Limited Range of Motion and Joint Pain

                As we move so does our spine. We were designed to have mobility and specific ranges of motion within our joint structures. Many of us, if not most at one point or another will experience discomfort, irritation or pain when we move. Something I get asked a lot from patients is “I am having limited range of motion and joint pain when turning or moving my neck or back to one side or both. I also notice a clicking sound when I go through this range of motion, so what is the cause Dr. Rittenhouse?”

                Let me start my answer by breaking down the question above. When a patient is having difficulty moving and has  a limited range of motion, whether it’s their neck, back or any other type of joint there is a restriction coming from the joint structures involved. A joint structure is made up of a set of bones that are held together by ligaments (they act like the glue), muscles that create strength and tendons at the end of the muscles that physically attach to the bones for stability. Some joints specifically spinal also have a disc in between the bones which acts like a cushion or shock absorber for impacts (light and heavy) and creates mobility within the joint as well.

                Now that we understand the anatomy of the joint structure we can dive deeper into the problem at hand. Patients have joint discomfort and a limited range of motion because the joint structures are being compromised, most likely due to a misalignment with the joint. When the joint has misaligned especially in the spinal column it not only restricts movement but that restriction is also accompanied by discomfort or pain. The reason for this is because the bone has moved onto a nerve which will relay a signal of pain and this nerve will also not allow a proper communication to the muscles, tendons and ligaments to contract, relax and move in a normal range of motion.

                Now as for the clicking sound, this is an indicator whether its painful or not, that the joints are not moving properly when you go through a range of motion. Just like a type of mechanical mechanism that has something out of place(misalignment) within its structure of gears or screws and bolts it will jam and not function properly. Much like a misaligned joint structure its movement pattern or range of motion will be restricted and if left uncorrected or fixed it will slowly breakdown as a whole.

                When patients come to me for help with these conditions I always tell them that they are in the right place. As a chiropractor, this is at the core of what I do and that is to correct and restore misaligned joint structures through my treatment protocols. There are many different and beneficial therapies as well as the most beneficial the chiropractic adjustment that I utilize to work on the joint structure problems. Anything from EMS (electric muscle stimulation) and hot packs to manual therapies to help heal the soft tissues as well as functional exercises and stretches to strengthen and stabilize the now corrected areas of treatment. These areas are treated with an adjustment to restore the misaligned joints to their proper position and to take pressure off of the nerve. You want to treat your body like a well-oiled machine, so make sure you get your spine checked and adjusted regularly because it’s the only one you get.

Many people suffer from joint pain, whether its neck, back, shoulder, hip or other types of joint pain. If you are one of the many then don’t hesitate to contact us today and download your FREE consult!