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Neck pain is a fairly common condition. Most people will experience it at some point in their lives with women reporting slightly higher instances of chronic pain. Pain medication often is the first line of defense against neck pain but it doesn’t solve the problem and many drugs carry the risk of harmful side effects. Chiropractic treatment for neck pain, including spinal adjustments is a non-invasive and drug-free therapy. The first thing a chiropractor will want to know during your visit is the intensity and duration of your pain. Sometimes, the pain is merely a mild nuisance but severe neck pain can cause serious impairment of your daily activities. While mild to moderate pain is typically the temporary result of poor posture or carelessness when performing daily activities, severe neck pain can be a sign of a congenital defect such as scoliosis, an injury from a recent accident, or progressive age-related deterioration. Although a doctor of chiropractic will use many of the same criteria as a medical doctor when diagnosing neck pain, a chiropractic medical history tends to place greater weight on the fact that the neck is merely one part of the integrated biomechanical system that is the human spine. Systems such as accompanying shoulder or arm pain are considered in context of the underlying issue of chiropractic neck pain. Spinal manipulation and spinal adjustments are an important part of the treatment program for chiropractic neck pain. This drug-free therapy simply involves the chiropractor using his or her hands to treat subluxations. A subluxation occurs when one or more spinal vertebrae move out of position, thus creating pressure and irritation near the spinal nerves. Spinal manipulation and spinal adjustments can fix the subluxation, relieve pain in the soft tissues, increase circulation, and stimulate the body’s nervous system. Contrary to popular belief, spinal manipulation and spinal adjustments are not painful. When you seek chiropractic treatment for neck pain, the treatment is precise and gentle. Chiropractors are trained as experts in the spine and how to manually return motion to restricted spinal joints. They do not merely “pop” or “crack” bones until something “snaps” back into place. After spinal manipulation, spinal adjustments, your chiropractor may recommend that you use an ice pack on your neck to further control inflammation. This cold therapy can be completed at home and is an excellent supplement to traditional chiropractic treatment for neck pain. Once your chiropractor has helped to get your neck pain under control, he or she may suggest exercise, diet, or lifestyle changes to improve your range of motion, strengthen muscles, and prevent a painful relapse. If your condition does not seem to be improving within a reasonable time frame, however, you may be referred to another specialist for further treatment. It is important to note that doctors of chiropractic do not utilize drugs or surgery in their practice. However, there are times when a chiropractic doctor will recommend that the patient consult another practitioner if these or other methods of treatment are indicated.

Pain located in the neck is a very common condition. Neck pain can come from a number of activities, disorders and diseases in the neck, such as degenerative disc disease, neck strain, whiplash, a herniated disc, or a pinched nerve. It can also come from overuse, sports injuries, and everyday home and work related activities. Usually, there is an underlying instability or problem in the neck that is a precursor to the pain. Neck pain is also referred to as cervical pain. “Neck pain is commonly associated with dull aching. Sometimes pain in the neck is worsened with movement of the neck. Other symptoms associated with some forms of neck pain include numbness, tingling, tenderness, sharp shooting pain, fullness, difficulty swallowing, pulsations, swishing sounds in the head, dizziness or lightheadedness, and gland swelling” (MedicineNet.com, 2008, http://www.medicinenet. com/neck_pain/article.htm). “There are seven vertebrae that are the bony building blocks of the spine in the neck (the cervical vertebrae) that surround the spinal cord and canal. Between these vertebrae are discs, and nearby pass the nerves of the neck” (MedicineNet.com, 2008, http://www.medicinenet.com/neck_pain/article.htm). “Incredibly, the cervical spine supports the full weight of your head, which is on average about 12 pounds. While the cervical spine can move your head in nearly every direction, this flexibility makes the neck very susceptible to pain and injury” (American Chiropractic Association, n.d., http://www.acatoday.or/ content_css.cfm?CID=2430). “The neck’s susceptibility to injury is due in part to biomechanics. Activities and events that affect cervical biomechanics include extended sitting, repetitive movement, accidents, falls and blows to the body or head, normal aging, and everyday wear and tear” (American Chiropractic Association, n.d., http://www.acatoday. or/content_css.cfm?CID=2430).   Further detailed explanations of some of the causes of neck pain are: “Injury and Accidents: A sudden forced movement of the head or neck in any direction and the resulting “rebound” in the opposite direction is known as whiplash. The sudden “whipping” motion injures the surrounding and supporting tissues of the neck and head. Muscles react by tightening and contracting, creating muscle fatigue, which can result in pain and stiffness. Severe whiplash can also be associated with injury to the intervertebral joints, discs, ligaments, muscles, and nerve roots. Car accidents are the most common cause of whiplash” (American Chiropractic Association, n.d., http://www.acatoday.or/ content_css.cfm?CID=2430). “Growing Older: Degenerative disorders such as osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disc disease directly affect the spine. – Osteoarthritis, a common joint disorder, causes progressive deterioration of cartilage. The body reacts by forming bone spurs that affect joint motion. – Spinal stenosis causes the small nerve passageways in the vertebrae to narrow, compressing and trapping nerve roots. Stenosis may cause neck, shoulder, and arm pain, as well as numbness, when these nerves are unable to function normally.– Degenerative disc disease can cause reduction in the elasticity and height of intervertebral discs. Over time, a disc may bulge or herniate, causing tingling, numbness, and pain that runs into the arm” (American Chiropractic Association, n.d., http://www.acatoday.or/content_css.cfm?CID=2430). “Daily Life: Poor posture, obesity, and weak abdominal muscles often disrupt spinal balance, causing the neck to bend forward to compensate. Stress and emotional tension can cause muscles to tighten and contract, resulting in pain and stiffness. Postural stress can contribute to chronic neck pain with symptoms extending into the upper back and the arms” (American Chiropractic Association, n.d., http://www.acatoday. or/content_css.cfm?CID=2430). When considering solutions for neck pain, you must look at what will help you and how long it will take to get better. Like with any malady, the progression of treatment should be drugless first, involve drugs second and have surgery as a final option. A significant factor must be the scientific evidence that predicts the outcome of any treatment. A cancer patient or a heart disease patient, prior to undergoing chemotherapy or open heart surgery, will ask the doctor what the percentage of success is for the treatment. The same question should be asked of every doctor for every treatment and chiropractic is no different. In 2008, Thiel and Bolton studied 19,722 patients that were treated for a variety of symptoms, most of which were pain or stiffness in the neck, shoulder or arm region. The purpose of the study was to determine the outcome of chiropractic care in patients with nonspecific musculoskeletal disorders, including mechanical neck disorders. The results revealed that 71.6% of females and 67.9 % of males had immediate improvement. This shouldn’t be confused with the overall satisfaction rate of 94% of patients treated with acute neck pain as reported by Haneline (2006), asThiel and Bolton (2008) examined immediate improvement, not improvement over time as Haneline did. Since statistics can be manipulated in many different ways, let’s examine those patients who experienced immediate worsening. The Thiel and Bolton (2008) study revealed that 95.2% of females and 96.2% of males reported no immediate worsening, rendering an overwhelming predictor of a successful outcome. Predictable outcomes are critical in guiding both the public and the doctor in realizing a successful treatment plan. These studies, along with many others, conclude that a drug-free approach of chiropractic care is one of the best solutions to treat neck pain. To find a qualified doctor of chiropractic near you, go to the US Chiropractic Directory at www.USChiroDirectory.com and search your state. We at Sayville Immediate Chiropractic Care realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services. If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future. Thank you for reading my article. More on back pain can be found on my website http://www.http://sayvillechiropractor.com/. Any questions please contact us.631 991-3492 –   The Chiropractic office that makes it convenient for you to get the care you want in today’s busy society! Our practice has a strong working relationship with many local allied health care professionals and primary care MD’s.   No Appointment Necessary, Walk-in Chiropractic Care: New patients welcome. No Long Term Care Plans   Since Back Pain, Neck Pain and Headaches are one of the most common complaints presenting to the chiropractic physician, please ask for more information about this if you or a loved one is suffering.  It’s one of most significant acts of kindness you can give to those you care about.   Serving the areas of Sayville, Oakdale, Bohemia, Bayport.   YOU MAYBE A CANDIDATE FOR DRUG FREE RELIEF! FOR A FREE NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION CALL DR. FRANK GOMEZ at 631 991-3492   Not ready yet…No Problem.   To Receive These “Daily Health Updates” Via E mail go to www.DrFrankGomezBlog.com and sign up.   Thank you for your time in reading my article.  Please check out the links below for further reading on other health related material. www.SayvilleChiropractor.com www.DrFrankGomezBlog.com www.SayvillePainRelief.com www.USchirodirectory.com   By Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP William J. Owens DC, DAAMLP References: 1. MedicineNet.com. (2008, January). Neck pain. Retrieved from http://www.medicinenet.com/neck_pain/article.htm 2.  American Chiropractic Association. (n.d.). Chiropractic and neck pain: Conservative care of cervical pain, injury. Retrieved from http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=2430 3.  Thiel, H. W., & Bolton, J. E. (2008). Predictors for immediate and global responses to chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine. Journal of Manipulative and Physicological Therapeutics, 31(3), 172-183.

We in the healthcare management world are all biased. If a patient with neck and arm pain presents to chiropractic clinic, the doctor of chiropractic will usually recommend a non-surgical trial of care as long as “red flags” don’t exist (that is, “bad” things like bowel/bladder weakness, rapidly worsening symptoms, and a few others). Frequently, the patient asks, “…should I just have the surgery…am I just postponing the inevitable?” Here’s what we know…             In a 2015 study addressing this very question, the authors compared a non-surgical physical therapy approach using neck-specific general exercises, pain relief, coping strategies, and improving self-management strategies against surgical treatment (ACDF – anterior cervical decompression and fusion) with post-surgical physical therapy. Twelve months following the conclusion of treatment, they found 87% of the 31 patients in the surgical group reported a “better/much better” result compared with 62% of the 32 patients in the non-surgical group. However, at the two-year point, the satisfaction numbers were 81% (surgical) and 69% (non-surgical). The study’s “conclusion” states that a structured NON-SURGICAL treatment approach “…should be tried before surgery is chosen.”             More importantly, at the one year point, 62% of those treated WITHOUT surgery reported a “better/much better” result, which improved to 69% by year two while those receiving surgery DROPPED from 87% to 81% after two years. It would be interesting to see this split at three, four, and five-year time-points, as it is well known that degeneration occurs more rapidly above and below a fusion due to the increased biomechanical load. This can lead to the need for further treatment.             A very similar 2013 study followed 50 patients with herniated cervical disks and arm pain who received chiropractic treatment. After two weeks of care, 55.3% reported they were “better” or “much better.” After one month, 68.9% reported improvement and the percentage increased to 85.7% after three months.             The good news is that guidelines for treating neck pain that radiates into an arm recommend that patients undergo a course of “conservative” (non-surgical) care FIRST before progressing to surgical care. In fact, many guidelines DON’T even recommend MRI or EMG/NCV initially unless the result from the non-surgical care is not satisfactory, usually by the four-to-six week point into treatment.             These studies show that patients with neck and arm pain (most commonly caused by herniated disks) are frequently successfully managed WITHOUT SURGERY and hence, this approach should be tried FIRST and surgery be reserved ONLY to the non-responders.             We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.  If you, a friend, or family member requires care for neck pain or headaches, we would be honored to render our services. To Receive Daily Health Updates, go to www.DrFrankGomezBlog.com and sign up We at Sayville Immediate Chiropractic Care realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future. The Sayville Chiropractic office that makes it convenient for you to get the care you want in today’s busy society! Our practice has a strong working relationship with many local allied health care professionals and primary care MD’s. No Appointment Necessary, Walk-in Chiropractic Care: New patients welcome. No Long Term Care Plans Since Back Pain, Neck Pain and Headaches are one of the most common complaints presenting to the chiropractic physician, please ask for more information about this if you or a loved one is suffering.  It’s one of most significant acts of kindness you can give to those you care about. Serving the areas of Sayville, Oakdale, Bohemia, Bayport. YOU MAY BE A CANDIDATE FOR DRUG FREE RELIEF! FOR A FREE NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION CALL DR. FRANK GOMEZ, CHIROPRACTIC PHYSICIAN at 631 991-3492 Not ready yet…No Problem. To Receive These “Daily Health Updates” Via E mail go to http://www.DrFrankGomezBlog.com and sign up.

Although both medication and chiropractic are utilized by neck pain sufferers, not everyone wants to or can take certain medications due to unwanted side effects. For those who aren’t sure what to do, wouldn’t it be nice if research was available that could answer the question posted above? Let’s take a look!             When people have neck pain, they have options as to where they can go for care. Many seek treatment from their primary care physician (PCP). The PCP’s approach to neck pain management usually results in a prescription that may include an anti-inflammatory drug (like ibuprofen or Naproxen), a muscle relaxant (like Flexeril / cyclobenzaprine), and/or a pain pill (like hydrocodone / Vicodin). The choice of which medication a PCP recommends hinges on the patient’s presentation, patient preference (driven from advertisements or prior experiences), and/or the PCP’s own preference.             Although it’s becoming increasingly common to have a PCP refer a neck pain patient for chiropractic care, this still does not happen for all neck pain patients in spite of strong research supporting the significant benefits of spinal manipulation to treat neck pain. One such study compared spinal manipulation, acupuncture, and anti-inflammatory medication with the objective of assessing the long-term benefits (at one year) of these three approaches in patients with chronic (>13 weeks) neck pain. The study randomly divided 115 patients into one of three groups that were all treated for nine weeks. Comparison at the one-year point showed that ONLY those who received spinal manipulation had maintained long-term benefits based on a review of seven main outcome measures. The study concludes that for patients with chronic neck pain, spinal manipulation was the ONLY treatment that maintained a significant long-term (one-year) benefit after nine weeks of treatment!             In a 2012 study published in medical journal The Annals of Internal Medicine, 272 acute or sub-acute neck pain patients received one of three treatment approaches: medication, exercise with advice from a health care practitioner, or chiropractic care. Participants were treated for twelve weeks, with outcomes assessed at 2, 4, 8, 12, 26, and 52 weeks. The patients in the chiropractic care and exercise groups significantly outperformed the medication group at the 26-week point AND had more than DOUBLE the likelihood of complete neck pain relief. However, at the one-year point, ONLY the chiropractic group continued to demonstrate long-term benefits! The significant benefits achieved from both exercise and chiropractic treatments when compared with medication make sense as both address the cause of neck pain as opposed to only masking the symptoms.             With results of these studies showing acute, subacute, as well as chronic neck pain responding BEST to chiropractic care, it only makes sense to TRY THIS FIRST!             We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs.  If you, a friend, or family member requires care for neck pain or headaches, we would be honored to render our services.To Receive Daily Health Updates, go to www.DrFrankGomezBlog.com and sign up We at Sayville Immediate Chiropractic Care realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future. The Sayville Chiropractic office that makes it convenient for you to get the care you want in today’s busy society! Our practice has a strong working relationship with many local allied health care professionals and primary care MD’s. No Appointment Necessary, Walk-in Chiropractic Care: New patients welcome. No Long Term Care Plans Since Back Pain, Neck Pain and Headaches are one of the most common complaints presenting to the chiropractic physician, please ask for more information about this if you or a loved one is suffering.  It’s one of most significant acts of kindness you can give to those you care about. Serving the areas of Sayville, Oakdale, Bohemia, Bayport. YOU MAY BE A CANDIDATE FOR DRUG FREE RELIEF! FOR A FREE NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION CALL DR. FRANK GOMEZ, CHIROPRACTIC PHYSICIAN at 631 991-3492 Not ready yet…No Problem. To Receive These “Daily Health Updates” Via E mail go to http://www.DrFrankGomezBlog.com and sign up.

Neck pain and headaches can be very disabling and can significantly alter a person’s normal pattern of living.  Simple things like reading the newspaper, cooking, driving a car, and/or looking down when feeding a baby, can become almost intolerable.  Canceling plans for the day or saying “no” to vacations can be very disheartening and often occurs because of severe neck pain and/or headache making these activities simply, “no fun.”  The cause of the headaches associated with neck pain and dysfunction is usually due to the compression caused by the tight neck muscles squeezing the upper three nerve roots in the neck region, resulting in radiating pain into the head.  Frequently, light and noise sensitivity, as well as nausea, can accompany a severe headache, which only adds to the activity limitations associated with neck pain. In fact, there are many experts who feel most headaches, even migraines, stem from the neck or are at least are very closely related.  Since neck pain affects approximately two thirds of the population at some point during their lifetime, it becomes clear that headaches, in the absence of neck pain, are quite uncommon.  Another interesting and lesser-known relationship is the jaw (frequently referred to as the TMJ) and its association with neck function, especially the upper cervical vertebrae, as well as headaches.  The muscles that move the jaw/TMJ are largely innervated by the 5th cranial nerve, also called the trigeminal nerve.  Several studies have found that when stimulating structures innervated by the trigeminal nerve, neck and/or jaw pain was created and vise versa.  Similarly, patients with jaw problems (called temporomandibular dysfunction or, TMD) often report neck pain.  When we open our mouth wide, head-neck extension always occurs followed by head-flexion when we close the jaw.  Hence, the neck is always moving when we chew, yawn, talk, and clench our teeth.  In fact, all of these every day activities result in jaw, head, neck motion extending from the base of the skull and first cervical vertebra (occiput-C1) and continues down through the entire cervical spine.  This was investigated in a study where the relationship between neck symptoms, jaw function – specifically active mouth opening, and pressure pain sensitivity in a trigeminal nerve innervated region after a spinal manipulation was applied to the upper neck vertebrae.  Here, 37 female patients with neck pain were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups (control and experimental) and, before and after treatment, exams of mouth opening and pressure pain levels were measured.  The group receiving the upper neck manipulation showed a significant increase in active mouth opening motion as well as improved pressure pain tolerance compared to the control/non-manipulation group in a sample of woman with neck pain.  This study is very important as many people suffer from neck pain, headaches and TMD.  In order to properly treat these patients, one must focus on multiple regions, not just the neck area.  It has been demonstrated when we bite down, there is a corresponding tightening of two important muscles in the neck and upper back region.  Similarly, studies show relaxation of muscles in the neck, upper back and TMJ after spinal manipulation to the neck is applied.  Injuries to the TMJ are common but often not pursued by patients as often they’ll say, “my jaw clicks and snaps but I don’t think about it.” If you, a friend, or a loved one are struggling with neck pain, headaches, or TMD/jaw pain, we will properly assess your condition and administer the appropriate care that is required.  We also coordinate services with other health care providers when necessary.  This recommendation may represent one of most significant acts of kindness you can give to those that you truly care about. The Sayville Chiropractic office that makes it convenient for you to get the care you want in today’s busy society! Our practice has a strong working relationship with many local allied health care professionals and primary care MD’s.No Appointment Necessary, Walk-in Chiropractic Care: New patients welcome. No Long Term Care Plans Since Back Pain, Neck Pain and Headaches are one of the most common complaints presenting to the chiropractic physician, please ask for more information about this if you or a loved one is suffering.  It’s one of most significant acts of kindness you can give to those you care about. Serving the areas of Sayville, Oakdale, Bohemia, Bayport. YOU MAY BE A CANDIDATE FOR DRUG FREE RELIEF! FOR A FREE NO-OBLIGATION CONSULTATION CALL DR. FRANK GOMEZ at 631 991-3492 Not ready yet…No Problem. To Receive These “Daily Health Updates” Via E mail go to www.DrFrankGomezBlog.com and sign up.