Colorado Springs Chiropractor Says "Neck Pain is Not Normal!"
Pain in the neck
"That is a pain in my neck" is a figure of speech that is used every day to express something irritating to down right unpleasant. The phrase is so common that it easy to think that neck pain is normal. "It is just a normal part of the aging process" and "I have been told that I have arthritis" are the mutterings of so many people now that no one gives it a second thought.
Pain in the neck is not normal.
But neck pain is common… One study reports up to 71.5% of the general public suffer from neck pain. The same study shows that 11% - 14% of people will have their work activities limited by neck pain.1 $86 billion dollars is spent each year to treat neck and back pain in this country, and that number continues to go up.2, 3 Can you imagine the amount of money lost each year in wasted productivity from workers that can't get their work done because they are in so much pain?
What are the causes of neck pain?
Mayo Clinic states that the most common cause of neck pain is strained muscles from poor posture i.e. looking at a computer all day.4
But how does poor posture cause
pain? As a culture, we spend the majority of our day looking down. Whether
it is on the computer, or bent over in some form of manual labor, the act of
sustained flexion causes improper biomechanics of the spine.5
Studies show when the curve in your neck moves forward out of it's normal
position, your spinal cord experiences up to 40lbs of pressure and the spinal
cord is severely stretched.6 This stretching narrows the cord
and as a result there is intense neurological compromise. 7
If the spine and spinal cord are under constant stress then what is the result? PAIN
Pain is a great alarm. It warns us there is a problem. That really is all pain is a warning. What problems can occur when we ignore the
1. Pre-mature wear and tear known as degenerative disc or degenerative joint disease is accelerated with poor spinal mechanics.8 In simple terms we age too fast.
2. Stretching of the spinal cord is seen when the normal curve in the neck is lost.
3. Loss of spinal integrity. Disturbed nervous system
When a nerve is irritated, pain is your most common interpreted response, but your nerves do more than just transmit pain. The nerve system controls all functions of the body. So, when the nerves to your neck muscles are irritated, the better question is not what to do with the pain, but where else do those nerves go? The nerves in the neck go to neck muscles, but they also go to the thyroid, esophagus, heart, lungs, sinuses and ears! When there is damage to the nerves in the neck, organs start malfunctioning, and the longer the problem stays, the more damage occurs.
1. Spine: 15 February 2008 - Vol 33; Issue 4S. pp. S5-S7.
3. JAMA. 2008; 299(6):656-664.
5. European Spine Journal, Volume 16, Number 5, 669-678.
6. Effects of Flexion Extension Movements of the Head and Spine upon the Spinal Cord and Nerve Roots. J Neural Neurosurgery Psychiatry 1960, 23:214-221)
7. Biomechanical aspects of the cervical cord: effects of postural changes in healthy volunteers using positional magnetic resonance imaging. Kuwazawa Y, Bashir W, Pope MH, Takahashi K, Smith FW. J Spinal Disord Tech. 2006 Jul;19(5):348-52. Department of Environmental and Occupational Medicine, Liberty Safe Work Research Centre, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK. a. Muhle C, Wiskirchen J, Weiner D, Falliner A, Wesner F, Brinkmann G, Heller M.Spine. 1998 Mar 1;23(5):556-67 Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Christian-Albrechts University Kiel, Germany b. Neurosurgery. 2005 May;56(5):1101-13, Henderson F
8. European Spine Journal, Volume 18, Number 11, 1644-1651.