Is neck pain bothering you? What treatments have you tried? It is so common that people are told that neck pain is most commonly caused by a misalignment of the cervical spine. They are aware of this misalignment can sometimes cause symptoms like headache, dizziness, fatigue and sleep disturbances. They also understand this problem will only continue to further deteriorates if left untreated. Living with these potential consequences are definitely not a nice feeling. But, where should these individuals look for help? Most importantly, what is the right treatment to address the problem? Does the occasional massage, stretching exercises from the physiotherapy, TCM medication, Tui Na, Acupuncture, or regular visit to the 5-10 minutes Chiropractic adjustment going to eradicate the issue? The answer is simply a NO.
Structure determines Function
When a vertical column gone out of alignment, some external support need to be added to ensure the stability and/or functionality. This holds true to all column of blocks, and the spinal column is our support block in the human frame. In the case of a neck misalignment, the spinal joints lost their normal function when the neck is not having a lordotic curve. The range of motion of the neck is often compromised. As the problem continues, muscles tension builds up, ligaments laxity starts to accommodate the abnormal structure, and the Inter-Vertebral Discs (IVD) become compressed and degenerate.
“Patch Care” or Corrective Care?
To emphasize the importance of this, try to think about these situations. What would you do when your wheel alignment is off-balance? Would you remove the batteries of a smoke detector and ignore the potential danger? Without doubt, there are many available treatments that are able to alleviate this common problem. Massage helps to ease off the muscle tension, acupuncture and Tui Na can remove the tightness and of course chiropractic or physiotherapy treatment can help improving the movements and flexibility. But, here are the questions to think about – what causes the
- muscle tension?
- stiffness in the joints?
- tightness stored in the ligaments and tendons?
- aches and pain?
These signs and symptoms will reoccur if the structure (Spine) remains unstable due to misalignment. However, it is important to clarify this doesn’t mean those treatments have no therapeutic effects. However, one should understand what to expect from the treatment and what are the ultimate consequences if the root cause is not being addressed properly. So, how can one restore his/her spinal alignment through conservative spinal rehabilitation?
Clinical case – neck stiffness, pain, shoulder tightness and heart palpitation.
As mentioned, spinal misalignment doesn’t always cause pain and it is definitely not the only symptoms that may be experienced by the patient. This patient first presented to us with neck stiffness and shoulder tightness. Upon spinal analysis by our doctor, it is certain that she has definitely lost her normal neck curvature. We sent her for a radiology examination to confirm the findings from the physical examination. From her x-rays, we found early bone spurs and spinal degeneration in the area of C4 – C6. It is also obvious to notice that the neck has lost its natural lordotic curve (straightening) and the head is leaning forward (Forward Head Posture). The abnormal pressure to the lower neck explains the findings on X-ray and also the presenting complaints/symptoms.
*Abnormal spinal alignment speeds up bone and discs degeneration due to the uneven distribution of force and pressure along the spinal structures.
Pain Management + Corrective Care
She was first treated to relieve the stiffness and shoulder tightness through our pain management protocol. Her improvement in symptoms reduction is significant. However, she understands the big picture which is to continue correct her spinal alignment. We reviewed her progress before we proceed into the structural rehabilitation phase to realign her neck alignment. This was her comment – https://essentialchiropractic.sg//testimonial/
As we continue to rehabilitate her neck, we spent on average 30-45minutes in every treatment session, very different from the common practice of most chiropractors in Singapore. After the completion of the structural rehabilitative care, we successfully reversed the straight neck and her presenting symptoms continue to improve. With corrective rehabilitation, we manage to restore the lordotic curve to the neck and reduced the forward head posture. Importantly, pain and functionality are simultaneously improved as the structure becomes more aligned and healthy. This is the type of treatment that a person should receive when they are looking for conservative spinal therapy.
What does this mean to the patient?
It is great to witness the clinical improvements experienced by the patient, not only she is better now but we know that we have reversed and removed many of the potential harm that a loss of neck alignment could have done to her otherwise. Some of the benefits gained through this process of spinal rehabilitation include:
- Diminished / Reduced symptomatic complaints
- Better joint mechanics and function
- Improved mobility and flexibility
- Reduced disc pressure and nerve tension
- Reduced rate of degenerative spinal disc/joint disease
- Slow down spinal ageing process
We hope that you are now aware of this different method of chiropractic treatment. Pain management is critical to address the acute pain situation, but it is not the long term solution for chronic pain. Conservative spinal treatment is still the preferred option for many spinal conditions and corrective chiropractic is the way. For those who are seriously looking for a patient-centered approach to conservative spinal care, consider us as your Chiropractic BioPhysics® (CBP) certified practitioner. We strive to improve your quality of life once again through individualised rehabilitation. Call us @ 98546806 for a thorough consultation and comprehensive analysis to understand more about the neck rehabilitation that we provide. We look forward to assist you in your healing journey to regain your youth and vitality.