A Pain In the Neck - Aging But DANGEROUS!

Neck pain is almost as common as back pain. It can range from uncomfortable muscle tension to severe piercing pain, sometimes associated with pain shooting down the arms or radiating up to the head.

You neck consists of seven vertebrae which holds the weight of your head. The top vertebrae is appropriately named after the Greek mythological character Atlas, who carries the weight of the world. Your head weighs 10-12 pounds and rests on the Atlas vertebrae. The weight of the head is distributed down to the other six vertebrae and the discs that are the “cushions” between them. Each pair of vertebrae are joined together by two facet joints, which allows free mobility bending and turning the head.

The spinal column contains the canal where the spinal cord travels from the brain all the way down to the lumbar spine. Between each pair of vertebrae are nerve roots exciting to supply the shoulder muscles and the arms and hands. There are also nerves from the upper neck that travel to the head and face. The spine is of course surrounded by support muscles.
There are many delicate structures that can easily get injured and cause pain. Falling asleep in an odd position can be enough to create pain and, of course, trauma to the head or neck can result in injuries. Whip-lash injuries that occur in car accidents, are a common example.

It is very important to address these injuries with appropriate care, since degenerative changes otherwise gradually occur. Arthritis of the facet joints occur over time and nerve impingement can gradually worsen, especially if there also is disc degeneration.

Untreated, this causes pain and gradually limited mobility of the neck. Pain or numbness, radiating down the arms, can also occur or there can be headache symptoms if the upper neck is involved.

If you or anyone you know have had a neck injury or suffer from neck or arm pain or headaches, please visit an experienced chiropractor for an exam and opinion for treatment. Gentle chiropractic adjustments is the only treatment that will address the root cause of the problems instead of covering up the symptoms with pain medication!

The Brost Clinic has over 30 years experience helping patients with neck problems. 

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