Pain in the neck

Neck pain is one of the most common reasons people see a chiropractor. It can be caused by a number of different things, and figuring out what to do to help it can be difficult sometimes. There are lots of different treatments that will help decrease neck pain (at least temporarily). These things range from massage, acupuncture, manipulations, trigger point therapy, ultrasound, electric stimulation, and many other therapies. All of them help, but one thing is the most important when trying to get rid of neck pain. That is correcting the underlying mechanical dysfunction that puts the abnormal strain on the neck.

Anyone who has come to see me for treatment knows how I approach pain that starts for no apparent reason, and that is from a functional standpoint. What does that mean anyway? I might talk about your hips when you are complaining of neck pain. What do the hips have to do with neck pain? Well, if you could see yourself in the mirror while sitting in front of a computer all day, you’d know what I’m referring to. If you sit with your hips flexed forward, pelvis tucked under, low back flexed forward, and an increase in mid back forward flexion, you’ll have to strain your neck to just keep your head up looking straight. That is essentially what is causing a lot of people’s neck pain.

I often use a silly example about someone who has a headache. I ask why they might have a headache, and they say they think it’s because they get up in the morning every day and hit their head against a wall 100 times. I could recommend they take ibuprofen and ice their head. This is likely to help with the headache. The problem is that if they don’t stop hitting their head against the wall, the headache will always come back. This example sounds silly, but that is why I address things from a functional standpoint to help resolve a problem.

Peter Schulz