Most who suffer from neck pain tend to try and blame the condition on a single incident (poor pillow or bad night’s sleep, turning head too fast, etc.). The truth is most neck problems stem from years of accumulated micro trauma caused by lifestyle factors. Some neck pain does occur as the result of traumatic events (see whiplash), but the increase in sedentary lifestyle combined with spending hours hunched over books and computers which begins in childhood has a negative effect on the normal structural curve of the neck (called a lordosis). This curve should have a slight forward bend (similar to the shape of a banana) which allows for ideal weight bearing of the head (about the weight of a bowling ball) over the shoulders and thoracic spine. As this curve diminishes the weight of the head will tend to fall farther and farther forward putting increased stress on the spine and muscles. The levator scapula muscles which connect at the base of the skull and attach to the upper shoulder blades work harder to accommodate this extra burden leading to chronically tight and sore shoulders. The shifting posture increases the likelihood for subluxation in the neck which can lead to nerve pressure and herniated discs.
Gonstead Chiropractic and Neck Pain
Research is mixed on the effectiveness of chiropractic care for neck pain. Nearly all studies show benefits, ie: some indicate chiropractic is superior to functional rehab, medication, or acupuncture, and others showing the benefit of chiropractic is equal to functional rehab or painkillers. The problem with these studies is that the form of chiropractic being tested is manipulation which involves rotary forces (twisting the head). The Gonstead adjustment for neck subluxation does not involve these rotary forces, and is therefore safer, and has been shown to clinically help dramatically with neck pain and increase range of motion. Many who fear neck adjustments find the Gonstead method to be very comfortable.
Here’s what Gonstead patients say:
“I began to experience what I thought was a stiff neck. The stiffness increased as time passed and pain started to radiate up the back of my head all the way to the crown. The headaches had become a 24/7 ordeal. I had 7 months of functional rehab, MRI’s, trigger point injections, muscle relaxers, narcotics, and even a nerve block directly into the nerve in the back of my head. All of this brought little relief or hope. I suffered and my family suffered. After just a couple of weeks of Gonstead care I began to notice improvement in my health. I would recommend it to everyone. It has been a lifesaver for me and has helped to restore some sense of control over my condition rather than my condition having control over me.”
“It works for me. My neck is so much better. Don’t giver up. This program does work.”
“I had chronic neck pain for years. I would wake up often throughout the night in tears because of the pain. Now I sleep through the whole night . Why suffer with pain when you can be treated without drugs or surgery and have almost instant relief. It really works!!”
“I am virtually pain free. No more neck pain”
“ I was recommended to a Gonstead doctor after a bike accident. I had some damage to my neck (problems moving my head and neck from side to side). Now my neck is much better and I am back to riding my bike and hiking.”
Plaugher, et al, Effects of cervical Adjustments on Lateral-flexion Passive End-range Asymmetries in otherwise Asymptomatic Subjects. Gonstead Clinical Studies Society. www.gonstead.com
Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, 2000;23:307-11.
JMPT, 1999; 22:376-81.