The X-ray you see on the left is the ideal neck from the side with the ideal curve in it. The X-ray you see on the right is a patient who recently came in to our facility with neck pain and arm pain, along with numbness and tingling into his right hand. To protect his privacy, let’s call him Mike. When I see an x-ray like this, when I see Mike in this condition, you cannot imagine how much compassion I feel. See, this is not about this Mike’s neck pain. That is only the tip of the iceberg.
A Little Anatomy Lesson (Stay with me here!)
What structure is the “control panel” for the entire body? The brain. Correct. Where is Mike’s brain relative to his shoulders? Way in front. Correct. And how does the brain communicate with the rest of the body? Through the spinal cord and nerves. Correct. And let me ask you a few more questions. How do you think Mike’s spinal cord and nerves are functioning with his head “way forward?” Optimally or less than optimally? Less than optimally. Correct. What happens when your spinal cord and nerves are not optimal??? You may feel pain. You may have numbness and tingling. If you do you are lucky. Pain is a healthy signal telling your body that something is wrong often times compelling you to take action to treat.
What is meant by the idea that the spinal cord and nerves being “less than optimal?” This is the frightening part. The x-ray on the right, Mike’s neck, illustrates a neck that has serious tension and stress. Yes, mechanical pulling on the spinal cord and spinal nerves. The nerves travel to all areas of the body. The nerves in the neck, in addition to providing nerve supply to the arms and hands, provide support to the organs of the heart and lungs. When a neck is this badly out of alignment, there is significant and serious issues with one’s entire well being. Heart attacks, cancer, lung disease can all manifest from prolong stress on the spinal cord and nerves. Research in science has supported this for over 100 years.
Fortunately for Mike, he developed pain. His pain compelled him to action to treat the cause of the pain. Medication may alleviate the pain symptoms, but will certainly not address the cause. Why? Because the cause of Mike’s pain is a structural alignment problem. The doctors at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation in Red Bank are trained in techniques to address every aspect of Mike’s condition. For the pain, our interventional pain management specialist may provide specific injection therapy if the pain is significant enough to reduce the inflammation locally in the neck. This procedure is called a epidural injection. Acupuncture may also be used in conjunction with injection therapy or alone. Acupuncture works to improve circulation (blood flow) and decrease pain naturally.
To fix the neck, our team of rehabilitation specialists work to correct the curvature of the spine utilizing a technique called Chiropractic Biophysics or CBP. This technique works to change the structure of the neck through various forms of corrective traction. Mike has begun treatment with us. He will be seen three times per week for the next several weeks and possibly even months to correct this severe neck problem. A follow up x-ray will be taken at various times during his care path to measure the progress. We expect pain relief quickly. However, more importantly, we want to see Mike’s neck alignment improve so that his overall life expression and well being are in a greater state of health and vitality.