One of the most common conditions to bring patients to us is neck pain and pinched, malfunctioning neck nerves. Necks are hurt in injuries or by gradual misuse or postural mistakes. Pain, numbness or muscle weakness are common nerve symptoms that are caused by, or "radiate out" from, the neck.
Whiplash injuries are usually thought to come from auto collisions. And of course they do. Bad falls, blows to the head, sports injuries, crashing your neck into the sand when surfing, are a few other examples of how to get a whiplash without involving a moving vehicle. A whiplash will typically cause damage to ligaments, displace vertebrae, screw-up neck curves and pinch or cripple nerve function. Proper treatment is imperative.
Certain occupations and habits can posturally cause severe and ongoing neck problems. Graphic artists, accountants, people who bend their neck over their work, often end up with a loss of normal neck curve and resulting muscle and nerve problems. Holding a phone to your ear with your shoulder will distort the neck's structure. Musicians who hang their instruments from straps on their necks, or who hold instruments like the violin with their neck and chin, will distort the neck and harm its nerve-carrying function.
When a person tells us that he must crack his neck himself everyday to release the tension and restriction in it, we know a real neck problem exists. That neck has severe structural and nerve-malfunctioning problems.
Patients who were told they have arthritis of the neck or spine often have been led to believe that nothing can be done to really help them. They've been told to live with the pain, or to try to dull it with medication. "Bone spurs" and arthritic damage to bones and discs occur in people who have spine problems that were not properly treated. Most of the patients who came in with the worst pain, who have had rave successes with our chiropractic and nutritional therapy, had degenerated and arthritic spines. More than 50% of all the spines we treat come to us with arthritis. And most of those experience excellent results in elimination of pain and restored mobility. So it is false that an arthritic neck is a hopeless situation.
The neck's curves are crucial to some very important areas of the body. The nerves that control blood flow to the brain travel through the top of the spine. Headaches, migraines, high blood pressure, dizziness, eye and ear disorders, memory malfunctions, nervousness and fatigue are some of the symptoms caused by pressure to the upper neck's nerves. Arm, shoulder, hand and wrist problems often start with pressure on the lower neck's nerves. A great many of the arm and hand patients we treat require proper care to the neck for real correction to occur. Thyroid gland or throat problems often stem from lower neck malfunctions, and damage to the neck's normal curve. Chronic laryngitis or carpal tunnel syndrome (a wrist and hand problem) often begins here.
When a neck becomes increasingly worse, the motion will often be limited. A person finds he can't turn it fully, can't easily change lanes when driving. Sometimes the neck will get so stiff it causes stabbing pain, even into the shoulder muscles. Muscles may get so spasmed the neck can barely move.
Chiropractors' methods vary. In our office, the most rapid and refined methods for correcting neck problems are utilized. The more refined the neck procedures are, the better will be the result. These include chiropractic, the "posture pump" that restores curves, deep tissue work, nutrition, acuscope (an instrument that helps correct muscles and heal tissues) and specific exercise. [picture at left: Acuscope treatment]
The new breakthrough technology called Proprioceptive Technique enables us to get rid of pain that has plagued patients for years, even patients who have seen other chiropractors, physicians or therapists before getting to us. Add specific exercise and the "posture pump" if the curves are "out".
Nutritional Supplementation is often invaluable. Ligaments, discs and nerves are repaired faster and better using nutrition. Nutrients relieve muscle spasms and pain, often better and without the spacey side effects of drugs.
There's no good reason to live with a neck problem that can eventually torture you. And every good reason to get rid of one with advanced treatment.
Universal City Medical Wellness Group (UCMWG) is a Multidisciplinary & Complementary Alternative Medical Group near Universal Studios, Studio City, Hollywood, North Hollywood, Burbank & Toluca Lake, in L.A.
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