That is a Pain in My Neck
There is a common saying a person uses when describing something stressful to their life, “That is a pain in my neck.” That phrase is so common that we don’t realize the meaning behind it. So many people suffer from neck pain these days that we are numb to it. “It is just a normal part of the aging process” and “I have been told that I have arthritis” are the mutterings of so many people now that no one gives it a second thought.
One study reports up to 71.5% of the general public suffer from neck pain. The same study shows that 11% – 14% of people will have their work activities limited by neck pain. $86 billion dollars is spent each year to treat neck and back pain in this country, and that number continues to go up. Can you imagine the amount of money lost each year in wasted productivity from workers that can’t get their work done because they are in so much pain?
What are the causes of neck pain? Mayo Clinic states that the most common cause of neck pain is strained muscles from poor posture i.e. looking at a computer all day. But how does poor posture cause pain? As a culture, we spend the majority of our day looking down. Whether it is on the computer, or bent over in some form of manual labor, the act of sustained flection causes improper biomechanics of the spine. Studies show when the curve in your neck moves forward out of its normal position, your spinal cord experiences up to 40 lbs of pressure and the spinal cord is severely stretched. This stretching narrows the cord and as a result there is intense neurological compromise.
When the spine is put under constant stress, one response is pain! That is the body’s way of letting us know that something is wrong, and that immediate attention is needed. However, pain is literally only the tip of the ice burg.
The neck, or cervical spine, is comprised of 7 bones, stacked one on top of the other, with nerves that come out between each bone. When the cervical spine is in the proper position, the bones form a smooth C-curve, and the nerves that come out between each bone are free to transmit signals from the brain throughout the body without interference. Poor posture not only takes the C out of the neck, but also causes irritation to the nerves and increases the speed of degeneration in the body.
When a nerve is irritated, pain is your most common interpreted response, but your nerves do more than just transmit pain. The nerve system controls all functions of the body. So, when the nerves to your neck muscles are irritated, the better question is not what to do with the pain, but where else do those nerves go? The nerves in the neck go to neck muscles, but they also go to the thyroid, esophagus, heart, lungs, sinuses and ears! When there is damage to the nerves in the neck, organs start malfunctioning, and the longer the problem stays, the more damage occurs.
22 Health chiropractic doctors are specifically trained in a technique that realigns the spine to allow for maximum nerve supply. If up to 71.5% of people have neck pain, then chances are that you or someone you know has experienced it or will in the future. You have the power to help yourself or others suffering from neck pain by contacting 22 Health for help.