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San Francisco Chiropractor: Neck Pain Update!

Posted Sep 05 2011 12:00am

Neck pain doctor in san francisco Neck pain is one of those conditions that affect most people at some point during their lifetime. All you have to do is ask just about anyone, “…have you ever had neck pain?” Then again, maybe you shouldn’t since you’ll probably get overloaded with way too much information from several people willing to share every little detail with you. Because of the way we are anatomically built, the neck is particularly vulnerable to injury (it has to hold up an average head weight of 15 pounds which can be quite a job, especially when we slump or slouch and that 15 pound weight falls forward).

Most of our San Francisco Chiropractic patients sit at a desk all day looking at a computer monitor. Then go home and do more of the same. The head is pulled toward the screen like a magnet causing the muscles of the neck to exert a counter force, predisposing the office worker to neck pain. There are ways to minimize these forces which we teach our patients.

Injury to the neck can result in minimal symptoms all the way to complete disability, making it one of the most common reasons people see doctors of all varieties for help, especially chiropractors.  Couple neck pain with headaches and now you have a real potential for disrupting lifestyles. With simple causes like poor posture, stress, work station problems or long hours at a computer, not to mention anxiety, depression and more, it’s no wonder most of us have needed help for neck pain at some point in time.  So, the question remains, “…what can you do about it?”

From a chiropractic standpoint, spinal adjustments, massage and other soft tissue techniques, and several forms of physiological therapeutics (such as ultrasound, electric stimulation, light – low level laser therapies), all work great!  But, instead of (or, in addition to) things that WE do to you, let’s discuss things we can teach YOU to do on your own. There is a long list of aids that help neck pain that you can self-manage, of which some include: a home traction device, cervical pillows, exercises, posture retraining, stress management, work station modifications, work / job analysis and subsequent modifications, and more. Most important is that YOU are in control of your own management program. All you need is a little motivation (your job) and proper training (our job). Many of these “self-help approaches” include an apparatus or device of some sort, which are technically coined, “hard durable medical supplies.” More specifically (your chiropractor can order these for you):

  1. include (but are not limited to) inflatable collars, seated over-the-door traction units, laying on the back varieties, as well as towel traction. The concept here is that you are stretching the neck vertebra apart and if it’s done proper, it should feel good! Don’t do it if it doesn’t or, reduce the weight until it does feel good. Another type of traction is placing a fulcrum (dense foam triangle) behind the neck while lying allowing the head to hang off the edge of the bed. Foam arches work well.
  2. share the common concept of being contoured to fit the neck and head.  These are thicker on the edge so the gap between the neck and shoulder point is filled in so the head is pointed straight ahead. There are many types of contoured pillows including water pillows, foam, inflatable, buckwheat, rice, and other types. However, a word of caution is in order: you may not like it at first as it can take 3-4 nights to get used to it. But, once you do, you’ll miss your pillow when you’re not able to travel with it.  Executive Express Chiropractic carries the complete line of Tempur-Pedic Pillows.  
  3. . Place your hand against your head and push into the hand, allowing the head to “win” as you move through the full range of motion (forwards, backwards, sideways and rotation). Don’t forget stretching, other strengthening exercises, and fine motor control exercises are important as well. We’ll have to pick this topic up again in the near future. Our San Francisco Chiropractors prescribe a wide variety of exercises. Some you need help with and we do at the clinic…some you do at home.

            We realize that you have a choice in where you choose your health-care services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for neck 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.

To schedule a complimentary consultation at our downtown San Francisco Chiropractic Clinic at the Embarcadero Center, call 415-392-2225 and mention this blog post.

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