Balanced Body Soft Tissue & Spine | Ankeny, Iowa Chiropractor Balanced Body Soft Tissue & Spine | Ankeny, Iowa Chiropractor

At Home Assessments: The Neck

Neck pain is the fourth leading cause of disability, with an annual prevalence rate exceeding 30%; what this means is that nearly 1 in 3 people reading this blog will experience neck symptoms this year¹. Because neck pain is so common, especially with desk workers, we tend to discount these symptoms as ‘normal’ but these terms aren’t interchangeable. Seemingly trivial symptoms such as morning stiffness, neck muscle tightness, and loss of range of motion are indicators of future neck problems.

Neck pain and its associated symptoms (arm tingling, numbness, muscle spasms) are rarely benign and most have a common underlying problem that almost no one is talking about it in healthcare today. Do this self-assessment below to find out if this big problem exists in your neck!

 

The Assessment:

 

To start, find a wall and stand with your heels, butt, and back of your head against the wall (left picture).

Next, slide the back of your head up the wall as you tuck your chin in, creating a “double chin” (right picture).

Note any symptoms you feel in the chin tucked position: pulling, aching, tension, sharpness, tingling, pinching anywhere in the head, neck or mid-back.

 

 

 

 

To proceed with the next test keep your chin tucked, then bring your head as far forward as possible without bringing your shoulder blades off the wall. Again, note any symptoms you feel with this (left picture).

For the last test you’ll continue with the chin tucked and head moving forward, this time let your back leave the wall until only the very bottom of your shoulder blades are still touching the wall (right picture). Take note of what you feel in this position.

 

 

So what did you feel? All three of these ranges of motion are the baseline required to have a healthy neck. You should be able to move through these assessments with ease and symptom-free. If you felt anything other than a faint or light pull at the end of these motions then your neck function is being compromised.

So back to the underlying problem that’s not being addressed: adhesion. Adhesion is a common culprit in limiting range of motion, especially in the neck and spine. Adhesion can accumulate in a variety of ways and makes the muscles less flexible and weaker. If left untreated, your body will place significantly more stress on the muscles in the surrounding areas like the commonly blamed ‘traps’ in neck pain. (Did you just rub them as you read this?)

Fortunately, at Balanced Body Soft Tissue & Spine we specialize in finding and fixing adhesion. Dr. Hommer is the only certified Integrative Diagnosis™ provider in central Iowa for treating chronic muscle, nerve, and joint problems. If you are experiencing neck pain and want a long term solution call our office today! (515) 963-1641

 

Cohen, S. P. (2015). Epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of neck pain. Mayo Clinical Proceedings,2(90), 284-299. Retrieved January 16, 2017, from http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196(14)00833-7/abstract

 

 

 

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