Neck pain or cervicalgia can be debilitating. Over the years I have had hundreds of patients come in to the office complaining of neck pain, and poor range of motion where they can’t turn their head to one side or the other. For many they let the pain go on for a day or two before coming in to the office. Usually waiting leads to headaches and or radiating pain into the shoulder or upper back. Most of the patients that came in with the pain said that the pain was killing them and they were right!
What Causes Neck Pain?
What causes cervicalgia? There are many causes for developing neck pain (Cervicalgia). Physical stress is one of the causes for neck pain. For some of my patients it was sleeping on the couch or in a poor position that started their neck pain. For others it might have been from a small accident like falling off a bike, wrestling, playing sports or riding a roller-coaster. I always praise the parents for bringing their children in to be check because that significantly helps reduce the problems they may develop later in life due to physical stress. Sometimes looking down at a computer, book or phone for an extended period of time can also cause neck and upper back pain. These traumas are forms of physical stress and can cause immediate pain and inflammation that may leads to further complications.
Chemical stress is another cause for neck pain. The food we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink can have toxins that cause cervicalgia. There are studies that have shown that on average we get bombarded with over 2800 chemicals on a weekly basis. Chemicals cause irritation to nerve receptors and may cause inflammation and irritation in the neck. Pain seems to show up in the weakest areas and for some it’s their neck. For others it may be their lower back or mid back. I remember a time when we repainted the inside of my parents’ house and the smell of the paint gave me neck pain and muscle spasms at the base of my head that turned into a bad headache. Also, Lactic acid build up from over working muscles is a chemical stress to the nerves and can lead into neck pain. Remember what we put into our body is what becomes the building blocks of our organs, cells and tissues. Our body runs by chemical signals, hormones and a balanced chemical environment.
Mental Emotional Stress
The last type of stress that can cause your neck pain is mental emotional stress. Mental stress can come from worrying about family, friends, money, the economy, watching the news or scary movies, driving in traffic and school test to name a few. Mental emotion stress has broad effects on the body. Some long-term effects of stress may be elevating your blood pressure, changing your digestion, increasing fat production and changing your hormone levels. For most acute stress like getting upset with someone may cause muscle spasms and tension in the neck, upper back and shoulders. I had a woman that came into the office once that had severe muscle spasms in her neck and pain that radiated into her right arm and hand. The women told me that the pain started two days before when she was pulled over by a police officer that was being very rude and was not listing to her. The women said she could feel the pain getting worse as she tried to talk to the police officer. The women broke down in my office crying. The women did very well under care and she started feeling better after we listened to her emotional story of what happened. I think she needed to get that off her chest before she could start the healing process.
What is a Subluxation?
These three types of stress cause subluxations (physical, chemical and mental emotional). Subluxations are misalignments in the spine that puts pressure on the nerves or the spinal cord and blocks life in the body. Having subluxations in the neck or upper back can cause pain, muscle spasms, lose of motion and shuts down vital information to the organs or the rest of the body. Subluxations can be the underlining cause of most pain and dis-ease. The dangerous thing is sometimes these subluxations are silent. This means that they usually don’t cause pain unless irritated or after years of causing damage and degeneration to the bones and soft tissue in the surrounding areas. A good analogy would be like having a cavity in a tooth. Most of the time we don’t feel a cavity until the bacteria reaches the nerve. When that happens we usually feel pain and go to the dentist. Subluxations are like having cavities in our spine. Chiropractors are the only profession trained to detect and correct subluxations. Before you get aches and pains and develop cavities in your spine its important to go see your local chiropractor and get a check-up. We go for regular check-ups all the time with Dentists and Medical doctors and its important to go to your Chiropractor as well. Chiropractors are specialists of the spine and can save us from developing a lot of problems throughout our life.
At MNJ Chiropractic and Wellness we check everyone from new born babies to osteoporotic 98-year-old men and women for subluxations and other physical manifestations of stress. We pride ourselves on delivering superior care for all ages and all cases.