You may notice that your neck gets stuck. When we do the examination, we see how much you can move your neck. We can often see if your neck has had some problems before by looking at x-rays.
Get Rid of Neck Pain Video
We want to identify the areas in your spine which are malfunctioning…. we can easily identify these problem spots if there is something called spinal degeneration. Spinal degeneration is seen when the discs get thinner and/or bone spurs are present. Your discs get their nutrition through NORMAL spinal movements, so as soon as your joints aren’t moving or functioning properly, it’ll eventually degenerate.
The bone spurs we often see (sharp, pointy spikes that extend from some areas of the bone) are kind of like calluses…so just like if there’s abnormal stress on your skin, then calluses will form. If there’s abnormal stresses on your bone and surrounding tissue then bone spurs will eventually form.
These conditions are often caused by the things you do every day. For example, if you’re sitting in front of a computer for eight hours a day or you’re driving a lot, it’s really impossible not to have some degree of spinal stress.
When we do the adjustment, we identify the areas where the joints are malfunctioning, and what we want to do is unlock the joint and create motion in the joint. When you’re at home what you want to do is keep that joint in motion. One of the best ways we can do it is through pro-lordotic neck exercises. This pro-lordotic exercise uses a specialized exercise band for your neck… we’ll tell you exactly where to put the band and you want to do a series of exercises as seen in the accompanying video. We want you to do about 15 to 20 repetitions with each position. So, there’s 3 basic positions the band will be in (again, please watch the video link below:)
When we do the adjustment, we unlock the joint …and now with this exercise, you’re creating higher stamina and strength in these muscles and this increased motion in your joint will allow the tissues to heal properly and function better. This usually means less aches and pains.
The second exercise we want to do for your neck is range of motion exercises. An easy way you can tell that the joint is stuck or if there’s a misalignment in there is you have a reduction of range of motion. Range of motion is how far you can look in each direction. You should be able to turn your head fully to both sides (about 80-90 degrees). These head turns are good to practice after the pro-lordotic neck exercises. Do this by turning your head all they way to your right hold it for 15-20 seconds…then turn it to the left and hold it for 15-20 seconds. Now tilt your head to one side (ear to shoulder) and then the other side, holding each for 15-20 seconds.
Next, there’s the cervical orthotic. We prescribe a cervical orthotic if your neck is very straight and your head sticks out too far in front of your body. You want more of a curved neck, not straight from the side view. This way, the neck is more balanced and it has less stress.
How do you use it? When you have purchased this device at our office and are ready to use it, you take your index finger and find the largest, pokiest bone on the back of your neck (near where your neck meets your shoulders…there are instructions that come within the box if you get confused). Make sure the side of the device that says “shoulders this side” is pointing toward your shoulders and feet (again consult the pics on the instructions if you get lost). Ideally, this is done on a carpeted floor…if you don’t have a carpeted floor, then lay down a towel or a blanket…using this device on your bed is a little too soft so I wouldn’t do that. When you lie on the orthotic, your head should hang back and stay in this position for approximately 5 minutes at first. You might feel a little stiff or sore even after a few minutes…if it’s just too sore after a few minutes then get off early. Ideally, do this for 5 minutes and every day you go up 1 minute, so the next day would be 6 minutes, the next day 7 minutes, etc….do this all the way up to a maximum of 20 minutes per day.
Like anything else, while you don’t have to do it every day, the more frequently that you do it (i.e. daily), the faster your results will be. By doing this you’ll over time your spine will be better able to absorb weight and shock naturally. Regaining that natural alignment or curvature helps to rebalance your head and take the stress off those muscles in your shoulders and upper back…that is why we need to do cervical orthotic bracing! Your spinal joints are much like your teeth, so to straighten your teeth it takes repetition (braces over a long period of time) and the same goes with your spine!