June Issue

Consider This

Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness. - Edward Stanley

Neck Facts

  • The neck supports about 1/7 of the total body weight or 10-13 pounds!
  • The neck is the most freely moving part of the spine.
  • The human spine has seven moving bones in the neck, the same as a flamingo and a giraffe.
  • Proper spinal curves permit normal turning and bending. The owl, with its "S" shaped neck curve, can turn its head in almost a complete circle.

Kids & Neck Pain

A common cause of neck pain in children is the backpack they carry to and from school. A bigger problem than the weight of the bag is the number of times they pick it up during the day and how they carry it. Children should avoid carrying a pack on one shoulder but if they must, they should alternate the shoulder they use. Also, if they plan to carry more than 20 pounds on a regular basis, they should consider backpacks with waist straps to reduce the stress on the lumbar spine.

Associated Symptoms

Neck pain may also be perceived in other parts of the body. This is called" referred pain" and many include:

  • Arm, hand and finger pain, stiffness, heaviness, weakness, locking of the joints, selling, tingling and numbness.
  • Poor arm and hand coordination.
  • Front and back chest pain, breathing difficulty, asthmas-like breathing problems.
  • Poor or no restorative sleep, insomnia and fatigue.
  • Gastrointestinal problems such as loss of appetite, indigestion, gas, bloating, intestinal motility problems, constipation, diarrhea.
  • Bladder problems, such as urinary retention.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, don't wait. See your chiropractor right away.

Is it hard to look over your shoulder? Is there a constant throbbing in your neck? Do you notice a "grinding" sound as you turn your head? Sounds like you need a thorough chiropractic examination.

A popular response to neck pain is by taking painkillers to cover up the problem or by treating its symptoms through the use of muscle relaxers, massage and hot packs.

But neck pain isn't caused by a lack of aspirin or drugs.

Biomechanical disorders of the bony structures of the neck related to stress, strains and sprains of the surrounding soft tissues are the most common cause of stiffness, loss of mobility and neck pain. This can occur through a sudden movement, poor posture when using a computer, driving, lifting or contact sports. Injuries such as contusions and tearing of the muscles, ligaments and tendons or even fractures of the vertebrae can occur in severe cases.

In addition, the process of degeneration affects joints and soft tissues causing arthritis, facet syndrome, spinal stenos is (narrowing of the channels for the nerves and spinal cord), and shifting of the spine. Aging of soft tissues plays a very important role in the daily and recurring experience of neck pain.

The chiropractic approach to neck pain is to locate its underlying cause. This begins with a complete case history and thorough examinations. Special attention is given to the structures and function of the spine, and its affect on the nervous system.

Is the proper spinal curve present? Are the verve openings between each pair of spinal bones free and clear? Is the head balanced? Or the shoulders level? These and other considerations are used to create a plan of specific chiropractic adjustments to help improve the motion and position of spinal vertebrae in the neck.

With improved structure and function, neck pain often diminishes or totally disappears -without addictive drags or harmful side effects.

Simply Steps You Can Take To Reduce Neck Pain Now

Sleep on a firm surface with a pillow thin or thick enough as that your neck does not bend forward or backward when lying on your back, or to the right or left, when lying on your side.

There are two types of exercise that can help relieve neck pain. They are base on stretching and muscle toning. In both cases, you band your head on your neck through all six of the normal directions-forward, backward, right and left turns, and right and left bands. Make the moves as far as possible. Do this at 20 to 30 times in each direction and finish with the same number of neck rolls. To tone the muscles, go through the same movements against the resistance of your hand and arm. Instead of pain medications, thru both exercises four times a day. Continue these exercises daily to help prevent recurrences.

"Telephonitis" is a form of repetitive strain injury. A new study has found that 50% of office workers who use the telephone of rat least two hours a day suffer from neck pain and 31% suffer form lower back pain. The main cause is gripping the telephone between the head and the shoulders. The best treatment is simply to invest in a hands-free headset.

Office Ergonomics
Get up and talk to colleagues instead of e-mailing them. Intersperse active and passive tasks throughout the day.

Position the keyboard/mouse so your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Keep your feet flat on the floor. Keep the top of the screen at least 3-5 inches below your line of sight.

Use chairs that have height, back and tilt adjustment, and take advantage of variable height work surfaces.

Vitality Chiropractic Health Centre
2023 Sheppard Avenue East • Toronto • Ontario • M2J 1W6
Tel: 416-332-3769