For cervical pain, there is often more than one cause and more than one course of treatment. To begin, the first step is to perform an inspection. The inspection can let us know if there is a deformity, instability, abnormal head posture, asymmetry, torticollis, or lower limb weakness. This is a crucial first step as it sets the tone for the course of treatment. Next, we have palpitation. This is where we examine if there is tenderness or masses. The areas to check are posterior in the midline, lateral, supraclavicular, and anterior. Midline tenderness in the cervical spine can be due to whiplash injuries and indicate more neck trauma. Range of motion is performed next. To obtain a proper diagnosis, we check the cervical motion in flexion (normal range is 80 degrees), extension (normal range is 50 degrees), lateral flexion (normal range is 45 degrees), and rotation (normal range is 80 degrees). Finally, we check for sensory. Sensory include numbness, tingling, burning, and pain in the neck, back, or extremities.
Causes of Neck Pain
Neck pain can be caused by a variety of things, as the list is long. However, the following list is used to rule out the most severe pathology to determine the root cause of a patient’s cervical pain.
- Injury and Accidents- hyperextension and/or hyperflexion (whiplash)
- Degenerative Disorder (osteoarthritis, degenerative disk disease, and spinal stenosis)
- Inflammatory Disorder (Rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosis spondylitis)
- Tumors / Benign Tumors
- Cervical Fractures
- Inflammatory Disorders
As we take a closer look, we notice that at the root cause of any pain or discomfort occurring in the body is inflammation. Inflammation is needed to help the body heal. However, when inflammation is occurring for too long, problems begin to arise. Excessive inflammation begins to sends the wrong signals throughout our body, and additional hormones (like cortisol, the stress hormone) begin to be released. With additional cortisol, individuals begin to have trouble sleeping, weight gain, and headaches, eventually leading to an autoimmune disorder if not properly handled in the early stages. With inflammation running the body, orthomolecular health, and phase angle decline.
The phase angle is how health care professionals can monitor the integrity of cellular membranes. If the phase angle begins to decline, it has been linked directly to a decline in overall health. Similar to if phase angle increases, overall health is increasing. The integrity of cellular membranes is essential as cell survival depends on solid membranes. When the cellular wall is weak, it can collapse. From here, it is difficult for the body to take up the proper nutrients it needs. Additionally, with a weak cellular membrane, the cell is left with little to no protection from outside invaders. Stress impacts phase angle by causing individuals to release cortisol, be under adrenal stress, gain weight and decrease their overall health.
We monitor a patient’s phase angle with the use of the InBody 770. This advanced machine allows us to not only track the phase angle of our patients but many other areas of their health as well, including but not limited to intracellular and extracellular water.
“It is important not only for phase angle but for the overall reduction of inflammation to reduce stress and cervical injuries. Those who are constantly stressed and in neck pain under-go adrenal fatigue and are more susceptible to getting sick, amongst other diseases. If you do not know where to start, identifying stress and seeking treatment for pain is a great step in the right direction. -Kenna Vaughn, ACSM-CEP, Senior Health Coach”
Rana RS, Moonis G. Head and neck infection and inflammation. Radiol Clin North Am. 2011 Jan;49(1):165-82. doi: 10.1016/j.rcl.2010.07.013. PMID: 21111134. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21111134/
Grisanti, Ron, and Dicken Weatherby. FDMT580B Functional Approach to Neuromusculoskeletal Disorders – Chronic Cervical Pain, Functional Medicine University, www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/members/598.cfm.
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Online Physical Injury / Accident Intake Form: https://bit.ly/Fill-Out-Your-Online-History
Online Functional Medicine Assessment: https://bit.ly/functionmed
The information herein is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own health care decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified health care professional. Our information scope is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, sensitive health issues, functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from a wide array of disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the musculoskeletal system’s injuries or disorders. Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support, directly or indirectly, our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. Read More…
Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, CTG*
Licensed in Texas & New Mexico