Hi everyone. Dr. Hunter Merriman here, your chiropractor for neck pain in Bradenton, FL.
I’m here to talk about neck pain because I know it’s bothering quite a few of you.
Now, in patients with neck pain come in this office, they typically have two questions. Number one, what happened to my neck? What’s going on here? And second question is, can you fix it?
Chiropractic Neck Assessment in Bradenton, FL
Or there are three primary things that we look for in regards to neck pain in this office. Number one is the alignment of the spine. For instance, from the front, is your nose in line with the center of your chest, or is it rotated? Is it tilting? Or is it deviated from one side to the other? Or is it a combination of all three?
The second type of alignment from the side? Is your head protruding forward in what we call an anterior head cares position? Or is the position vector above the shoulders where it belongs.
The third type of alignment is a segmental alignment of the vertebrae themselves. For instance C1 and C2, that’s the first two bones in your neck. That is where 50% of your rotation in the neck comes from. So if one or both of those joints is stuck, obviously you’re gonna have a difficult time turning your head.
And the second thing we look for is spinal curvature. There are three primary curvatures in the spine. And the neck, we refer to this as cervical lordosis and it should sweep back in this fashion right here. The purpose of that is to distribute the stress gravity appropriately on down the spine.
Thanks to things like cell phones, iPads, computers, and horrendous pillow situations, a lot of people are experiencing a straightening or a flattening of the neck curve. Or worse, they’re experiencing a reversal and that is no place to be.
The third thing we look for is spinal motion. Now there are 24 vertebrae that make up the entire spinal column. Seven of them alone are in the neck and all the joints that are made up in that region, have a responsibility for any type of movement. Whether you’re doing the dishes and brushing your teeth or sneezing, those joints are required to move efficiently.
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Now, why does any of this matter? If there’s one thing in this video I want you to take home is that structure dictates function. And any good engineer will tell you that if you take an inadequate structure and apply stress over time it’s going to break down in the spine. We refer to that as spinal degeneration.
Earlier we talked about the 24 vertebrae that make up the spinal column. Well in between each of those vertebrae should be a nice thick, fat disc. The purpose of those discs is the number one act as a shock absorber. Number two, allow for motion between the vertebrae. Number three, allow for a large space, a large hole, for the spinal nerves to exit the spinal cord.
Don’t forget every nerve in your body below your head has to come out of your spinal column. Anatomical fact. The way we keep these discs nice and thick is through a process called imbibition.
Imbibition is the rocking back and forth motion of the vertebrae on top of the disc. It creates a hydraulic pressure that literally sucks nutrients out of the vertebrae above it and below it. It keeps it nice and hydrated.
So when you like the key three elements, alignment, curvature, and motion imbibition is not happening near as often as it should be.
Now when I’m talking about the stresses of gravity being applied inappropriately along the spine, I’m not talking about going to the gym and lifting weights and that kind of stress and pressure. It certainly applies. But I’m talking about just day to day activities just being a human being on Earth. Sitting at your desk typing on the keyboard.
Day after day after day, when you combine those with the lack of curvature, motion, and alignment, the spine starts breaking down. So imagine yourself with a reverse neck or forward head posture and a bunch of joints that are locked up and not moving. Yes, you are going to be in pain.
You’re gonna feel like you have a pinched nerve. You might have pain shooting down the arm. You’re gonna have a difficult time sleeping. You’re gonna be restricted, you might not be able to turn your head. And you’re certainly not gonna be able to function day to day near as well as you should be.
Chiropractic Neck Exam in Bradenton, FL
So how do we know if this is you?
Well, the first thing we need to do is an examination. We need to sit down together so we can talk about what your body has been through up until this point. They’re going to take you through a series of exams, orthopedic, functional, neurological, postural, these types of assessment will allow us to know if there’s any deficits in regular body function.
Then we’re going to take you through an extremely comprehensive spinal examination so that we have measurements to track progress over time. And we’ll begin by taking a series of special images with our digital x-ray unit, and then running those images through some state of the art spinal analysis software.
And that’s going to tell us black and white, the condition of your spine relative to normal. And it’s at that point, we’ll know if you were even a candidate for chiropractic care. Because occasionally patients come in with conditions that need to be treated with other means.
However, if you are a candidate, then we can talk about creating a program for you to get your life back. Now remember, the spine is an incredible biomechanical orchestra. Moving balance that require alignment, curvature, and motion in order to thrive.
If you liked this video, please share it. There are millions of people out there that are suffering endlessly and they deserve to know that there is a solution. Thank you so much for watching.