Friday, July 10, 2015

Neck Pain: Its Simple Cause and Its Simple Solution

Neck pain is an increasingly common affliction ranging from annoying to life-altering. Identifying its cause is where an understanding of neck pain’s solution begins.  Primarily, neck pain is caused by the mis-alignment of the top cervical vertebra, nicknamed the atlas or C1.  Foundationally, the area where the head and upper neck meet must be balanced or else the rest of the body compensates in adaptation.  As with any other structure, the body shifts when the foundation moves.  Each of us is born with a structural support system in our body to help carry the weight of the head on top of the neck and the rest of the body from the shoulders down.  The supports are the natural spinal curves and the discs in between the vertebrae.  When the C1 misalignment occurs, the structural support curve in the neck is lost. 

Alfred Brieg, a leading neurosurgeon, states that the loss of the support curve in the neck stretches the spinal cord and causes tension on the brainstem, cranial nerves, the cervical part of the spinal cord, and the cervical nerve roots.  This is often goes undetected for years because pain and symptoms do not always come about in the early stages and, if they do, we have been taught to use medication as a way of ignoring the pain instead of finding its source.  Kids are resilient and usually show few signs, but a generation of texting and computer use is thought to be responsible for added strain that makes symptoms arise faster than in the past. 

Normal Curve

Curve Lost

Once foundational stability is lost and the support curve in the neck is gone, the weight from the head is carried more so on the discs than is intended.  The added pressure causes the discs to break down. Spinal degeneration – a fancy way of saying structural breakdown - has long been passed off as a part of the aging process, yet generalization is not evidence.  Age causes our bodies to wear down; not break down.  Research indicates that stress on the joint surfaces is the primary cause of degeneration; the primary cause of stress on the joint surfaces is loss of structural balance; and the primary cause of structural imbalance is head and neck (foundational) misalignment.

A study was performed to compare the spinal degeneration of fighter jet pilots against their military peers.  The pilots showed significantly more degeneration because of G-forces on their bodies when they flew; increasing the stress on their joints caused their bodies to break down faster. 

It’s imperative that the head/neck misalignment is corrected as soon as possible. The sooner it is, the sooner the recovery begins. The body can readapt and re-structure once the foundation is set.

Once foundational balance is restored, food allergies, emotional stress, lack of physical activity, and medication side effect are the most common secondary causes of neck pain. The longer the causes are left undiscovered, the longer pain persists.

Thinking good things for you,

Dr. Chad

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