Neck Pain in Dana Point, CA

Non-Invasive Neck Pain Care

Research shows that 30% of neck pain cases develop chronic symptoms which is why you want to address it quickly. Lack of motion is the key cause of degeneration in the cervical spine. This is what we as Chiropractors are looking to address.

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Ready to discover the benefits of chiropractic care?

Neck pain can be due to many different things and our lifestyles can be big contributors: motor vehicle accidents, poor posture, tech neck due to excessive electronic device use (people spend an average of 4 hours a day on their phones), repetitive motion/ poor biomechanics, bad sleeping habits, misalignments, trauma, and acute injuries, etc. There are many scenarios.

The important thing is to make sure to address it as soon as possible, so it doesn’t become chronic.

Research shows that 30% of neck pain cases develop chronic symptoms which is why you want to address it quickly. The studies also demonstrates that chronic neck pain is related to respiratory dysfunction over time. (Respiratory dysfunction in chronic neck pain patients. A pilot study by E Kapreli et al.)

chiropractic patient receiving care for their condition of neck pain

There’s also more research that shows that spinal pain, including neck pain increases your chance of chronic disease like cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes by 17%. (Musculoskeletal conditions may increase the risk of chronic disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies)

Lack of motion is the key cause to degeneration in the cervical spine. This is what we as Chiropractors are looking to address.

People that have neck pain tend to reduce their neck movement. It only takes less than 24 hours for fibrosis to set in the muscles and tissues of the neck after immobilization. These Fibrotic tissues then have a lot more pain receptors than regular tissues and send more pain signals to the brain. Therefore, this can start the vicious circle of chronic pain. Movement is essential as soon as safe and possible. This will help the body heal the tissues in an organized manner and help decrease inflammation.

That is why chiropractic care is so effective with neck pain. By restoring motion in the cervical spine/neck area this helps the tissues to heal and break up the existing fibrosis (scar tissue), even if it has been present for years.

In addition, if misalignments are present in between the vertebrae of the neck it increases the load and stress on the neck musculature and bones. With specific chiropractic adjustments and correction of those misalignments, it will prevent further stress and degeneration in the cervical spine.

Common Causes of Neck Pain in Dana Point

1. Bulged Cervical Discs

Discs do not have a regular blood supply. Instead, they get all their nutrients and elimination of waste products by movement. If movement is limited over time, the disc doesn’t get the nutrients they need to stay healthy and full of fluid. One of the more common causes of limited movement in the disc can be from changes in the alignment of the bones of the neck. This in turn causes “fixation” of the neck joints. This leads to dehydration of the disc and degeneration. When this starts to happen, the disc fibers can begin to tear and the nucleus (jelly-like tissue in the middle of the disc) instead of staying in the center of the disc in its optimal position, can take the path of least resistance and move towards the periphery and nerves. This then may change the biomechanics of the spine, result in neck pain, and may even radiate up into the head or upper extremities.

2. Tech Neck

In the last few years, most of us have heard the term TECH NECK. Because of new handheld technology like phones or tablets, we are spending more and more time looking down at our devices and poor posture results. The normal weight of the head is usually between 10-14 lbs depending on the person. However, for every inch that our head is being held forward, it adds an extra 10 lbs to the relative weight of the head. When you are looking down at your device you can easily add an extra 35-40 lbs to the relative weight of your head. This posture often becomes chronic and alters the curve in your neck. This now causes your neck and other structures to now hold up an effective head weight much greater than it should be. This in turn causes a lot of stress on the neck muscles and the upper back muscles. This can therefore lead to neck pain, headaches, respiratory problems, reduced mobility in the neck, and shoulder pain. Once the cervical curve has been altered with Tech Neck, specific chiropractic adjustment can be one of the best interventions to return things back to normal. The neck is an extremely important area of the spine as dysfunction there can lead to recurring headaches/migraines, anxiety, depression, ADHD, and many autonomic nervous system dysfunctions.

It is important to address is as soon as possible as this can also lead to degeneration of the cervical spine that may eventually turn into a permanent problem.

Increased forward head posture and restricted cervical range of motion in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome

Is forward head posture relevant to autonomic nervous system function and cervical sensorimotor control?

3. Subluxation

A Subluxation occurs in the spine when the bones, called vertebrae, move out of their normal alignment and cause undue pressure and dysfunction of the nerve system. When the nervous system cannot function normally, this can cause many different types of health problems. This is what Chiropractors look for and correct. Doctors of Chiropractic are the only type of doctors that specialize in the detection and correction of Subluxations. Subluxations can result from traumas (as old as 40 years ago), stress, repetitive motion, bad posture, or toxins.

If your problem is a subluxation, the only thing that will help with your condition is specific Chiropractic adjustments.

4. Osteoarthritis is Commonly known as Arthritis in the Neck

The joints of the neck require movement and motion to be healthy. Lack of motion or long-term poor biomechanics can cause the neck to degenerate and become arthritic. The discs can begin to shrink, then new abnormal bone can grow called lipping and spurring. The bone spurs can irritate the spinal nerves and surrounding tissues causing inflammation and creating chronic neck pain. This is often in conjunction with degenerative disc disease. This degeneration can also begin to close off the holes call foramen that the nerves come out of and cause neck pain.

5. Whiplash

Most associate “Whiplash” only when related to automobile accidents. However, it is important to note that you can also suffer whiplash from a sports injury like lacrosse, football, surfing, wrestling, etc. Really any type of head trauma can be associated with whiplash. Even things like waiting in line in elementary school, only to have your friend sneak up behind you and shove you from behind unknowingly causing a whipping motion to your head and neck. Whiplash comes from many different causes. Whiplash trauma to the neck can cause straightening of the cervical spine and if it is not addressed can lead to long-term, chronic issues including neck pain. It can cause issues beyond just pain like; blurred vision, difficulty sleeping, anxiety, and memory/cognitive problems. It is also important to note that these symptoms can show up even 6 months after the trauma. Symptoms don’t always happen right away. If the alignment of the cervical spine is not restored to its optimal position, the very delicate ligaments that help keep your head upright may never truly heal properly and can cause chronic neck pain and other issues. Please keep in mind that those delicate tissues that are often injured during whiplash are directly connected to your meninges. The meninges envelop and protect your brain. Therefore, it can lead to many different chronic brain dysfunctions in the long term. Subluxations (described above) can cause adverse mechanical tension on the meninges, and result in further irritation every time you move your head and neck. Simply turning your head can cause problems.

Ready to discover the benefits of chiropractic care? At PCH Chiropractic, Drs. Palmer and Catherine Peet are here to help you get the most out of your life and obtain the highest standard of health and wellness. Book your appointment today.

How We Care for People with Neck Pain

1. Comprehensive Consultation and Exam

Before coming in we will send you a patient application to fill out so we can find out more about how you are feeling and hear about the history of your condition.
Once you come in, we will go in detail through this history and listen to any other additional information that you can share with us regarding your overall health.
We will then perform Chiropractic, functional, orthopedic, and neurological tests to properly diagnose your condition and see how we can help you.

We will then analyze all the results from the tests and the information you provided to us with your history to find the root cause of your condition. That way we can help you find the best care plan to heal your body and not just mask the symptoms.

2. Digital X-rays

PCH Chiropractic has its own in-house low-radiation digital X-ray suite. This then enables us to perform imaging on-site and get the results sometimes in minutes.
Our assessment is comprehensive. During the examination, we will assess your posture, spinal alignment, range of motion, and other findings to determine if X-rays are warranted. We only take the X-rays that are necessary to properly evaluate your condition. We will be assessing both your coronal alignment (looking at you from the front) and your sagittal spinal curves (looking at you from the side).
An altered neck curve can create inflammation and therefore put a lot of stress on the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. This may result in pain not only in the neck but may also lead to other symptoms that might not always seem related; anxiety, depression, difficulty concentrating, slow metabolism, and low immune system.

By looking at a patient’s X-rays, we will also be able to tell you about degeneration in your spine, bones, and disc as well as your full healing potential. To see is to know, and to not know is to guess, and we don’t guess about a patient’s health. When X-rays are warranted, we are able to do so in a safe, effective manner with our up-to-date X-ray equipment.

We will then perform Chiropractic, functional, orthopedic, and neurological tests to properly diagnose your condition and see how we can help you.

We will then analyze all the results from the tests and the information you provided to us with your history to find the root cause of your condition. That way we can help you find the best care plan to heal your body and not just mask the symptoms.

3. Specific Chiropractic Care

Once we have analyzed the x-rays and test results, we can find what is the best adjustment for you and your specific condition. Millions of patients are adjusted every day with amazing safety and effectiveness.

As chiropractors, we are trained to detect and correct the misalignments in your spine. Those misalignments are called Subluxations. Subluxations actually interfere with the body’s own ability to heal itself. It is important to correct them as soon as possible in order to prevent degeneration and weakening in other areas of the spine that may be fed by the nerves coming out of the neck.

The adjustments will help restore movement in the cervical spine and also decrease the stress on the nervous system that leads to inflammation in the body. This will in turn help with better function and communication between the brain and the organs/tissues that are linked to the nerves coming out of the cervical spine.

4. Custom Therapeutic Exercise Plan

Once we begin your personalized care plan, we will show you the exercises that are specific to your posture. Forward head posture is one of the most common postural dysfunctions that we encounter that affects your overall health. As a result of this posture, the anterior neck muscles will get weaker while the posterior neck muscles get more tonic. This is because the posterior neck muscles are constantly activated trying to keep your head over your shoulder/body and fighting gravity.

This leads to a condition called Upper Cross Syndrome where the lower trapezius, rhomboid, and cervical flexors get weak and the upper trapezius, suboccipital and pectoral muscles get overly tight. Upper Cross Syndrome is also associated with neck pain.

By doing a digital posture analysis, we will be able to determine exactly what muscles you should be rehabbed to create the new optimal posture.

We will make sure to suggest exercises that you can also practice at home to keep the healing going even when you are not in our office. We can also give you advice on work ergonomics and sleeping positions. That help with reinforcing the new posture and avoid aggravating the problem

Cervical Spinal Decompression and Traction

One of the reasons for neck pain can be a bulging or protruded disc. It is important to address this problem as soon as possible as they can cause loss of motor and sensory functions not only in the neck but also in the upper extremities. Early intervention is important so those issues don’t become permanent.

We do a special technique called Chiropractic Biophysics where we help to return the curve in your spine and in your neck to their proper alignment. We have specialized equipment that allows us to do cervical spinal decompression. This will therefore relieve the pressure on the disc that is inflamed and causing symptoms that can be interfering with your spinal cord.

Distracting the cervical spine upward relieves the pressure on the tissues and helps the fluid that is full of healing nutrients to move back into the disc. This works in conjunction with the adjustments and exercises to make sure the disc gets all the proper elements to heal. Since discs do not have a direct blood supply, they get all their nutrients and elimination of waste products by movement. Therefore, movement is extremely important in this case. However, you want to make sure that you are doing the right kind of movement and distraction and this is where our expertise can help you.