I’m Dr. Jody Kinney, your chiropractor for neck pain in Belmar, NJ.
One of the most common conditions that we treat here at Kinney Chiropractic is neck pain. Probably one of the biggest things that I treat on a daily basis.
So your neck supports all of the weight of your head and your head weighs anywhere from nine to twelve pounds.
Women are one and a half times more likely to suffer with some kind of neck pain. And the neck is where most of the rotation motion happens in your spine.
You also don’t have as much thicker musculature as you have in your thoracic, in your lumbar spine. You have much less musculature in your neck, which is why it’s much more prone to injury.
Over the course of you know life, neck pain typically starts in like an acute sort of flare up. Maybe you twisted wrong, slept wrong, and you feel a kink or pain and it goes away in a day or two.
Thirty percent of neck pain cases, however, develop into something more chronic. Meaning something lasting a lot longer.
Our lifestyles are big contributors of why we might have neck pain.
Because now more than ever, we’re looking down at our electronic devices. So our phones, our laptops, our tablets.
Looking down over time causes a lot more stress and strain on the neck. People look down on their phones and their iPads, laptops, up to five hours on average. Five hours a day. That’s a lot of looking down.
And so I’ve seen a growing number of kids, even children (little kids) that come into my office with neck pain and headaches, back pain. And we call this phenomenon tech neck.
Looking down all day on your tablet or your phone is what we call tech neck. And more and more kids are actually coming into my office now with tech neck which is very treatable.
Neck Pain Assessment in Belmar, NJ
So whenever a patient comes into my office with any kind of neck pain, we want to assess what’s going on with the discs.
So a common cause of disc injuries or neck pain that we see is from an acute sort of whiplash or sports injury.
So a whiplash injury usually from an auto accident or a sports injury. And what happens instantaneously the head whips backwards and forwards in a matter of seconds.
And that stress, that rapid forward and back head, neck and stress is called whiplash. And what happens is we start to see loss of the neck spine when you get whiplash injury.
The spinal joints shift out of alignment. People lose that normal like curvature of the spine. People can also develop what we call herniated or bulging discs from whiplash injury.
So in between every one of the spinal bones all the way down, is what we call a disc.
Think of a disc as a little like shock absorber. It prevents the bone from grinding on bone. But it also maintains the space or the hole where all of these nerves are exiting out to the body.
Now imagine each of these discs like a little jelly doughnut. So the outer rings of the disc are called the annulus fibrosus. And they’re made of a tougher, more durable material.
The inside, the very inner core of the disc is called your nucleus pulposus. And it’s a very jelly like, almost gelatinous like, type of material.
Now, if the outer rings get abnormal wear and tear from accidents and injuries or maybe teck neck over time, or just poor posture, some of the annular rings can start to tear or break down. And that jelly or the nucleus can start to push out.
We call this a bulge. If the annular fibers tear all the way through the thickness of the disk that jelly can push all the way out. We call that a herniation.
Chiropractic Treatment for Neck Pain in Belmar, NJ
Chiropractic is the best treatment for disc herniations and disc problems. Because if a disc isn’t treated early and we don’t get that better curve the neck spine, you’re going to have permanent loss of curve and joints can become called degenerative or arthritic.
Permanent changes occur with degenerative or arthritic spines. You get permanent loss of disk space, and bone spurs or little rough edges that can start to develop. And if this happens around the disk, it also connects back to the area where the nerves exit out.
Which will give rise to many of my patients’ not only neck pain, but many of my patients develop shooting pain into the shoulders down the arm to the hands and fingers, maybe numbness and tingling all the way down to the arms, hands and fingers.
So disc bulges, disc herniation and degeneration can give these what we call reticular symptoms or upper extremity arm symptoms pain, and then a real problem once we get to that point.
But still very treatable.
If you have these degenerative discs, and once they start to become very permanent. It’s really hard to get that proper motion and movement back in the spine. But it’s still possible.
Once I see a spine that has arthritis or degeneration, I don’t give up on that person. I say the best thing we can do is work with what we have to get the best alignment.
Get that curve back into the normal spine. Get the motion and movement in the spine so that everything starts to work and move a little bit better.
Chiropractic Spine Assessment in Belmar, NJ
On to my next point. We also want to assess motion in the spine.
So it’s really important that we see healthy motion and movement within the spine.
With poor alignment or accidents or injury or for poor posture or tech neck, sometimes those final joints shift out of place.
But what happens is they get locked. And they get stuck and they pinch and they press, or they disturb the nerve in some way, which can give neck pain. Or maybe like I said that radicular pain.
And so in chiropractic, we call this a subluxation. So subluxations are misaligned vertebrae putting pressure on nerves causing poor motion and movement in the spine.
This is what chiropractors adjust.
We find those areas of the spine that are locked, that are subluxated, not moving well. And we correct the spinal alignment and get better motion and movement in the spine with adjustments, taking pressure off the nerves, helping get better motion and allowing your body to start to heal.
Natural Neck Pain Healing with Chiropractic in Belmar, NJ
Healing your neck pain naturally without drugs, without surgery, without medication. That’s the best way a more conservative way to manage any kind of neck pain injuries.
So with tech neck, with poor posture with subluxations, whiplash injury, sports injuries, that loss of curve that I mentioned over time not only causes degeneration, but it puts a tremendous amount of stress on the muscles and the ligaments and the tendons in the back of the neck.
So when you lose that neck curve, imagine your head now has to hold that 10 to 12, 9 to 12 pounds out in front making these muscles have to work a whole lot harder to like hold your head up right.
This again can give rise to neck pain, headaches, shoulder blade pain, pain into the shoulders. Again maybe numbness and tingling into the hands. This is why it’s so important to make sure that you have a good curve in your neck.
Digital XRays for Neck Pain Treatment in Belmar, NJ
And the way that we do that here at Kinney Chiropractic, is with very specific digital X rays. We take X rays right on site to see if you have a good curve in your neck or not.
Long standing loss of curve is very hard to treat later in life. That’s why it’s so important to find out now if you’ve got a curve in your neck and do something to fix it before it becomes too late.
So when someone comes into my office with any kind of neck pain we must do a very comprehensive, detailed history to find out what past experiences what past accidents or injuries you may have suffered. What past you know any kind of stresses on the spine.
It all adds up to where we are today.
Then we do a really thorough examination which includes chiropractic tests, orthopedic tests, neurologic tests.
We also do very chiropractic, very digital, specific chiropractic palpation. So we can feel and check for alignment. We check range motion, and we do a postural assessment also.
Then we take those really detailed spinal X rays.
In our office we utilize what’s called motion x-rays. Which means we don’t just take a static picture one way and the other. I actually make my patients bend and move in certain directions. So I can see that the spinal joints are moving like they should or not.
Because if they’re not then we know that those are the areas that are problems. And we can see that really clearly on an x ray.
Neck Pain Treatment in Belmar, NJ
So we put it together. We go over the X rays, we view them, measure angles, measure curves. And then we present all these results to each and every patient when we go over that together with our patients before we get into any kind of course of treatment.
Now we put together a really detailed plan of attack, which includes chiropractic care, adjusting the spinal joints, correcting alignment, addressing the discs, addressing the curvature.
And then we also build into the plan, taking care of the muscles and the ligaments and the tendons. With stretching exercises and strengthening exercises so that we can keep the health of your spine the best we possibly can. So that it doesn’t worsen.
And we try to do this in the shortest amount of time possible. So it’s a comprehensive plan.
So once we find out what the problems are, and we do our thorough exam and actually we have all the tools. We know in black and white what exactly we have to do to get you the best results for your neck pain.
So thank you so much for watching. I hope that helps. And I hope I get to see you soon.