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
You might not play tennis, but you might have tennis elbow. This is a common condition, and easily treatable when you see the right professional. Wearing a tennis elbow brace might help temporarily, but I have found a much more effective multifaceted approach.
Tennis elbow is also called lateral epicondylitis. The “itis” in epicondylitis is referring to an inflammatory condition of your elbow. With tennis elbow, there is no inflammation, so the NSAIDs will typically have zero effect on your elbow. The lateral epicondyle is a specific part of your arm where muscles are attached. This attachment point becomes degenerated.
The degeneration of this area is due to overuse. This over use is common in several occupations such as: carpenters, office workers, mechanics, plumbers, cashiers, bowlers, massage therapists, tennis players, or other occupations. The constant muscle contraction creates an anaerobic (with out oxygen) environment. This stimulates fibroblasts, a type of cell, that starts laying down scar tissue. This scar tissue then prevents the muscle from fully contracting, or fully relaxing.
You end up with a trigger point, or a knot in your muscle. So, braces will not break up the scar tissue, and neither will drugs. We have to mechanically disrupt the scar tissue to help the injured area regain full function. I do this with several techniques.
The picture above is from a patient I applied kinesio tape to at the end of the treatment. The patient developed his tennis elbow from riding motorcycles. At the first appointment, he was unable to shake my hand due to severe pain. I’ve treated him 4 times, and he is 70% better.
My treatment with this particular patient included:
1. Cold laser therapy / LLLT – This helps stimulate the cells to make energy, ATP, to accelerate the healing process. You can read more about my cold laser therapy in denver treatments and its effects on my other blog post.
2. Graston Technique – This treatment utilizes stainless steel tools that I use to gently scrape the affected muscle and common tendon. You can read more about my graston technique in denver treatments.
3. Kinesio Tape – The tape has an elastic quality, and also has a finger print like pattern on the underside. This combination of properties allows me to increase or decrease muscle tension, increase circulation, and help stabilize an area.
4. G5 Mechanical Massage – This is an industrial strength massager that no hands can replicate. It breaks up nasty trigger points, improves circulation and the function of the area. I apply the G5 to the back, neck, shoulder, and arm.
5. Chiropractic Adjustments – To help restore proper alignment and function to an area, I carefully manipulate the wrist, elbow shoulder, back, and the neck. Most people do not realize that we can adjust other joints than the spine. A good elbow adjustment can provide a tremendous amount of relief.
6. Dry Needling in Denver – Our dry needling helps break up scar tissue and is helps restore proper tone to the muscle. This technique helps deactivate the trigger point.
7. We have recently changed our approach in dealing with tennis elbow that is much more effective. We have purchased the EMS Swiss Dolorclast Shockwave therapy machine. This is a potent way in dealing with chronic degenerative conditions or tendinopathies. Our Shockwave therapy treatment in Denver only requires 3 treatments of shockwave. This save time and money for the patient. Our aforementioned approach worked well, but required about 6-12 treatments and now only requires 3 treatments.
Throw that worthless brace away, and go to your Denver chiropractor. We can help!
Author: Dr. Trent Artichoker MS, DC
Denver Chiropractic, LLC
3890 Federal Blvd Unit 1
Denver, CO 80211