Today we’re going to be talking about neck pain. It can show up in a lot of ways. For some of us, we just have a dull ache. Sometimes we can feel muscles starting to tighten where we have a lot of serious muscle knots that cause us a lot of pain. Sometimes we can feel this soreness in the neck that radiates itself up into the head and causes headaches. Neck pain can show up in so many ways and depending on what we’re dealing with that neck pain can lead to other things, pain down into the arms and hands. It can lead to all sorts of things. Let’s go ahead and get started and talk about neck pain, what’s causing it, what it can lead to, things that we can do about it, how you can be free of neck pain.
What Caused My Neck Pain
There are a lot of different causes. One is our posture and a lot of us deal with this today because of this issue with, we call it text neck. Everyone has a cell phone or everyone has a device, even our very, very small children and so because of that device, I’m going to turn this way. We tend to see this issue where the head shifts forward and the farther forward the head shifts, that puts a lot of strain on the neck. It actually causes your head to weigh a whole lot more than it’s supposed to if we were upright. So we want to make sure that we’re doing things that keep our head back. Our posture can cause us pain, repetitive motions. If there’s something that you’re doing over and over again in your day that causes repeated turning of your head, repeated use of muscles that are going to get strained and overworked over time, repeated movements where, let’s say you’re just sitting at your desk and you have to look really far forward to see into the screen.
Poor Sleeping Habits Cause Neck Pain
That’s something that can affect your neck. Bad sleep positions can cause a problem too. If you are a stomach sleeper, just sleeping face down, which you actually can’t sleep face down or you’d suffocate yourself. When you’re sleeping on your stomach, you have to turn your head to one side or the other and if you’re stuck in that position for a long period of time, you’re going to have more pain. You’re going to create imbalance in the neck. If you grit your teeth, that can be an issue as well because the grinding of the teeth affects the muscles in the jaw. That affects the muscles and the nerves that are coming out of the upper most part of the neck.
Grinding Your Teeth
Grinding your teeth over time can lead to neck pain. Car accidents, the whiplash that comes from the very common rear end accident creates a lot of problems because what happens when you get rear ended, it pushes the head back and then you have this whip lashing position where it then shoots you forward. That motion of the head creates problems with the brain, with concussion possibilities, but then lots of strain in the ligaments and the tendons and the muscles of the neck. There’s lots of different causes of neck pain. So then this can lead to things like straining of the muscles, arthritis in your spine where if you have these injuries over a long period of time, those bones will wear down and the more wearing we get, the less mobility that we have, the more problems we’re going to end up having in our spine. It can cause our disks to begin to bulge. Longterm, this can lead to things like peripheral neuropathy in the hands.
Push Hold Release Stretch
All right, so now we’re going to talk about things that we can do that can make a difference in what we’re feeling. One is a stretch called the press, pull and release. What you’re going to do is you’re going to push down on any area where you feel those muscles starting to knot. You’ll just push into it and then slightly pull down on that muscle. You can even turn your head in different directions to create that pulling and then you release. When you do that, you’ll relax the muscles in your neck, a very simple thing that you can do at home to make a difference in how you’re feeling. The next is follow a specific recipe for correction and I talk about this a lot. But if you’re someone who cooks, you know the importance of following the exact recipe because if you don’t, you’re going to create a disaster even if you have the right ingredients.
The Recipe For Neck Pain
So let’s talk about what that recipe can look like. Number one, if you have imbalanced in your spine, you have to improve it, typically with chiropractic adjustments, and that’s one of the things that we do in our office. Then there’s other things that we may need to do to help get the muscles to cooperate. So there’s probably some exercises and stretches and different things that you can do to strengthen and stabilize the muscles. Then there’s a certain kind of traction. If you have a problem where those vertebra are starting to compress together, we want to use some traction to help give you more space and give you more curvature in your neck. When you do those things, your neck pain will improve and as your neck pain improves, so does your life and it can affect not just what you feel, but it can affect the things around you.
Your Neck Can Affect Your Entire Life
It can affect the people around you. I have countless stories of where someone’s pain was not only just affecting how they feel and how they get through their day, but how they were treating their family, how they were around the people who are most important to them and if you’re dealing with pain, the last thing you want is for that pain to not only hurt you, but hurt those around you. In our office, we are committed to not just help you feel better, but to change your health and change your life and that can have an effect on yourself, your family or community, and over time, our world. That’s our goal. I’m Dr. Emil Tompkins. I wish you a day, a life free of neck pain. If you have any questions, go to Tompkinschiropractic.com. You can call us at 572-2596 and we’re happy to help move your health in the right direction. We’ll see you soon.