Neck Pain

It’s time to text out and tune in to the real world when it comes to our phone use. Our iPhones and Androids are running and ruining our lives. The masses are becoming corporate sheep that constantly stare at their phones all day. Over use of the phone is turning into a habitual epidemic that is leading us to a whole host of problems. Besides the social disconnect, and the ruined lives from car accidents from texting, neck pain can also result from these sustained postural aberrations of looking down at your overly priced gizmo gadget widget next best thing phone. Chiropractors have termed this condition as Text Neck.

Text Neck from too much phone use can cause severe pain and can lead to permanent injury to the neck if not dealt with appropriately. Especially when the cause of the pain to the person is unknown, like so many of the gradual aches and pains that occurs in the neck. Text neck not only causes neck pain, but also upper back pain and excruciating wanna put yourself out of your misery type headaches.

Sometimes it can be difficult for the doctor to make the connection that the patient’s neck pain is coming from their phone. A patient presents with neck pain and describes the history of their pain as coming on gradually for no apparent reason. This is why it can be difficult to determine the cause of some aches and pains, because the patient hasn’t put 2 and 2 together yet. A good chiropractor can fish this out of a person, but it is not easy as people have a hard time fathoming that their recreational phone use is causing a catastrophe in their neck. There is also the denial stage that someone has a problem with their phone use that also causes the diagnosis of Text Neck to be difficult.

The habit of looking down at the phone to play games, surf the internet, check your facebook, shop online, watch videos on youtube, and read books inadvertently causes over use and under use of muscles in the front and back of the neck. Imagine going to the gym for a year and only working on your pectoral muscles, this is similar to what constantly checking and playing your favorite time waster games does to your precious neck. If your spine was as visible as your face was, we would all take better care of it.

The neck has a similar curve to the low back, and when the neck is out of this healthy neutral position, it distorts the natural neutral lordotic curve of the neck. Maintaining a reversal of the curve in your neck, and out of the neutral position, it slowly deforms the supporting ligaments of the cervical spine. The ligaments in the back of the neck get overstretched and the ligaments in the front of the neck undergo contracture and become shortened. Eventually this will cause a reversal of the curve in neck, even when the person returns to the neutral position of their head being over their shoulders. This habit eventually creates what is known as military neck, a straight neck that is misaligned.

Even worse, when the misalignments of the neck can become so bad that a kyphotic curve results, which is a reverse of the lordotic curve. The unbalanced overly stretched and under stretched supporting spine ligaments add stress to joints, nerves, discs, and muscles. These structures will wear out and can cause premature degeneration of the neck, bulging discs, and numbness and tingling down the arms. Muscles will also become overly active and under active, or weak and tight, and overly strong and lengthened.

Text neck can become a nightmare to deal with, especially if it dealt with by your good amigos named Tylenol and Ibuprofen, and worst yet continuing the prolonged use of looking down at your phone.

As a Denver chiropractor, I routinely treat patients that have neck pain due to their habit of playing with their phones. Some patients are so addicted to their phone that they use their phone while they are being treated on the chiropractic table. As a chiropractor, we have a wide variety of therapies to help your neck. Do your neck a favor and put down your phone.

To Your Health,

Dr. Trent Artichoker

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd, Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

303-455-2225 (BACK)

www.DenverColoradoChiropractic.com

Like little baby Jesus, most neck pain seems to come out of nowhere. Its not like you were in a car accident or fell out of bed and there is no outwardly obvious reason for why your neck hurts. Most people do notice some patterns of their neck pain, like it hurts more when I do the dishes, or when you sit at your job. As a Denver chiropractor, most of the new patients that I see have this fluctuating neck pain that is usually caused by forward head posture. Understanding where this pain comes from is half the battle to ridding it. So, I listed the top 5 causes of forward head posture that causes neck pain.

1. iPosture or Text Neck. This is becoming epidemic as more and more people use cell phones. Take a look at person that is using their phone. The head is usually bent forward to at least 50-70 degrees which slowly pulls on all of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, joints, and fascia. This slow pull on the back of neck essentially overstretches this part of the body. This creates an imbalance of stretched tissue.

2. Computer Posture. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, you end up slouched with your head sticking out by the end of the day. It’s almost impossible to escape without someone repeatedly telling you to sit up straight. Computer posture is often the result of poor ergonomics.

3. Pillow Neck. The way you sleep is another source of forward head posture. If you ever sleep on your back while using a pillow, you are slowly creating a forward head posture.

4. Reading Neck or Scholars Neck. Sit in your favorite chair and enjoy your latest murder mystery and soon before you know, you’ve been there for over an hour with head pointing down. Looking downward for a prolonged period doing your desk work or reading will create forward head posture. Some people like to read while lying down in bed which will also slowly give you forward head posture.

5. Couch slouch or Potato Neck. You ever watch a movie while lying down with your head on the arm rest of the couch. Guilty! Everyone does it, but if you do it on a regular basis it slowly juts your head out and then you look like one of the character in the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Sitting in your favorite position in the couch that gives your spine banana back will also give you forward posture.

The imbalance of overusing certain muscles and under using certain muscles in combination with only stretching one side of the neck will cause forward head carriage. This is easy to spot as your head will not be above your shoulders, and will be forward compared to your torso. Over time this will create a major malfunction of the system, creating pain, stiffness, kinked necks, headaches, and sore shoulders.

Chiropractic care is an excellent option for treating a forward head posture. As chiropractic adjustments and the other therapies we offer will help restore the natural alignment of your neck. Of course you need to identify the root cause, but putting out the fire while improving your awareness of your posture is necessary. At Denver Chiropractic, LLC we offer a wide variety of treatment options to help decrease your neck pain.

Dr. Trent Artichoker

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

303-455-2225

chiropractic for neck pain

Spinal Manipulation, Medication, or Home Exercise With Advice for Acute and Subacute Neck Pain

A Randomized Trial

  1. Gert Bronfort, DC, PhD;
  2. Roni Evans, DC, MS;
  3. Alfred V. Anderson, DC, MD;
  4. Kenneth H. Svendsen, MS;
  5. Yiscah Bracha, MS; and
  6. Richard H. Grimm, MD, MPH, PhD

Annals of Internal Medicine, January 3rd, 2012, vol. 156 no. 1 Part 1 1-10

From Northwestern Health Sciences University, Pain Management and Rehabilitation Center, and Berman Center for Outcomes and Clinical Research at the Minneapolis Medical Research Foundation, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Abstract

Background: Mechanical neck pain is a common condition that affects an estimated 70% of persons at some point in their lives. Little research exists to guide the choice of therapy for acute and subacute neck pain.

Objective: To determine the relative efficacy of spinal manipulation therapy (SMT), medication, and home exercise with advice (HEA) for acute and subacute neck pain in both the short and long term.

Design: Randomized, controlled trial. (ClinicalTrials.gov registration number:NCT00029770)

Setting: 1 university research center and 1 pain management clinic in Minnesota.

Participants: 272 persons aged 18 to 65 years who had nonspecific neck pain for 2 to 12 weeks.

Intervention: 12 weeks of SMT, medication, or HEA.

Measurements: The primary outcome was participant-rated pain, measured at 2, 4, 8, 12, 26, and 52 weeks after randomization. Secondary measures were self-reported disability, global improvement, medication use, satisfaction, general health status (Short Form-36 Health Survey physical and mental health scales), and adverse events. Blinded evaluation of neck motion was performed at 4 and 12 weeks.

Results: For pain, SMT had a statistically significant advantage over medication after 8, 12, 26, and 52 weeks (P ? 0.010), and HEA was superior to medication at 26 weeks (P = 0.02). No important differences in pain were found between SMT and HEA at any time point. Results for most of the secondary outcomes were similar to those of the primary outcome.

Limitations: Participants and providers could not be blinded. No specific criteria for defining clinically important group differences were prespecified or available from the literature.

Conclusion: For participants with acute and subacute neck pain, SMT was more effective than medication in both the short and long term. However, a few instructional sessions of HEA resulted in similar outcomes at most time points.

Primary Funding Source: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health.

 

ergonomic consultation in denver co
An Example of Bad Sitting Ergonomics

An Example of Bad Sitting Ergonomics

I think we like to have internal civil wars between our brains and our bodies. Even though they are intimately connected, I think the brain has a superiority complex. I see this battle when it comes to the desk jockey. This is the person who sits all day, every day, and that is how they make their money, by sitting and doing computer-desk work. I realize that this is unavoidable and can be very taxing on the body, but if I had a choice, I think I would rather be a stunt man and take my injuries one by one vs. slowly becoming a mongoloid like cave dweller chained to one position. Heck, even prisoners have more freedom than desk jockeys.

 

This internal war starts with the body revolting, sending messages to the brain to move, squirm, readjust, get up, take a break, stretch, and so on. The mind recognizes the bodies check engine signals, but overcomes them with rationalization. The mind tells the body to take it, and keep on sitting. The mind realizes the importance of surviving, but also keeps in minds that whole must keep working to earn that oh so precious dollar.

At one point the mind might give a little and do more exercise outside of the working hours, but sometimes this is not enough. With some minds, there is recognition of the importance of the work space ergonomics. The chair is always recognized as very important. Here comes the problem. Some minds will start to think that sitting on a huge ball will help keep them upright for endless hours that their job demands. They think that the ball will magically strengthen their core to a point that they can sit forever without fatigue, like some sort of superhero. Short periods of large ball sitting are okay, but endless sitting will short circuit the system. This is when they find me, a Denver chiropractor, and the one they seek for help. Their brain has recognized its own inability to protect itself, its civil war has lost, and the body is battered and can no longer cooperate.

Well, I want to help all of the professional sitters sit better, to be able to sit longer, and sit without fatigue. I recently have had more than a normal amount of people come to the clinic and tell me they have neck and back pain, and they want me to fix them. When there are no obvious injuries, I have to play a bit of Sherlock Holmes. I usually suspect with a high degree, the job category, especially if they sit all day. When it comes out that they are using a large ball to sit on, I have to pull my teacher hat out.

Most people like to think they have good ergonomics. This of course is natural for the professional sitter. Let me tell you why sitting on a ball all day is wreaking havoc on your body.

Sitting requires using your muscles to some degree. It you are using the same set of muscles to sit for extended time, that is, more than 30 minutes, your muscles will fatigue. Think of holding a bowling ball like a waiter holds a tray. With the weight directly over the hand and weight, it is not so bad, because it requires a high degree of balancing versus strength. This is the concept that the ball sitters are using, but it is flawed. For a short time this version of sitting will work, but certain muscle groups will fatigue at one point.

The goal of sitting well is to shift the strain on muscles, and not have one group of muscle bearing the burden. This is what happens with ball sitting, one group of muscles are doing all the work while the rest are sitting back and taking a nice vacation.

Shifting the load on muscle groups to different muscle groups is the key to prevent one set muscles from fatiguing, and using a ball to do this is impossible. With a ball, you cannot rest your arms; your arms are endlessly hovering to type and mouse. The muscles that do this are what many people call their shoulders. This is the Upper Trapezious, Levator scapulae, Rhomboids, Splenius Capitus, and many others that share connections with the neck and back. The muscles in your low back share the same burden, they never get to rest, because they are always engaged.

By using these muscles continuously, you will put a tremendous amount of strain on the upper back, low back, and the neck. Using a ball also prevents you from resting your neck. Having a chair where you can tilt back and rest your noggin, and rest your arms while you take or make a call is just what the body wants, a shift in muscle group use.

Prolonged use of any muscle will put the check engine light on. Using over the counter non steroidal, like Ibuneverworkuprofin, or Tyandnotfixanol will never cure your problem. You are just putting tape over the check engine light. After a while of body revolt, your joints will be out of alignment, trigger points and muscle adhesions will develop. This will show as low back pain, upper back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, and headaches.

If you keep repeating the pattern of using your ball to sit on while you are developing neck and back pain, your problem will become much harder, longer, and much costlier to fix than buying a good ergonomic chair. Do your body a favor and get rid of that six dollar Walmart ball that you are using.

Next time you sit on your ball, become aware of what muscles you are actively using. Next, think of how long those same muscles can keep contracted without fatigue. Listen to your body, it will tell you what it needs, as long […]

cold laser therapy in denver

Cold Laser Treatment

We are still far away from hover boards, and time machines, but our advances in laser therapy to treat pain and injuries has come a long way. Our chiropractic clinic in Denver has the latest advancement in laser therapy. We utilize the MR4 Super Pulsed Laser.

This one piece of equipment utilizes a combination of 5 different therapies. It includes in one treatment, 1. A super pulsed laser, 2. Pulsed broad band infrared, 3. Pulsed red light, 4. Static Magnetic field, and 5. Electric stimulation. This is a very powerful combination, that is used to treat over 300 different conditions.

One of the coolest advances with cold laser equipment, is that it has TARGET technology. Which stands for Treatment Area Recognition and Guidance Enchanced Technology. We use the device to scan an area, and it recognizes areas of increased impedence. This is the area we treat. We pull the trigger, and therapy starts, once the impedence improves, the device stops therapy.

One of the big advantages of this type of cold laser therapy is how deep the laser can penetrate. The laser is able to reach 5 inches of tissue depth. This is amazing, and unique in that other modalities cannot achieve this reach.

Clinical effects of the 5 therapies include:

1. activation of RNA and DNA synthesis
2. increased cell metabolism in the form of ATP
3. improvement of microcirculation
4. reinforcement of collagen synthesis and reduced fibrous tissue formation
5. anti-inflammatory response
6. edema reduction
7. pain reduction
8. stimulation of T-cell production
9. increased levels of prostaglandin synthesis
10. gentle heating of surface tissue layer
11. acts upon receptors in the skin and reduces pain
12. microcirculation activation
13. stimulates epithelial cell growth and regeneration
14. reinforces laser penetration into target tissues
15. localized pain relief
16. reduction in swelling

Laser therapy can be a perfect adjunct to the visit to the chiropractor. I schedule 15-20 minute appointments that include any combination of services that we provide to ensure the most impact.

Laser therapy has over 4,000 clinical trials world wide to document the effects. It is used in over 3,000 hospitals, and used in over 10,000 private practices. It can be used on just about any part of the body, and it has relatively few contraindications.

Olympic athletes, the special forces, US major league soccer team, NBA & NFL players, National soccer team, and chronic pain sufferers all utilize the MR4 Super Pulsed Laser.

The laser can treat a multitude of conditions such as

1. acute, sub-acute, and chronic pain
2. back pain
3. neck pain
4. carpal tunnel symptoms
5. arthritis pain
6. fibromyalgia
7. ligament sprains
8. tendonitis
9. tennis elbow
10. soft tissue injuries
11. muscle strain

This is just a partial list of conditions that the cold laser treats. It is used to treat over 300 different conditions. Cold laser treatments range from 1 time per week for 5 weeks to 2-3 times per week for 6-15 weeks. The frequency of visits is determined by the magnitude of the condition. Treatment by the laser usually lasts between 5-15 minutes.

In Health,

Dr. Trent Artichoker MS, DC
Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

303-455-2225

chiropractor in denver co for car accident injuries

“It will just go away”, “I’ll just take some pain pills”, “It’s nothing, I’ll get over it”, “I’ve had this before, it will go away like it did before”, are just some of the phrases that I’ve heard from patients coming through my door. It is very natural to think that your pain will go away, and perhaps it might, but letting pain linger is like pretending the warning light on your car dash will go away. Perhaps it might go away, but I’ve seen to many people where the pain gets worse and further damage occurs.

To prevent further damage, or the chance of your pain increasing, I would highly advise you to see a professional. I have compiled 10 signs or symptoms that you should see your denver chiropractor for.

1. Pain from Trauma. Many accidents whether they are from auto injuries, sports injuries, or falls can have underlying problems that only a doctor can detect. Auto accidents can be peculiarly benign, but can have serious injuries on the body that can last forever. Treatment for an auto accident should begin as soon as possible to limit the inflammation that occurs and to help restore movement as soon as possible. Trauma can lead to broken bones, torn ligaments, ruptured tendons, herniated discs, nerve damage, and so fourth. Many of these problems can seem as if they will go away on their own, but left untreated they can become chronic and possibly irreversible.

2. Pain that goes into the arms or legs. This should prompt a visit to the chiropractor as soon as possible. Pain that radiates to the extremities is a sign of inflammation, a possible extrusion of the discs that will need a specific disc herniation treatment, osteophyte compression of the nerve root, or other serious processes that often times will not go away on their own. Appropriate diagnosis is critical for resolution of these types of pains.

3. Pain with reduced range of motion. Pain that appears out of no where, or is unexplainable should also prompt you to see the chiropractic physician. There are underlying disease processes that can cause this, as well as simple treatment options to fix this. Many people go for years in pain, when a chiropractor can fix the issue in usually less than 10 visits.

4. Pain that wakes you at night. Pain experienced at night while sleeping can be a serious problem. If you are waking at night with pain, there could be serious underlying pathology that should be investigated by a doctor. As they say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. I’ve seen problems that could have been quickly eliminated, but due to the person watching and waiting, their problem had become much worse and devastating.

5. Painful Headaches. There are many types of headaches, and some are more indicative of a serious underlying problem. Headaches can easily be treated by our profession, but we have also been trained to know when a headache is coming from something more serious.

6. Pain with normal everyday activities. I’ve seen people that have been in pain for years, and take NSAID everyday to help control the pain. They land in my office when the pain gets so bad, that they can’t even function. It is very sad that someone has lived in pain for so long, and they could have found relief if someone had just told them to see a chiropractor. Pain is not normal, and should not be addressed with daily NSAIDs. Lots and lots of people die from chronic NSAID use every year.

7. Numbness, tingling, and weakness. These are signs of something very serious occurring. It is the bodies’ way of telling you that you need help. These are usually problems with the nerves, and a doctor is the only person that is going to be able to you why you are having these types of problems. Googling your symptoms is great, but playing your own doctor can be dangerous and can cause irreversible damage.

8. Repeat use of pain pills. If you find yourself having to take pain pills on a regular basis, then this should be a wake up call. Go see someone! This is not normal, NSAID’s can be great in certain situations, but taken on a regular basis can create their own problems. Pain is the warning sign, take it seriously, and don’t think that it is normal.

9. Rear end auto accidents at low speeds. Just because there is very little property damage, doesn’t mean that there is very little damage to your body. Whiplash accidents are unique, and the damage can show up days, weeks, and months later. Go see a doctor that has specific training and treatment for auto accidents. With these types of injuries, the faster you get treatment, the better off you’ll be.

10. You have seen other health professionals with no relief. Sometimes the person that walks through my door has been to every other doctor imaginable. MRI’s, CAT scans, x rays, blood tests, physical therapy have all been tried and we are sometimes the person last resort. These types of cases are great, because often time the chiropractor can help, and probably should have been the first person to have been seen. Be open to chiropractic manipulative therapy.

There is plenty of evidence indicating the therapeutic benefit, and safety. People get misinformed of what chiropractic really is or how it is performed. You don’t have much to lose to, so keep an open mind. We have the same amount of education as a medical doctor, and we accept insurance, and have very affordable cash rates. Research your local chiropractor, so you know what to expect.

In Health,

Dr. Trent Artichoker MS, DC

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

303-455-2225

graston technique for back pain and neck pain

graston technique in denverOn the evolutionary time period of our healing methods, our modern day manual health solutions can actually be traced back thousands of years. From chiropractic to acupuncture, our ancestors have already paved the way of utilizing tools and hands on techniques to heal the body. For thousands of years, cultures have refined the art of manipulating the joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments with ancient tools, and now with modern day tools. One such ancient technique, such as gua sha, has been around longer than most of our family trees.

Gua sha is a Chinese term, literally meaning, “to scrape away fever”, and utilizes animal horns, ceramic spoons, and jade materials to scrape the skin. Although the Chinese used these primitive tools to combat a myriad of diseases from asthma to joint stiffness, we have now refined and evolved the technique to treat disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system.

One such technique that I commonly use in my clinic as a chiropractor in Denver, is the Graston Technique. The Graston Technique is similar to Gua Sha, as it utilizes tools to scrape the skin and tissue underneath the skin to achieve a desired clinical outcome.

The Graston Technique utilizes a set of six stainless steel tools that have been precisely machined for different areas of the body. The technique can only be applied by individuals that have gone through a formal educational certification process. Only Athletic Trainers, Sports Chiropractic Physicians, Medical Physicians, Occupational Therapists, Osteopaths, Physical Therapists, Podiatrists, licensed OT and PT assistants -who work under the auspices of previously mentioned professionals, are able to provide the Graston Technique.

The main outcome with the Graston Technique by a Denver sports chiropractor is to reduce scar tissue that has potentially built up over time. The instruments provide tactile feedback to the practitioner and patient, indicating areas of dysfunction. Treatments usually last several minutes per area, and frequency is usually 6-12 treatments, with 3-5 days between treatments.

The technique is used for a multitude of acute and chronic injuries; such as, neck pain, back pain, cervical sprain, cervical strain, lumbar sprain, lumbar strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, lateral epicondylitis, medial epicondylitis, rotator cuff tendinosis, patellofemoral disorder, Achilles tendonitis, fibromyalgia, scar tissue, trigger finger, shin splints, and it also helps people who have been in a Denver car accident.

Dr. Trent Artichoker MS, DC
Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

303-455-2225 (BACK)

 

clinic tour of Denver Chiropractic - LLC

Contact your local Denver chiropractor if you are experiencing back pain, neck pain, have been in a denver car accident, sports injury, maintenance care, or interested in wellness care.

Dr. Trent Artichoker MS, DC

Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211

http://denvercoloradochiropractic.com/index.html

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