As you go about your day, you may see people massaging their neck and shoulders, or wincing as they try and turn their head. Sometimes you may even see someone forcibly pop their own neck. This popping is an attempt to ease the stress and discomfort of neck pain caused by injuries or poor posture.

Such ‘self-treatments’ for neck pain may provide short-term relief, but it can aggravate and worsen the root cause of the problem.

 

Upper cervical spinal misalignments can affect your entire body


Our neck acts as a support system for the most important part of our body—the brain. The average weight of an adult human head is approximately 12 lbs; this weight sits on top of our first vertebrae, the ‘atlas’. Just as in Greek mythology Atlas holds up the world, your atlas holds up your world—your head! The shape of the atlas allows for a large degree of head mobility which is necessary to perform everyday tasks. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost—vulnerability to injury due to lack of stability.

A misalignment between the head and the neck can result in altered joint and muscle function. This, in turn, can cause sensations of pain, burning, numbness, increased tension, and intense pressure. Regularly experiencing a sore neck, stiff neck, or sharp neck pain are common signs of a misaligned upper cervical spine. Neck pain treatment should be sought out immediately to avoid any progression of the condition.

 

What can cause neck pain?


Neck pain can be a sign that there is an imbalance between the head and the neck which can irritate the joints, ligaments, and surrounding muscles and be caused by a variety of different physical traumas. Some are immediate, and some can happen over time:

  • Direct injuries to the head or neck, such as a fall or bump
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Car or sports accidents
  • Poor posture
  • Sleeping in improper positions

Since the causes are so varied, pain may be felt immediately, or it may not be felt for days, weeks, months or even years after the initial injury. If an assessment of the neck isn’t performed to unveil and treat the misalignment, the injury could progress. Neck pain is often a precursor to other symptoms such as migraines, headaches, dizziness, TMJ dysfunction, facial pain, and/or numbness.

A sore or stiff neck can seem like a minor problem, but if ignored it can have a large impact on your quality of life. If you regularly experience the effects of a neck injury, you could benefit immensely from seeking neck pain treatment and getting your spine checked by a NUCCA chiropractor.

 

Start your neck pain relief journey with NUCCA


At The Vital Posture™ Clinic, we focus specifically on correcting upper cervical spinal misalignments through a chiropractic technique called NUCCA. Our NUCCA doctors seek to realign the head and neck which helps reduce neck pain, stress, and any associated discomfort you may be experiencing.

Many people don’t seek treatment for their neck pain because they believe it’s simply a normal part of life. We often see patients who’ve spent large sums of money on products or medication for their neck pain, most of which only provide temporary relief. An opinion from a NUCCA doctor will provide answers on how or if the relationship between your head and neck may be contributing to how you feel. Every second you spend with neck pain is a second you are not living as your best, healthiest self.

Recent studies have shown that NUCCA adjustments are an effective means of treatment for neck pain without any major adverse reactions.

The process itself is gentle and underwhelming. It feels like no more than a slight pressure behind the ear, comparable to having your pulse taken. The aim is to restore your proper joint mechanics and return your body to a more balanced state.

Be proactive with your health and have your neck assessed by our team of NUCCA chiropractors.

If you have additional questions about what to expect at a NUCCA appointment for neck pain relief, send us a message or learn more here.

 

 


References:

Hoy, D. et al. The global burden of neck pain: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. 2013; 73(7) doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204431.

Jackson, R. The Classic: The Cervical Syndrome. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 2010 Jul; 468(7): 1739–1745.

Rochester, R.P.  Neck pain and disability outcomes following chiropractic upper cervical care: a retrospective case series. J Can Chiropr Assoc. 2009 Aug; 53(3): 173–185.

Head Towards Headache and Migraine Relief with NUCCA Chiropractic

Calling in sick to work today? If the reason you’re stuck on the couch or in a dark room is a painful headache or migraine, you’re not alone. By taking away the ability to focus on even the most basic tasks, headaches and migraines can be a real pain in the neck! Or, is it actually an underlying neck problem that’s causing the pain in your head?

Millions of people suffer from recurring headaches or migraines, with more than 50% of the occurences being accompanied by neck pain. Issues with your upper spine are often the source of neck pain, and if no headache or migraine treatment is pursued, it could quickly become a chronic issue.

 

How can a spinal misalignment cause headaches and migraines?


Headaches seemingly show up at random, with the pain being caused by a mix of signals between your brain, blood vessels, and nearby nerves. A spinal misalignment can irritate the nerves and put pressure on the blood vessels which can send pain signals to the brain, as well as be a source of pain itself. Painful headache signals are sent for multiple reasons, but neck tension is one of the most common. That being said, it is important to consider the variety of reasons that may be the underlying cause of this pain:

  • Illness - having a cold, flu, infection, depression, etc.
  • Environment -  noise, lighting, allergens, smoke, changes in air pressure, etc.
  • Stress - emotional stress, injury, alcohol use, poor posture, neck or back strain, etc.

 

So what? It’s just a headache, I get them all the time!


Undoubtedly, in the past either yourself or a colleague has missed commitments or deadlines due to a headache or migraine… and for good reason! Even minor headaches can be debilitating, and they often cause extreme difficulty focusing on tasks. You are not alone—with over 150 different types of headaches, it is important to experiment with various treatments to see what will work best for you in your life. The types of headaches we most commonly get asked about are:

  • Neck (Cervicogenic) Headaches
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Jaw (TMJ) Headaches
  • Sinus Headaches
  • Cluster Headaches
  • Tension Headaches

Tension headaches tend to be most common and occur when an imbalance of muscle tension occurs in your head or neck. This type of headache often creates a dull and painful throb throughout the head  and is often accompanied by the desire for prompt relief. It is estimated that approximately 90% of the population is affected by a tension headache at least once in their lifetime. Even though these headaches seem random, they are often perpetuated by poor posture, stress in the neck joints and muscles, and improper sleeping positions.

 

Migraines: Not just a headache


Migraines occur less frequently than tension headaches, but they are often more debilitating. Migraine pain is typically felt on one side of the head and is described as intense, throbbing, and/or piercing. Sufferers most often express an extreme sensitivity to light, sound, and even smells, potentially resulting in nausea and vomiting. It is recommended to seek migraine headache treatment as soon as possible as they can last anywhere from 4 hours to 3 days.

If any type of headache is a common occurrence for you, it would be wise to investigate whether you are suffering from an upper cervical spinal misalignment. Chronic headaches of any kind can heavily impact your physical and emotional health, so it’s important to recognize that there is a possible solution and get a thorough assessment from a NUCCA chiropractor. Our NUCCA chiropractic experts can help assess your unique needs and make referrals when appropriate. Focusing on posture and alignment, the Vital Posture™ Clinic has helped many patients find migraine relief.

 

Get your head on straight with a NUCCA correction


When seeking headache or migraine treatment, the underlying causes such as vertebral misalignments are often completely overlooked. If left uncorrected, misalignments can lead to increased recurrence of headaches, prolonged muscle imbalance, and neurological dysfunction. Head pain does not discriminate—everyone is at risk of missing work, school, or deadlines due to headaches and migraines. The next time you suffer from head pain, remember that headache and migraine relief could actually be as simple as visiting a NUCCA chiropractor and getting an appropriate assessment and spinal correction.

At The Vital Posture™ Clinic, our focus is to use an image-guided chiropractic correction developed by NUCCA combined with advanced post-graduate training in pain management, MR imaging, and CBCT to correct upper cervical spinal misalignments. If this misalignment is determined to be the root cause of your head pain, then a NUCCA correction could be a sustainable solution for relief from headaches and migraine pain.

The NUCCA procedure is very controlled and is often described as underwhelming, with patients feeling no more than a slight pressure behind their ear. It’s been compared to being no more intrusive than having your pulse taken.

Proper headache and migraine treatment can drastically improve your life. At The Vital Posture™ Clinic, our team of NUCCA chiropractors helps you to feel stronger, happier, healthier, and more focused when we provide headache and migraine relief.

If you have additional questions about what to expect at a NUCCA appointment for headache and migraine relief, send us a message or learn more here.

Jaw pain, commonly referred to as TMD (temporomandibular dysfunction), can affect anyone and dramatically impacts quality of life. The jaw is a hinge joint that is anchored to the skull by muscles from the head and neck, and misalignments in the upper neck can alter how the jaw articulates with the skull. Signs that there may be stress in the temporomandibular joint include clicking, grinding, and pain with opening and closing the mouth.

The Concussion Confusion is a public awareness initiative lead by Dr. Mylène Hopf. Many people don’t realize that there is a 30 day window following a concussion in which you are most vulnerable. Do you know what to do? There are many myths about what a concussion is and what to do if you experience one.

Do you ever feel like the room is spinning? Do you get lightheaded, woozy, or sometimes lose your balance? The feeling of being ‘dizzy’ can be described in multiple ways and can affect people differently. There are several factors that can contribute to your dizziness including inner ear problems, low blood pressure, hormonal changes, and poor posture.

People often wonder how their low back pain could possibly be related to their neck. It’s on the other end of the spine! Well, the two are more related then once thought. The upper neck has thousands of sensors to monitor head position to ensure it remains balanced on top of the neck. Misalignments between the head and neck cause the body to twist and bend to adapt its posture in order to maintain its upright position in gravity.

Dysautonomia refers to a disorder of autonomic nervous system (ANS) function that generally involves failure of the sympathetic or parasympathetic components of the ANS, but dysautonomia involving excessive or overactive ANS actions also can occur.

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