There is nothing worse than a pain in your neck. No, not the guy in the next cubicle who insists on eating pretzels at 3 pm every day while watching YouTube videos without headphones. We’re talking actual pain in your neck. In fact, the only way neck pain can be worse is if it is accompanied by dizziness. So, why do these two symptoms seem to travel in a pair?

The Nerve Connection

Your body’s nervous system is categorized into two major parts – the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system is made up of your brain and your spinal cord while the peripheral nervous system radiates from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles, skin, and organs in your body. Any time there is interference with one of these nerves, your brain tries to compensate for the lack of feedback from that nerve. Your brain makes millions of these minuscule adjustments throughout the day as you shift in your chair to get more comfortable, stand up and stretch, or maintain your balance over uneven terrain. However, when your brain cannot compensate for the interference that nerve is experiencing, you begin to experience pain, numbness or tingling in your hands, arms, feet, or legs. When the affected nerve is one of the nerves in your neck, you tend to experience dizziness along with the pain.

What are possible causes of neck pain and dizziness?

Neck pain and dizziness can happen at any time but are most commonly associated with a few things.

  1. Injury
    Whether you are in a car accident or a collision with your toddler, it is possible to injure the joints, muscles, and tendons in your neck with very little force. Neck injuries often leave you with pain in your neck, shoulders, arms, and hands as well as dizziness when you try to turn your head from side to side.
  2. Illness
    Pain and stiffness in your neck, when accompanied by a fever, can be the sign of a serious medical condition. The flu can also leave you with neck pain and dizziness, especially after lying in bed for days on end.
  3. Inner Ear Problems
    Never underestimate the importance of your inner ear in your body’s ability to balance itself. When these fluid-filled chambers become infected, your sense of balance suffers, often making it difficult to sit up, stand or walk. Your inner ear also has calcium carbonate crystal structures that can become dislodged and migrate where they do not belong, causing dizziness. While it is possible to have dizziness from inner ear problems without neck pain, your body will try to compensate for the room spinning by tensing the muscles in your neck and shoulders, resulting in pain.

Fortunately, you don’t have to live with neck pain or dizziness. Removing the nerve interference through chiropractic treatment can have you back on your feet and pain-free.

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