Your neck is the bridge between your brain and the rest of your body. If your neck is injured, or chronically stiff and painful, it can be hard to manage your everyday tasks. When the problems causing neck pain are identified, they can be treated effectively for prompt relief. It is possible to completely resolve even chronic neck pain so that you are not even aware of any neck tension.
Balance and symmetry of the right and left sides is desired. Alignment is assessed looking at the clavicles, the occiput, and the scapulae. If one side is dropped or elevated of these bones, it gives clues as to where muscles are weak, and also which muscles are too tight. You have your “front of the neck” muscles (scalenes, sternocleidomastoids) and your “back of the neck muscles” (splenius capitus, upper, middle and lower trapezius, levator scapulae.) If any of these are strained from injury, other muscles will tighten, spasm and hurt. Cervical vertebrae, and even the discs between these vertebrae, will be pulled into misalignment. It is possible to have nerve impingement in the neck that is extremely painful and causes numbness, burning and aching into the shoulders, arms, elbows and hands. This is often the situation with whiplash. However, even “sleeping funny” can set up this situation. People wake up with neck pain from sleeping on their stomachs, or with their head rotated to one side, or sleeping on a poorly fitted pillow.
It is essential to identify and correct the muscle imbalance, as well as adjust and re-set the spine and the discs for the best results. Muscle imbalance is corrected by restoring proper function and strength to the weak muscles. Dr. Kennedy Crosby uses various strain/counter-strain and origin/insertion manual therapy techniques, and spinal adjusting to restore full strength to weak muscles quickly. Tight and spasming muscles, myofascial trigger points and adhesions are addressed with various massage and manual therapy techniques.
The neck also has a significant relationship with the low back, the TMJ, the feet, the clavicles and shoulders. It may be essential to address these regions when caring for a neck injury or chronic neck pain to get the best and fastest results. In some cases nutritional support for neck pain is indicated, especially when there is a history of immune system challenges or chronic infections, thyroid dysfunction or thyroid disease, connective tissue weakness from nutritional deficiencies, and other constitutional issues.