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Natural Treatment for Neck pain

Written by Dr. Brad Barez, CCSP, QME, IDE.

man-with-neck-painThere are many different types of neck pain. There is acute neck pain, which is pain in the neck that occurred within six weeks. Acute neck pain can be moderate to severe in nature. Next there is chronic neck pain. This is pain that last more than 12 weeks and is about 20% of the neck pain seen today. Patients with neck pain could have associated numbness, loss of motion, burning, or even tingling sensations. Most people think is normal to have this type of pain. However, pain is not normal. Pain is the body telling you there is something wrong.

When people get neck pain, this indicates there is pressure building on these neck nerves or also known as cervical nerves. There are five nerve in your neck that control the arms, shoulders, all the way to the end of the fingers.These nerves converge together and from the brachial plexus.

Beside these five nerves controlling the arms and shoulders, these nerves also control the heart, lungs, chest, and even glands such as the thyroid gland. When pressure builds on the neck nerve roots, or the cervical nerves roots, patients will only have pain when they pass pain thresholds, and compressing sensory nerves, If the nerve s compressed are controlling the heart, lungs, and chest, this could cause a decreased in function, possible sickness, and even more serious health problems.

The Parts of the Cervical Spine and How They Work

In general, the neck includes the cervical spine (the upper most part of the spine) and the soft tissues that surround the cervical spine. These soft tissues include: nerves, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels. The cervical spine is made up of the first seven vertebrae in the spine. Your doctor will usually refer to these bones as C1 through C7. The cervical spine starts just below the skull and ends just above the thoracic spine. The spine has two main functions:

  • To protect and support the spinal cord
  • To give structure and support to our body allowing us to stand up straight”

The vertebrae are the 24 bones that are linked together to make up the spinal column. Just as the bones of the skull protect our brain, the bones of the spine protect the spinal cord. The spinal cord is the large collection of nerves that connects the brain to the rest of the body.

In the center of each vertebra is a large hole. Because the vertebrae are all linked together, these holes line up to form a “bony tube”, called the spinal canal, through which the spinal cord passes. This bony tube makes up the spinal canal, which provides protection and support for the spinal cord.

As the spinal cord leaves the brain, it travels down the spinal canal to the tailbone. Along the way, it gives off smaller nerves that leave the spine between each vertebra through an opening called the foramen. The nerves that leave the spine in the upper area, or the cervical spine, travel into the arms to the hands. The nerves that leave the spine in the chest area, or thoracic spine, mostly go into the chest and belly area. The nerves that leave the spinal canal in the lower spine, or the lumbar spine, travel into the legs and feet.

Spine DiagramTo better understand how the parts of the spine work together, let’s look at a spinal segment. A spinal segment is made up of: two vertebrae, the intervertebral disc between the vertebrae, and the two nerve roots, one from each side that “branch off of ” the spine. The cervical vertebrae are the smallest vertebrae in the spine because they do not have the weight-bearing function of the vertebrae in the back. One pair of spinal nerves exits through the gap between the vertebrae in each segment. One common cause of pain comes from pressure on the nerve roots, sometimes causing pain and numbness in the neck or in the lower body.

The space between two vertebrae contains a large round disc of connective tissue, called an intervertebral disc. By looking at the intervertebral disc from above, we can see an outer ring, called the annulus, and a soft spongy center, called the nucleus pulposus. The annulus is the strongest part of the disc and helps keep the spongy center inside the disc. The nucleus pulposus acts as a shock absorber to cushion the bones from pressure during twisting, jumping, and weight bearing.

A joint is formed where two or more bones meet. Bony knobs, called facets, extend from each vertebra and overlap each other to form a facet joint. Facet joints link the vertebrae together like a chain, and provide a mobile connection between each vertebra. The facet joints are important because they allow the neck to bend and turn. Each vertebra can move only a little, but the chain of small movements combined makes the spine very flexible.

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The Problems Causing Neck pain

Neck pain is usually caused by one of two mechanical structures interfering with these cervical, or neck nerves. The most common cause of neck pain is a vertebral bone compressing directly on one or more of the spinal nerves. When a patient compresses these nerves beyond their pain threshold, the body will elicit a symptom such as neck pain. This problem is called the subluxation complex. The second most common cause of neck pain is a spinal disc compressing on one or more of the spine nerve roots mentioned above. When the spinal disc compresses the nerves hard enough to pass pain thresholds, neck pain will develop. Remember, the ONLY way a spinal disc can compress or be unbalanced is if the vertebrae above and below the spinal disc are misaligned, therefore compressing one or more of the above nerves.

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The Safe Solution to Neck pain

adjusting on beachFinding a good Chiropractor to treat the cause of neck pain is very important. Most treating Doctors treat the symptoms of neck pain, which causes long-term problems and at best temporary relief. A good Chiropractor will identify where the compression or interference of the nerve is using Chiropractic, orthopedic, neurological, and x-ray testing. Sometimes an MRI will need to be performed. Most examinations take between 30-60 minutes for good results.

Next, once the cause of the interference of the sciatic nerve is found, a good Chiropractor will use gentle Chiropractic manipulation to decompress the nerves that are causing the problems. Usually relief is very fast. If the problem has been developing over a period of time, it could take a couple months to recover. Additionally, Chiropractors work with the soft tissue around the spine using various physical therapy techniques, and functional stretching and strengthening exercises.

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The Hidden Danger of Neck pain Treatment

drugs and pillsMost people know when a sensory nerve is compressed hard enough. When a sensory nerve is compressed beyond their pain threshold, they will feel symptoms. When spinal nerves are compressed, most of the compression of these nerves control “autonomic function.” For example, when patients compress one or more of the cervical spine nerves in the spine, immediately this shuts down the life to the organs such as the heart, lungs, chest, and even glands such as the thyroid gland. Patients may or may not ever feel the effects of these organs functioning less until it is too late.

The danger of treating neck pain with pain medication is that the inhibition of these nerves is dangerous to the body. When a spinal nerve is compressed physically, the solution should be to physically decompress these nerves. Medications inhibit the spinal nerves, therefore allowing a patient to feel better, but the problem remains the same, and will get worse over time. The real solution is to physically decompress these nerves as much as the body will allow. This will not only make patients feel better, but will restore normal function back to the body.

The New Patient Offer

Back to Healthcare Chiropractic has been treating neck pain safely and effectively since 1994. Even before 1994, the owner’s mom was a Registered Physical Therapist trained out of UCLA was treating neck pain with great success. Our practice has a systematic way of treating neck pain or sciatic nerve pain using advanced, but gentle Chiropractic techniques, and proprietary Physical Therapy techniques.

Our patients love using the new patient offer. They get a history, examination, report of finding by the Doctor, and x-rays if needed for a very affordable price. We do take most insurance, but we found most chose to paying out of pocket to avoid deductibles and the various insurance limitations. At Back to Healthcare Chiropractic we always make getting healthy affordable.
NEW PATIENT OFFER


Neck Pain Treatment Torrance | (310) 371-3134