'Half of the US population will experience some form of significant neck pain in their lifetime.'
- American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Sleeping, sitting, reading, working, driving and virutally any movement can hurt.
The neck, or cervical spine, (shown in the picture) starts just below the base of the skull and ends at the junction of the lower neck and upper back.
The cervical spine consists of 7 small vertebrae separated by shock absorbing disks between vertebrae 2-7, muscles, tendons and ligaments. It is responsible for supporting the total weight of the head all while allowing for movement in all directions.
The cervical vertebrae also provide an avenue for the vertebral arteries to travel up and into the base of the skull. (modeled in red)
The space created by the the juncture of two neighboring vertebra, called the intervertebral foramen, allow for the spinal nerves (modeled in yellow) to emerge from the spinal cord and travel out to our neck, upper back and down to our fingertips.
Injury and Accidents
A sudden forced movement of the head or neck in any direction and the resulting “rebound” in the opposite direction is known as whiplash. This sudden motion injures the surrounding and supporting tissues of the neck and head. Muscles react by tightening and contracting, which can result in pain and stiffness. Severe whiplash can also be associated with injury to the intervertebral joints, disks, ligaments, muscles, and nerve roots. Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash.
Degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disk disease directly affect the spine.
Is a a common joint disorder, causes progressive deterioration of cartilage. The body reacts by forming bone spurs that affect joint motion.
Causes the small nerve passageways in the vertebrae to narrow, compressing and trapping nerve roots. Stenosis may cause neck, shoulder, and arm pain, as well as numbness, when these nerves are unable to function normally.
Degenerative disc disease
Can cause reduction in the elasticity and height of intervertebral disks. Over time, a disk may bulge or herniate, causing tingling, numbness, and pain that runs into the arm.
Poor posture, obesity, and weak abdominal muscles often disrupt spinal balance, causing the neck to bend forward to compensate. Stress and emotional tension can cause muscles to tighten and contract, resulting in pain and stiffness. Postural stress can contribute to chronic neck pain with symptoms extending into the upper back and the arms.
Research shows that conservative chiropractic care, especially when paired with exercise and stretching, is more effective at relieving neck pain than over-the-counter pain relievers, opioids and/or muscle relaxants.
Pain Relief Without Twisting Or Cracking
The Activator V 'Five' Chiropractic Adjusting Device guided by the Activator Protocol ensures a specific and targeted, gentle impulse to restore proper motion and function to the bones in the cervical spine. Once motion is restored, function improves, tension is releived and pain typically decreases.
Workplace or screen viewing ergonomics are key to minimizing this pain. Ergonomics is a fancy word for 'how our body is positioned.'
If our body is positioned in a way that is not supportive or is adding stress to our neck or back, we will undoubltedly experience pain.
Optimizing your workspace to position your body in a supportive manner can help minimize this pain.
To help you manage this, Dr. Freitag is offering a FREE Virtual Workplace Ergonomic Assessment.
During this 15-minute virtual video call Dr. Greg Freitag, with the help of your web or mobile camera, will examine and evaluate your workplace office or positining and help you implement strategies to optimize your body position while you work.
He will also prescribe specific stretches and exercises to train your body to maintain a more supportive posture.