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Neck Pain
by Todd Pennington, LMT

Most people have at one time or another played sports, had a fall, hit a part of the body against something or have had an accident of some type. Also, each of us has had stress of some type in our lives. Each of these events can cause problems for the neck.

One of the more common neck conditions is that of the head pulled forward. This causes muscle tightness in the front and sides of the neck. The head tilts back so that we can look ahead (the righting reflex). As this condition progresses the blood flow to the head frequently becomes more compromised. Sensors through out the neck try to say stand up, this message to the brain is frequently not even noticed. The extreme version of this can produce the large hump on the upper back and thrusts the head way forward. What happens is that the front of the rib cage, neck and pelvis tighten. This results in the front of the body being shorter than the back of the body. Movement is restricted and it can result in blood flow and nerve restrictions as well. The more the head moves forward, the more likely the tight muscles will interfere with blood flow to and from the head and neck. Turning to see traffic becomes harder. In the center of the neck nerves come out of the spine for the arm, if these get pinched then it is easy to have arm pain. Also, as the neck tightens arm movement gets harder. To straighten up (relax) this structure it is easiest to start with relaxing the rib cage. Each area needs to be worked in such a way that the front of the body elongates and allows the upper body to straighten up.

A common cause of problems is the sudden energy input of an accident. This can be stopping the car too fast (say 60 mph to zero in about a car length). Others can be flying off horses, bicycles, skis, skateboards, ladders, etcetera. Slower versions of this are falls, tripping and running into objects. Each of these can knock the neck out of alignment. The body wants the head to stay attached so it tightens muscles to keep the head attached to the body. The difficulty is that frequently when this happens muscles get torn, this can be called whiplash. If muscles or other strictures where damaged then new pains can show up over the next few weeks. Depending on the accident it is wise to first seek either medical or chiropractic care. Even if the muscles were not torn they frequently tightened enough to cause problems. After the initial trauma is finished then working the muscles helps the bones move back into normal positions. Frequently after these accidents people live with the new problems for many years, that is an option not a requirement. To let go of the new problems tight muscles need to be stretched and the adhesions formed during the healing need to be treated.

People commonly live with tight muscles. Much of the pain can be blocked when it is long term (chronic). What tends to happen is that one of the muscles puts enough force on the sensor to sense pain. This starts the restricted movement and starts alerting one to the problem. A common next step is to push through the pain and keep going. As this continues the pain is ignored and not noticed. The body frequently continues to tighten (slowly). In time body movement is restricted and we just live with it. The time can come when we tell the doctor it hurts, fix it. At this point it is unlikely that pills will fix it. Sometimes surgery can help some, though surgery normally causes new problems. Even at this point massage can help, the further along in this process the fewer therapists know how to help the now multiple problems.

Many people expect that the aches and pains that have come into their life are a normal part of aging. That arthritis and other pains that they and others have are normal. Much of this muscle pain is an option not a requirement.

Control Muscle Release Therapy looks at the muscles that control bone and muscles at a distance. The goal is to release the structure easily and gently. The easiest way to release the whole body is to relax the key regions of the body. In many cases long term (chronic) conditions can be improved.

Testing: If you are experiencing any of these issues in your body or just want to be tested call for a free 10 minute appointment. I work on all the issues that I have talked about. For more information on this and many other subjects check out the web sites. If any of this interests you, call and schedule an appointment.

Take care of your body now and it will take care of you later.

For more information or an appointment call

Todd Pennington, LMT

(503) 244-4427