Fireworks can be a pain in the neck
There is another danger to add the list of health and safety concerns about fireworks. Yesterday two people came to see me complaining of neck pain after watching firework displays the night before. They had obviously spent an hour or so looking up to the watery heavens and awoke the next morning in considerable pain.
So what went wrong? The joints of the neck get compressed when you look up and, if you are vulnerable to neck injury, the joints get inflamed leading to pain. The muscles can then tighten up causing more pain and sometimes the nerves get irritated too.
Fortunately these two clients had a fairly straightforward locking of a couple of the neck vertebrae. I adjusted the bones and they both felt immediate relief. I suggested it would need to be done a few more times over the next week or two to complete their recovery.
Neck pain is common and, until recently, little was known about the effectiveness of various treatments for it. A recent report by an international medical science group (1) identifies what works and what doesn’t. It took seven years to complete and summarised more than a thousand studies to compile its findings. It is the most comprehensive study into headaches, neck, shoulder and arm pain ever undertaken.
The key findings for mild neck pain are that manipulation, as done by chiropractors, is safe and effective. Exercises, acupuncture, pain-killers, massage and laser therapy are also effective. It was found that the treatments most unlikely to help are surgery, collars, ultrasound, TENS, most steroid injections into the neck joints and numbing the neck joint nerves with radio-frequency therapy.