NECK PAIN

Dr Kez Chirolab Cervical spine neck pain

Well, well, well, it looks like we have some neck pain to talk about! Cervicalgia, (say what now???) as it‚Äôs technically called in the medical world, is a real pain in the neck...literally. There are more conditions that can arise in your neck than there are days in the week, but we'll give you the lowdown on the most common culprits, but first, we will take you through a brief anatomy lesson ūüėȬ†

The cervical spines claim to fame is definitely its flexibility.  It’s the only part of the spine that doesn’t have ribs or a heavy pelvis holding it back, granting it the flexibility to move your neck around in almost every direction. Okay, so not quite as flexible as an owl, but you get my point! Unfortunately, this incredible gift of mobility, can also be a curse, leading to an increased chance of injury.  

Dr Kez Chirolab Cervical spine neck pain

The main responsibilities of the neck are to allow your head to turn. Obvious, I know! This gives you the ability to scan your environment for sensory input, safety reasons, learning, driving, curiosity and, quite literally, survival. One major benefit? It prevents your head from falling off your shoulders (sounds melodramatic, but let‚Äôs face it, that would be disaster ūüėÜ).¬† All the while, the neck is also required to keep your eyes level with the horizon, which is extremely important when it comes to maintaining balance.¬† So much pressure.¬†¬†

To achieve this great flexibility, the vertebrae in the cervical spine are small and plentiful, as well as there being a large number of muscles present to allow this multi-directional movement capacity, carefully balanced with the presence of ligaments to provide stability and prevent injury.  It’s a lot of responsibility up there, balancing on your shoulders, so it’s not at all surprising to hear that there are quite a few things that can go wrong with this part of the spine.

So let's get to it! Here are some common neck conditions and what you can do to help: 

Dr Kez Chirolab Neck Pain conditions Disc Herniation
Dr Kez Chirolab Cervical spine neck pain cervical disc bulge

First up, let’s talk about a doozy...disc injuries.  Herniated discs are by no means exclusive to the cervical spine, and in actual fact, even though a disc bulge in the neck is less common than in the lumbar spine, the pain is undeniable.  When the soft material inside the discs (nucleus pulpous) in the spine pushes out through a damaged section of the exterior of the disc (annulus fibrosis), it can literally bulge out to the point of causing physical pressure on the nerves in the cervical spine (neck), leading to pain and discomfort.  Depending on the severity of the damage to the disc, it can also lead to impingement of the nerve roots called spinal canal stenosis.  Canal stenosis can lead to pain not only being felt at the neck, but also radiating down the arm, potentially all the way to the hand and fingers, depending on the nerve root level.  Although the disc is a delicate structure, it is repairable.  

If numb fingers is the major symptom you are experiencing, checking out our wrist, hands and fingers condition page has more on this topic, as your neck may not necessarily be where it is coming from.  Check it out here.

To treat Disc Herniation, Chiropractic adjustments, stretching, application of the trio of creams, use of the Therapeutic Ultrasound is your best approach to healing quickly from disc issues.  Postural re-correction, once the acute phase of the disc injury has been rectified, is a must do, if you want to prevent reoccurrence.  The use of our 4-in-1 TENS machine can be extremely helpful in the acute stage to help address the pain initially and can also be used on the unique Russian Training Mode feature to address the muscular imbalances that may have lead to the disc issue in the first place.  If your location or funds don't allow for seeking treatment, at the very least start using the trio of creams and ultrasound regularly, the results will astound you.  See below for more details on how to use these at home devices for faster recovery of your neck disc problem.  

Dr Kez Chirolab Neck pain conditions Tech neck
Dr Kez Chirolab Neck pain cervical spine Tech neck poor posture

Now let’s deep dive into a rapidly growing neck pain epidemic known as 'tech neck'. You know the one...that lovely condition that arises from staring down at your electronic device all day, every day. Kids are especially prone to this. Tech neck is a real thing and it can cause some serious neck pain and even headaches.  The key to this issue is the postural imbalances that it causes. Staring down at your laptop, phone or iPad causes the muscles in the front of your neck to shorten and the muscles in the back of your neck to lengthen but also overwork to prevent your head from falling forward off your shoulders (so to speak!). The impact this ongoing posture has on your neck is painfully obvious, but for more information on what screen time is doing to your kids developing minds, check out our blog HERE.  

Dr Kez Chirolab Cervical spine neck pain tight muscles

To rectify this problem we need to rebalance and nurture the muscles involved.  Start by using the cupping set to loosen up the overworked muscles in the back of the neck and into the shoulders and you can even use them on the front of the neck to loosen the tight muscles (more info on this technique below). 

Next we need to nurture the muscles, using the repairing trio of creams and the therapeutic ultrasound.  The creams provide the building blocks for repair and the ultrasound provides increased energy to speed up healing. 

More on these amazing tools and others like the 4 in 1 TENS machine that can help in the treatment section below.

Dr Kez Chirolab Nec pain conditions osteoarthritis
Dr Kez Chirolab Cervical spine neck pain Osteoarthritis arthritis

Next up, we have Cervical Spondylosis, or arthritis of the neck.¬† This is just a fancy-pants name for arthritis of the neck and it basically refers to the natural wear and tear that happens as we age. And let‚Äôs face it, none of us are getting any younger!¬† Cervical arthritis is actually extremely common, with over 85% of people over the age of 60 being affected.¬† ūüė≥¬† But just because it's common doesn't mean it's not a pain in the neck (pun intended). You might be feeling some stiffness, pain, or even numbness in your neck or arms.¬† But don't you worry, there are some simple solutions to ease your discomfort.¬† With simple neck stretches and some cool products to start the healing process at home, you can still be the queen or king of your castle, even with a little Cervical Spondylosis.¬†

Dr Kez Chirolab Cervical spine neck pain cuppingOur advice for osteoarthritis in any joints in your body is to regularly use the trio of creams to continue to provide the body with the building blocks required to support joint repair and to increase blood flow directly over the joints that are damaged.  Also to release the tension of the surrounding muscles, which when tight jam the joints together further damaging an arthritic joint, we recommend using the cupping set.  Cupping releases tight muscles and takes pressure off the already jammed up joints, giving much needed movement back.  The addition of using a therapeutic ultrasound on the pulsed setting on the other hand, will really ramp up the healing efforts of your body to heal the damaged bone and articular cartilage and compliment the efforts of the trio of creams to do the same.  More information on these therapies in the treatment section below.  

Dr Kez Chirolab Neck pain conditions Whiplash
Dr Kez Chirolab Cervical spine neck pain whiplash car accident
Now, let's talk about a big one: Whiplash. This is the result of a sudden jolt or impact to the neck, where the joints have gone beyond their normal physiologcal range, causing damage to the sensitive structures in the cervical spine, often resulting in serious pain and discomfort. Most commonly this occurs as the result of a car accident, but it can also occur from a fall, or even accidentally stepping backwards onto the dog behind you and suddenly changing direction to make sure all of your weight doesn‚Äôt hurt her little paw (sadly I‚Äôve had experience in this area ūüôä).¬† Usually this jolting motion results in the ligaments in the neck being sprained or the muscles being strained which appreciate the love and attention of the Trio of Creams and the Therapeutic Ultrasound to speed up the repair process.¬†
Dr Kez Chirolab Nec pain conditions Sprains and strains
Dr Kez Chirolab Cervical spine neck pain sprain or strainIt doesn't necessarily take a severe whiplash injury to cause a sprained ligament or strained muscle.  Whether it's your ligaments or muscles and tendons causing the issue, the pain will likely feel very similar.  Pain on neck movement can be a sign of a sprain or strain.  Although it is difficult to determine which of these issues might be the culprit without adequate training or a medical scan, the benefit at home is that they are both treated in a similar way.  
 
It is common in clinical practice to find sprained ligaments, not only as a result of injury, but as a result of compensating patterns when the middle back or shoulders are affected.  When one area is locked up, which we Chiro's call a subluxation, other areas surrounding this locked joint will begin to move more to compensate.  This can cause the joint to move beyond its normal physiological range and result in damage to the ligaments which are simply trying to maintain integrity of your spinal joints.   These are the ligaments that we need to nurture back to health and the best way to do this from the comfort of your own home is using the Therapeutic Ultrasound device with the Trio of Creams.  A very powerful healing combination. More on this below! 
Dr Kez Chirolab Nec pain conditions Stiff Neck

Dr Kez Chirolab Cervical spine neck pain waking up stiff bad pillowWaking up with a stiff, painful neck? It's is a sad start to the day when you wake up unable to move your neck.  This can occur as a result of sleeping awkwardly, being up on too many pillows (more on this later), being half on and half off your pillow, (also not ideal) or with sudden movements in your sleep that can occur with vivid dreaming.  

Dr Kez Chirolab Cervical spine neck pain pillow contoured fitted adjustable

Although we sometimes get up to some interesting acrobatic moves in our sleep that may be the cause of ones neck to go out, another major thing to consider is your pillow.  Without the correct profile (height) pillow with a contour to support your neck, stiffness in the morning becomes much more likely.  At night the muscles of our body, particularly those that provide support for our neck and spine all day, every day, are meant to take a well earned rest when we sleep.  If the support of a decent mattress and pillow are lacking, our muscles don't get enough rest and wake up fatigued, making these muscles vulnerable to sustaining an injury from mundane activities like a simple head check in the car or bending down to put a pair of socks on.  If your pillow is too high or too low, or doesn't have a contour that mimics your neck curvature, this would be my first recommendation for improving your neck ailment.  Check out our adjustable contoured pillow to give your delicate neck the support it deserves to wake up feeling refreshed and pain free or read more about the importance of a supportive pillow down below.

Dr Kez Chirolab Acupressure mat neck blood flow

 The pain that is present when we wake up is usually coming from a muscle strain, but can also be the result of an acute muscle spasm, called acute torticollis.   With a muscle strain you can normally keep your neck in a straight, neutral position,  but trying to turn your neck tends to cause sharp pain, whereas an acute torticollis usually results in your neck being held in a twisted position and trying to straighten it causes pain.  Either way, the muscles are what needs your attention.  Increasing the blood flow using the a Wrap-On heat pack works well, as does lying on an Acupressure Mat, if you can manage it.  For a neck strain the heat pack should be located at the back and side of the neck, compared to being at the front and side of the neck with acute torticollis. 

Dr Kez Chirolab Neck pain cervical spine trio of creamsOnce the blood flow has been ramped up, nurturing these stiff muscles is what is advised next. We recommend using Kirofix¬ģ Injury Relief Lotion or Trauma Relief Cream (same amazing 100% natural product but in two different sizes) on the muscles too, as this will help give your muscles a great dose of muscle relieving magnesium and arnica, among other amazing ingredients!¬† If the pain is sharp and electrifying in nature or just causing you to wince on movement, add the Bone Aid Relief Cream to the mix.¬† This powerful number, not only nurtures your bones and joints, it also contains active ingredients that are brilliant in reducing nerve pain!¬† The final step involves applying the Heativate¬ģ Relief Cream.¬† This cream has been specifically designed to dramatically enhance blood flow.¬† Enhancing¬†blood flow is a MUST for giving the body exactly what it needs to rectify this pain in the neck pronto.¬† Without adequate blood flow the body can't effectively heal and repair the damaged tissues and get you back to being pain free by helping the body to fix the pain in your neck!

Finally the therapeutic ultrasound will also work wonders in your endeavour to get your muscles back on track.  Increasing the energy for healing, eradicating inflammation, increasing blood flow and reducing pain is where this device shines.  More information in the treatment section below.

Dr Kez Chirolab TENS machine drug free pain reliefIf this pain is beyond a joke, and sometimes these neck spasms can be intensely painful, using our 4 in 1 TENS machine can give you the break from the pain that you desperately need.  While the TENS machine is on your neck, the buzz of the TENS electrodes will distract your brain from the ongoing pain signal, bringing welcomed relief.  The body can't feel two sensations from the same location, so the TENS buzz gets to take centre stage, while your neck pain can take a rest backstage.  After the acute nature of this painful episode comes to an end the Russian Training Mode (1 of the other modes on our 4 in 1 TENS device) can be used to rehabilitate your muscles from the ongoing imbalances we all seem to experience from staring at our devices all day, helping to prevent further reoccurrences.  More information on tech neck above!  the Russian Training Mode feature on our device that can help to build muscle is very unique and, quick frankly, worth it's weight in gold!  

 

Dr Kez Chirolab Nec pain conditions Treatment Options

How Do We Treat The Neck?

Dr Kez Chirolab Cervical spine neck pain therapeutic ultrasound and trio of creams

One of the tricky things when it comes to neck pain is that it can be caused by so many different structures in the neck from the muscles and tendons, to the ligaments or discs, or even the vertebrae themselves.  With each of the conditions mentioned above we would take a slightly different approach to treatment, but what is the same for all of these issues is that we need to address the inflammation and soft tissues to help the structures to heal, prevent reoccurrence and get relief from the pain.  This is best done using the Trio of Creams and the Therapeutic Ultrasound.  A very powerful combination indeed.  the best thing is you don't need a definitive diagnosis to start treatment.  All of the conditions above will benefit from starting this protocol as soon as possible.

 

Dr Kez Chirolab Nec pain conditions Treatment Options Therapeutic Ultrasound

How To Use The Therapeutic Ultrasound For Neck Pain

It‚Äôs time to alleviate the inflammation and pain in your sore neck using the power of Therapeutic Ultrasound! Using a Therapeutic Ultrasound for your neck pain is like having a live-in Chiro in your home, giving professional results.¬† Whether it‚Äôs whiplash, a sprain or strain, osteoarthritis, tech neck, disc herniation or just a stiff neck, they‚Äôll all be grateful for the benefits of this incredible device.¬† The high-frequency sound waves of the Ultrasound, penetrate deep into the tissues, providing a myriad of therapeutic benefits.¬† Say goodbye to neck pain as the Ultrasound waves help soothe inflammation, reduce swelling, and promote faster healing. Enhancing blood flow to the neck, which brings vital nutrients and oxygen to the affected area, helps speed up recovery. Don't let your neck condition hold you back ‚Äď unlock the transformative benefits of therapeutic ultrasound and reclaim your neck mobility! To read more and watch a video on how it works click the image below.

Dr Kez Chirolab Neck pain conditions Treatment options Therapeutic Ultrasound

First, apply the Kirofix¬ģ Injury Relief Lotion to the area of pain, followed by the Conductive Gel (either directly onto the skin or onto the Ultrasound treatment head).¬† Turn the Ultrasound on, press the button to get to the pulsed setting (turn on, then three UP button clicks).¬† Use the Ultrasound for 4-8 minutes over the painful area and then reapply the Kirofix¬ģ Injury Relief Lotion after you‚Äôve wiped off the gel.¬† The reason we recommend applying the Kirofix¬ģ first as well as after is that during the Ultrasound treatment, the sound waves help to drive the active ingredients of Kirofix¬ģ deeper into the affected site. If you have Cervical Spondylosis (arthritis of the neck), use the Bone Aid Relief Cream as well before the Ultrasound treatment because arthritis involves both bones and soft tissues.¬† The Bone Aid Relief Cream will assist with healing the bone, whereas the Kirofix¬ģ will assist with all of the soft tissue healing (including the muscles, tendons, ligaments, discs and articular cartilage).¬† Applying these two products provides the building blocks that the body requires to repair and regenerate, right where the body needs them most.¬† After the Ultrasound treatment is complete and the gel has been wiped off, (always have a box of tissues handy!) all three creams can be reapplied.¬† The third cream is Heativate¬ģ Relief Cream which assists in increasing blood flow to the area which is pertinent for healing.

Dr Kez Chirolab Trio of Creams cervical spine Neck pain

 

Dr Kez Chirolab Neck pain conditions Treatment Options Vacuum Cupping

 

Can You Do Cupping On The Neck?

Dr Kez Chirolab Neck pain cervical spine vacuum cupping treatment

Absolutely!!¬† Tight muscles are commonly the trigger for neck issues, including the spasms of acute torticollis, muscle strains, the compression of the joints that occurs with arthritis and can even be a contributing factor to disc injuries.¬†¬† If you can alleviate the excessive pull that the muscles apply to the neck joints, you can fast track the healing of most of the issues that cause neck pain, and even prevent them in the future.¬† Sign me up!! I know right?!?!¬† With a Dr Kez Chirolab¬ģ Premium Vacuum Cupping set you can gain the same professional results in the comfort of your own home.¬† Not only are you saving money, but you're recovering faster and preventing further painful episodes in the future.¬† Win-win-win all around.¬†¬†

To find out more about the Premium Vacuum Cupping Set click the image below.

Dr Kez Chirolab Premium Vacuum Cupping set

 

Dr Kez Chirolab Neck pain conditions Treatment options 4 in 1 TENS machine

Can a TENS Machine Be Used On The Neck?

Dr Kez Chirolab TENS neck treatment

Yes it sure can. Neck pain can be quite intolerable and the TENS machine is a good way to give you a break from the pain.  The theory behind the TENS machine is that the body can’t distinguish multiple neurological inputs from the same area of the body.  So imagine for moment that you have neck pain (probably not hard for you to imagine if you’re reading this information), if we were to place the electrode pads over the top of that area of pain and turned on the electrical impulses, your body is then receiving two inputs in the same area and as a result the brain becomes confused, it begins to feel the tingling of the TENS sensation and no longer the pain.  Brilliant! 

For more information of how the TENS machine works and the other 3 features of this amazing machine, click HERE. 

 

What Else Can I Do To Help With Neck Pain?

Dr Kez Chirolab Neck pain conditions Treatment options Chiropractic Treatment

 

See a health professional (like Dr Kez! ūüėČ )¬†

Dr Kez Chirolab Neck adjustment chiropractic activator

While it’s great to have natural solutions to ease neck pain at home, sometimes neck problems need a bit of extra assistance.  A visit to your Chiro or Osteo, might be a good move. They can work wonders on neck pain with their in-clinic treatments, and can offer exercises and stretching specific to your unique issue.  I We would strongly recommend this if you’ve been trying home remedies and are still experiencing neck issues.  In clinical practice, I find dry needling extremely effective in treating neck pain.  Given what we demand of our neck day in and day out, the muscles surrounding the neck often accumulate trigger points which results in uneven pulls on the neck, resulting in limited range of movement, pain and often joint dysfunction.  One thing we pride ourselves on at our clinic, Life Balance Adjustments, is treating holistically. Not only do we adjust the joint but also address the soft tissue imbalances that often lead to the joint dysfunction in the first place.  We use modalities like dry needling and cupping to get the balance back into the muscles to encourage a nice and even pull on the joints as nature intended.  If you cant get to a clinic, many practitioners have a Telehealth option, including us! It's a great way to get a tailored plan for you from the comfort of your own home, that could make all the difference.

Dr Kez Chirolab Life Balance Adjustments booking link

 

Dr Kez Chirolab Neck pain Conditions Treatment Options Contoured Adjustable Chiropractic Pillow

 

Ensure you have a supportive contour pillow

Another great suggestion for speeding up the recovery of neck issues (or to wake up without them) is to ensure that you have a supportive contoured pillow to sleep on.  A pillow that's too high or too low can lead to further aggravation of disc issues, ligament sprains or tendon strains, let alone what it is doing long term to the deterioration of an arthritic neck. 

To find out if your pillow is supporting your neck properly or potentially causing your neck problems click the video below.  

Dr Kez Chirolab Neck pain conditions treatment options stretches

 

Dr Kez Chirolab Cervical spine neck pain StretchingStretching is also a great way to ease neck pain. You can do simple stretches as seen in the video linked below to ease the tight muscles and to open up the cervical vertebrae to help with disc issues and arthritis. Tight muscles lead to joints being compressed, which can lead to disc issues and premature arthritic changes.  Relaxed muscles mean more flexibility and less damage to the underlying cervical vertebrae.  It also leads to greater blood flow up and into your head, neck and scalp.  This is a massive bonus, if you're a headache sufferer.  If headaches are an issue for you click here to view our headaches and migraines conditions page, where we dive into the intricacies of the different types of headaches and the best treatment options.  The stretches in this video may not seem like much, but trust me, it can make a world of difference.  They are simple to do and don't take much time, we should all be doing them on a regular basis.  Add it to your red traffic light routine!

If you are interesting in watching the full video click below. 

 

 

Dr Kez Chirolab Neck pain conditions Treatment options Heat and Cold Therapy

 

Dr Kez Chirolab heat ice pack wrap on hands free

Another natural solution to ease neck pain is using heat or cold therapy. Use ice when you first do an injury as there is usually inflammation involved.  A combination of ultrasound therapy and cold therapy can be extremely beneficial in reducing pain and eliminating inflammation.  Once the injury is less acute (usually after 48 hours in the case of neck pain), you can switch to heat therapy, which is very effective for increasing blood flow and easing muscle tension.  The use of a wrap on system for your ice or heat application is well worth investigating.  The large wrap on ice systems comes with two large gel packs that can be used for either heat or cold.  The beauty of this wrap on system is that you can continue about your day while the pack is held securely in place and it compresses nice and tightly against your neck. 

If you‚Äôre unsure of whether to use heat or ice, check out the Wrap-On-Ice page¬†by clicking the pic above as it has a video¬†with some hot tips, that will cool your curiosity¬†ūüėȬ†

Dr Kez Chirolab Neck pain conditions Treatment options Poor Posture


And last but not least, make sure you're practicing good posture. This means keeping your shoulders back, your head upright, and your chin tucked in. Sorry if I sound like your mother...but she has a point!  

Take a look at our Facebook video by clicking on the image above. 

We take you through some stretches and exercises to help balance the muscles around your middle back which will help bring your neck back into optimal alignment.  Rounded shoulders set your neck up for failure, adding extra stress on your cervical muscles, increasing the chance of chiropractic subluxations in your neck, disc issues,  strains and sprains and arthritis.    

So, there you have it, folks. Neck pain can be a real pain in the neck, but it doesn't have to be. By seeing a Chiro, stretching, using hot or cold therapy, practicing good posture and using some at-home modalities like the Therapeutic Ultrasound, Vacuum Cupping and a 4-in-1 TENS machine, you can get back to feeling like your old self in no time!