Neck pain is a universal problem that is creating substantial disability worldwide. You often see people moving their necks around, massaging their muscles, or forcibly popping their necks to ease their discomfort. What are they trying to do? They are instinctively trying to ease the stress of spinal misalignments. Such self-treatments can be dangerous to the arteries, nerves, and other soft tissues associated with the spine, and they can even aggravate the root cause of the problem.

The average adult skull weighs approximately 10-12 lbs and is balanced on top of the neck on the first vertebrae (called the Atlas) directly under the skull.  This orientation allows for greater mobility of the head; however, this comes with the sacrifice of stability. Misalignments between the head and neck result in altered joint and muscle function and can lead to sensations of increased tension, pressure, burning, and numbness in the head, neck, and shoulders.  These types of misalignments can arise from direct injury to the head or neck, such as a fall, bump on the head, or whiplash type injury, or from chronic stress created by persistent poor posture, improper sleeping positions, or simple sudden movements like shoulder checking or throwing a ball. Pain may be felt immediately or weeks, months, or even years later if the underlying misalignment and joint mechanics are not corrected. Neck pain is often a precursor to other conditions such as headaches, dizziness, and jaw or facial pain and numbness.

Through a careful examination and specific adjustment, the NUCCA technique allows chiropractors to safely and effectively correct spinal misalignments. This gentle procedure works to restore proper joint mechanics and return the body to a balanced state.

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.

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