Neck pain is a very common issue in today’s world, especially with the transition many have made from working in the office to working at home at makeshift work stations. While there are many different types and causes of neck pain, our specialty niche focuses on treating the most commonly overlooked causes of neck pain by other healthcare providers: posture and stress. These compression forces can lead to symptoms over time such as local achiness in the neck, tension headaches, stiffness and radiating pain down either arm or into the inner shoulder blade(s).
Chronic Neck Pain
Sacroiliac joint dysfunction is a common but severely underdiagnosed lower back condition that does not show up on x-rays, MRIs or other medical imaging making it difficult to diagnose. This condition can present as pain on one side of your lower back/buttock, pinching/sharp pain at the base of your spine, radiating pain down one or both legs and hip/groin pain. Please refer to the pain referral map below. Does this look similar to your current pain presentation?
Sacroiliac Joint (SIJ) Dysfunction
Please watch the following short video for a presentation on the common symptoms and causes of SIJ dysfunction.
Sacral Torsion/Sacral Shear
Sacral torsion, which ultimately produces a sacral shearing pain at the base of your spine, is often seen in conjunction with SIJ dysfunction. This condition occurs when your sacrum, or the base of your spine, is rotated either to the left or right. This mechanical fault produces a pain usually located right in the middle of the base of your spine or even up into the center of your lower back. This condition is also very difficult to diagnose with medical imaging and is also commonly misdiagnosed.
Does this pain referral pattern look familiar?
Fortunately for you, our clinicians have the rehabilitation program for SIJ dysfunction down to a science. On average, in 5-8 weeks we will have you back cycling, lifting, running, riding in your car to go see family or just playing with your kids without limitations from SIJ dysfunction! Through our tried and true rehabilitation program, we will help you achieve your ultimate desired outcome!
Please watch the following short video for a presentation on chronic neck pain.
How Heavy is your head?
2 INCHES FORWARD
3 INCHES FORWARD
Look at how the position of your head dramatically changes the amount of force transferred through your neck! Any time we are forced to sit for prolonged periods of time looking at a screen, being aware of our posture and actively changing positions can go a long ways in helping to correct and prevent neck pain from occurring. The increase in posterior neck forces can also cause strain and compression to the joints in your neck, causing pain either locally at the level affected OR through the pain pattern shown below.
Now let’s discuss a topic that has become somewhat of taboo in our society, mental health. Let’s face it, stress is 110% a part of our daily lives. There is a muscle in our neck called the levator scapula, which tends to respond very strongly to high stress. This muscle originates on the sides of your 1st-4th cervical vertebrae and attaches on the upper portion of your shoulder blade.
When this muscle becomes chronically tight, normally due to habitual poor posture and/or high daily stress, it can prevent the joints in your neck from moving and gliding the way they are intended to. This “locking” of your neck joints can lead to shoulder blade pain, increased frequency of headaches and dizziness. When blood flow to the brain is limited due to this partial occlusion, the resulting less severe symptoms that we see in our clinic are usually dizziness, headaches and neck pain. More serious symptoms that would require further medical intervention are drop attacks, stroke, double vision, slurred speech and trouble swallowing. We specialize in helping people discover how to manage their daily stress to ultimately decrease the muscle tension in and around their neck. This reduction of stress consequently leads to a reduction in pain and increase in neck range of motion over time.