experienced their pain. Back and lower back being the other two most common body parts that cause pain in these individuals. What’s more concerning is that head and body pain cost Singapore’s economy $8.4 billion each year, according to a global study. Neck pain is undeniably a very common health problem in today’s society. In fact, the incidence of neck pain continues to rise, especially in the adolescence and young adult population. Its impact on the individual’s health are well documented and has contributed significantly to our healthcare cost.
Unfortunately, most people would have the idea that such a common problem that may affect anyone throughout their lifetime is not a concern. But given the fact that musculoskeletal issue like neck pain cost so much to the economy on one hand, it is important we examine and educate ourselves better on this common yet potential serious condition? Surprisingly from the study extracted in the news mentioned above, more than half of the people in Singapore suffer their pain in silence, while one in three ignores his pain. This findings in my opinion/prediction is what caused many simple mechanical neck pain developed into more serious conditions that involve chronic medical treatment and cost significant burden to the economy.
What is mechanical neck pain?
Most neck pain is mechanical in origin. That means it is likely due to mechanical dysfunctions in the area. Our cervical spine is comprised of seven vertebrae and should have a lordotic curve to provide optimum mechanical advantage against gravity. Like other areas of the spine, the neck area is supported by surrounding soft tissue like cartilages, discs, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Poor postural habits, minor wear and tear, injuries that we may or may not remember, whiplash injuries are common accumulative contributing factors that eventually lead to the experience of neck pain. What most people are not aware of is that abnormal curvature of the cervical spine simply adds on the mechanical stress to the neck. This will either result an early onset of pain in younger population or aggravate the symptoms for those who are already in pain.
What are the more serious conditions that can be resulted from a simple neck pain?
Although it is true that age-related degeneration of the spine is unavoidable, yet we are seeing more premature degenerative spine is happening in the younger age group. Most of these early degenerative started with mild mechanical neck pain. However, as the individual chose to ignore the pain and discomfort, the micro damage within the neck continues to worsen. In mild cases, range of motion is restricted and hence affects the person normal neck movements. As the condition progresses further, bony spurring (osteophytes) can be observed, disc damage can happen, calcium can deposit within the ligament (a process called calcification) and worsening of the spinal alignment. In regards to symptoms, the individual starts to experience stiffness, pain, rigidity, radicular pain, headache and discogenic pain resulted from disc herniation. These range of signs and symptoms can cause severe disability to the individuals and affect work productivity and have a significant impact on the healthcare cost.
Prevention is better than cure
So, is there a way to avoid all these from happening or to at least slow down the degeneration? Spinal check-up is the way to go and it has to be made available to everyone. It is unfortunately that we have different check-up for various organ system, but we have somehow neglect the importance of the spine. Not only that the spine provides us the structural support, but it also protects the most important yet delicate system in the human body – the central nervous system (spinal cord and its spinal nerves).
As mentioned above, excessive stress can be added to the spinal structure if the overall curvature is not in balance, thereby aggravates and speeds up the pre-existing mild conditions that many times get ignored by most individuals. We can of course continue to treat the pain, but at some point, one has to realize that a balance spine is what keep the surrounding tissues relax and permits normal range of motion.
How can we help?
Essential Chiropractic And Functional Medicine Centre, we treat all our patients as a unique individual. Because of the unique physique, spinal alignment, presenting symptoms and flexibility, we choose see you with a different approach. Our Chiropractor has to go through a thorough consultation and detailed examination with you before any further clinical actions is suggested. Once we are sure we can assist you further, we will discuss with you the evidence-based treatment plan. We value this step highly to make sure all our patients know what benefits they can gain from our unique treatment method. To find out what to expect during your initial visit, please find out more from https://essentialchiropractic.sg/what-to-expect-from-your-initial-consultation/
Better Spine, Better life.
We firmly believed that a better spine gives you a better health. Whether you are now having pain, or you are now 65 years of age, or you have a chronic poor posture, you shouldn’t let your conditions to deteriorate further. Just like you will bring your car to a service, or get a handyman to service your air conditioning. Your spine needs to be taken care of too. Remember pain is a way your body communicates with you to alert you something is not quite right. Do not ignore that pain and live a better life with Chiropractic. We look forward in helping you for a healthier life.