What Causes Neck Pain on the Left Side?

Neck pain on the left side can occur for many reasons, such as poor posture, lifting heavy objects, and sleeping awkwardly. Most of these issues are not permanently harmful, and the root cause will go away in a few days on its own.

Rest is often the best treatment for neck pain. However, you may want to see a chiropractor if your pain and any related stiffness do not go away within 48 hours. A chiropractor can prescribe a comprehensive treatment plan to address the underlying cause and prevent future occurrences with physical therapy and strengthening.

What Are Some Common Causes of Left-Side Neck Pain?

What Causes Neck Pain on the Left Side

Many issues can contribute to left-side neck pain. Pain can occur with or without other symptoms, such as stiffness or inflammation. Depending on the circumstances, your pain could go away on its own with conservative treatments or may require medical diagnosis and care.

Some common causes of neck pain include:

  • Muscle Strains or Sprains: Sleeping wrong, poor posture, overuse, or out-of-the-ordinary physical activities can strain or sprain the muscles and ligaments in the neck.
  • Cervical Misalignment: A misalignment of the vertebrae in the neck can cause pain and stiffness. This could require a visit to the chiropractor to realign.
  • Herniated Disc: A herniated disc is a cervical spine injury that can cause intense nerve pain that could radiate down the affected arm.
  • Whiplash: Whiplash is a soft tissue injury that causes headaches and pain in the neck, shoulder, and possibly down the arm. It often occurs after a traffic accident.
  • Degenerative Disc Disease: Age-related wear and tear on the neck can lead to pain and neck stiffness.
  • Cervical Radiculopathy: A herniated disc, bone spur, or another similar condition pressed on the nerve root, often causing serious, debilitating pain in the neck, shoulder, and arm.
  • Poor Posture: Prolonged poor posture, such as sitting at a desk or sleeping on too many pillows, can lead to pain and stiffness, sometimes called a “crick in the neck.”
  • Stress and Tension: Muscle tension in the neck and shoulders can occur because of emotional stress, clenching your teeth, or tightening of other muscles.
  • Facet Joint Dysfunction: The facet joint in the back of your cervical spine can become inflamed, causing pain.

Treatment Options for Left-Side Neck Pain

Often, left-side neck pain will disappear in a day or two without diagnosis or treatment. However, the best way to address your symptoms and prevent recurrence is to identify the underlying cause and address it based on your symptoms and severity. Some of the most common ways people deal with neck pain include:

Conservative Treatment Options

Conservative treatment generally means the non-invasive actions you can take at home or with a little assistance from a medical care provider to reduce or eliminate your symptoms. When it comes to left-side neck pain, this could include:

  • Rest and modify activities to reduce pain
  • Applying ice to reduce inflammation, followed by heat to relax the affected muscles
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers or NSAIDs to reduce pain and inflammation
  • Adjusting your desk, workstation, or sleeping position to alleviate pain
  • Gently stretching the affected muscles

Chiropractic Care Can Help

If your neck pain recurs or does not begin to improve within 24-48 hours, you may want to see a chiropractor. These medical practitioners can assess your symptoms, diagnose their cause, and prescribe adjustments and therapies to address them. This could include:

  • Spinal adjustments to manipulate and realign the vertebrae
  • Massage or myofascial release to reduce muscle tension and improve blood flow to the affected area
  • Recommend specific exercises to strengthen the affected area and improve flexibility, often performed by a physical therapist
  • Provide guidance on maintaining proper posture

Traditional Medical Treatments for Neck Pain

If you see your family doctor for your neck pain, you may see a very different approach than a chiropractor will provide. Your doctor could:

  • Prescribe strong pain relievers or muscle relaxers
  • Give you corticosteroid injections to reduce your pain and inflammation
  • Recommend surgery, especially if the cause is a herniated disc or spinal stenosis

Preventive Measures

If your pain goes away, you will still want to take steps to prevent its return. A family doctor, chiropractor, or physical therapist could help you design a program to meet these goals. You may be able to avoid neck pain by participating in the following:

  • Yoga and Stretching: Stretching and yoga will improve your flexibility, reduce muscle tension, and help prevent neck injuries in the future.
  • Mindfulness and Stress Management: Learning how to manage your stress and reduce tension held in your body can prevent future neck pain.
  • Regular Exercise: Regular exercise strengthens muscles and improves posture, reducing the risk of a neck injury.
  • Maintaining Good Posture: Paying attention to your posture while sitting, standing, and exercising can prevent neck strain. This could require you to invest in an ergonomic setup for work.

If your neck pain is severe, prevents you from working, continues beyond a day or two, or you have other symptoms, see a healthcare provider as soon as possible. You should call a family doctor or chiropractor now if you experience numbness or weakness in addition to your left-side neck pain.

How Will a Chiropractor Address My Left-Side Neck Pain?

Chiropractors will determine the cause of your neck pain and prescribe spinal adjustments, soft tissue therapies, and physiotherapy to address the underlying cause of your pain and strengthen the affected muscles.

In general, chiropractors will begin their consultation with a new patient with a comprehensive exam. This includes a detailed assessment, medical history, physical exam, and medical imaging such as X-rays and MRI scans. This exam could also include a careful analysis of your posture while sitting, standing, and moving. Depending on what they find, they might prescribe some or all the following treatments:

  • Spinal Adjustments (Chiropractic Manipulation): These adjustments realign the cervical vertebrae using controlled, sudden force applied to specific joints in the neck.
  • Soft Tissue Therapy: Massage, trigger point therapy, myofascial release, and other similar therapies relieve muscle tension and increase blood flow to the area to encourage healing.
  • Physiotherapy: Stretches, isometric exercises, and strengthening routines improve muscle strength and flexibility in the neck, shoulders, and upper back to reduce the risk of recurrence.
  • Posture Guidance: Your chiropractor might offer advice on ergonomics, sleeping positions, and maintaining proper posture to reduce the risk of future injuries.
  • Lifestyle Advice: Your doctor could provide information on exercise, nutritional guidelines, supplements, and more to help you live a healthier life without neck pain.

How Does the Naples Community Injury Center Treatment Process Work?

When you trust your neck pain treatment to our chiropractors at Naples Community Injury Center, you receive an individualized treatment plan to address:

  • Pain management
  • The underlying cause of your symptoms
  • Reducing the risk of a recurrence of symptoms

The NCIC team combines chiropractic care and physical therapy to provide a holistic approach to managing and treating your left-side neck pain. Our process includes:

  • Your Initial Intake Exam: You will undergo a comprehensive intake exam where our team will assess your condition, identify the cause, and prescribe a personalized treatment plan. Your case could begin the same day.
  • Collaborative Treatment: Our chiropractors and physical therapists work together to create an individualized treatment plan to address your spinal and muscular health. We will determine how to best address your injury and symptoms.
  • Coordinated Exercises and Adjustments: While our chiropractors focus on adjusting your spine and improving your spinal health, our physical therapists will teach strengthening and stretching exercises. You may also receive additional therapies to help manage pain and encourage healing during this time.
  • Continued Assessment: Our doctors and therapists continue to monitor and assess your progress. This allows us to alter your plan as necessary to ensure you reach your goals.
  • Patient Education: Throughout your treatment, you will learn about posture, ergonomics, and other possible lifestyle modifications to prevent any recurrence of your neck pain.

We aim to have our patients leave our care healthier than they were before their symptoms occurred. We believe this is possible by addressing the cause of your pain and providing effective treatments. Our goal is to help you develop strong neck function and health, alleviating your left-side neck pain and any related symptoms.

Our chiropractors and therapists have more than 60 years of combined experience helping patients manage neck pain, stiffness, and other symptoms. We can help you address chronic pain, persistent pain that causes you to miss work, or injuries from a sports injury, car accident, or slip and fall. Let us assess your injuries, identify their cause, and prescribe a plan to improve your overall spinal health today.

Call Naples Community Injury Center for Your Initial Intake Exam

Naples Community Injury Center has three clinics to serve you. We can make you an appointment in Naples, Marco Island, or Estero, FL, today. Contact us now online or call our number to talk to our team. We will answer your questions or schedule your initial intake examination.